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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Granby, CT
    Posts
    547

    Default overwintering mini matting nucs?

    Has any one tried and succeed to overwinter small mating nucs in the northern states?
    After I was done wrapping my 5 frame nucs, this week I noticed that some of my mini matting nucs were still alive and some still had some honey, they were the ones sold by Bee works in Canada, bigger than Apidea and Man Lake.

    At the end of the season I let these small nucs alone. Most were dead and I was cleaning the frames making them ready for next season. In one particular beeyard I was surprised to see that a number of these nucs were still alive and heavy in honey.

    I do overwinter plenty of 5 frame nucs but dont have any experience overwintering these matting nucs.

    I understand the challenge but has any here in the North tried successfully?

    Gilman

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,398

    Default

    Gilman:

    I am attempting to over winter 5 mini nucs. So far so good. Last week, I made a sugar cake (easy to make) and put them in the hive. Gives me a little extra insurance.

    My only concern is that I am hoping they will survive the winter. We already had two snows and a few freezing days with temps low in the 20's.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee,USA
    Posts
    207

    Default

    I am interested in the mini nucs for next year. Which ones are you guys using? Homemade or from a company?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Granby, CT
    Posts
    547

    Default

    Apidea, Mann Lake, Bee Works and I made 4 way half deep frames, brother Adam stile.
    I am overwintering bees in 5 frame nucs and 4 ways. I do have some nucs still OK in Bee Works.

    Gilman

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,398

    Default

    Cs:

    Go to Lazybeestudio.com. These are the best ones that I have ever used.

  6. #6

    Default

    CSBees,

    If you have shb, you probably don't want mini-nucs. Shb, love mini-nucs to death, just love them. Within a night or two, you will have more shb in them than bees.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,459

    Default

    >I understand the challenge but has any here in the North tried successfully?
    Gilman<

    >Go to Lazybeestudio.com. These are the best ones that I have ever used.<


    I overwinter mating nucs. I use a nuc box similar to the one Chef Isaac recommends. It's a 4 way nuc box with movable feeders. Can be used as 4 way with 4 frames each, or 2 way with 8 frames each. I think the example from Chef has same ability, although the photo at lazybeestudio is too small to see internal divider. Is it movable Chef?

    I run my mating nuc boxes in the 4 way orientation during the queen rearing season. Once the last round of queens is ready, I catch one of the queens in one of tha quarters, move the feeder against the outside wall, and leave the second queen on 8 mini-frames. They winter in this configuration...8 frame 2-way. I find they winter more easily, as it is the same volume as my standard 4 frame nucs. They make a nice cluster, and store plenty of honey. In the spring, the nuc boxes that didn't make it are stacked on top of those that did. This creates two story mating nucs, that the queens fill with brood. When cells are ready, they are divided, and the brood is used to make up as many 4 way mating nucs as possible. The queens are used for requeening, or splits.

    I've also wintered them as 4 way, although not as successfully. Kirk Webster winters all his as 4 way. He has pretty good luck in this orientation. With two 4 way boxes, he can harvest 6 of the queens, expanding them to 8 frame two way, and stacking two boxes. He gets 6 queens to use in the spring, and two more when cells are ready.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,398

    Default

    Michael:

    The dividers are removable and when removed, you can actually fit in 10 mini frames in there. Works nicely.

    Do you wrap those hives too Michael? Or do you keep them separate?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Granby, CT
    Posts
    547

    Default

    I do have few 4 way half frame nucs, some are overwintering in 5 half frames other in 10. I dont use inner feeder but I make sure that they are heavy before wrapping them on top of big hives or in groups.

    My question was more for any Northern States successful experience in overwintering small Styrofoam single baby nucs, like Bee Works or Mann Lake

    Gilman
    Last edited by bleta12; 12-10-2007 at 10:37 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,459

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bleta12 View Post
    My question was more for any Northern States successful experience in overwintering small Styrofoam single baby nucs, like Bee Works or Mann Lake

    Gilman
    Couldn't you bank them as you do your regular nucs? Maybe the top layer on one of your stacks?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Granby, CT
    Posts
    547

    Default

    That may be a way. I was thinking more of a indoor wintering, even an indoor area with controlled temperature, where they can rear some broad and go out.


    Gilman


    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Couldn't you bank them as you do your regular nucs? Maybe the top layer on one of your stacks?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    surrey uk
    Posts
    33

    Default

    Hi Gilman

    We have overwintered many over the years, like yourself spares at the end of the season. I am a little south east of London and don't think our Winters are as harsh as yours!!!!

    Towards the end of the season nuc's are moved into a shed and placed inside on the warmest wall. We place an empty nuc over the top upside down and put the roof over the vents, this forms a cavity to place candy in, and insulation over the top of the lot. They normaly get through a couple of lumps about the size of a cricket ball or tennis ball on your side of the pond.

    They do not develop well in the Spring though and the Queens need using ASAP. But you will be very supprised just how early you can make splits and nuc's up, and it's far earlier than generaly acceped.

    Our losses are normaly about 1/3 in the small mini's


    Regards Ian

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State
    Posts
    4,398

    Default

    Why do they not develop well in the spring?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Granby, CT
    Posts
    547

    Default

    Hi Ian,

    Thanks for the info, I did spend some time in Leeds and London.

    What kind on nucs do you use there? What are the temps during the winter. When do you use these queens to make splits?


    Gilman

    Quote Originally Posted by ian m davison View Post
    Hi Gilman

    We have overwintered many over the years, like yourself spares at the end of the season. I am a little south east of London and don't think our Winters are as harsh as yours!!!!

    Towards the end of the season nuc's are moved into a shed and placed inside on the warmest wall. We place an empty nuc over the top upside down and put the roof over the vents, this forms a cavity to place candy in, and insulation over the top of the lot. They normaly get through a couple of lumps about the size of a cricket ball or tennis ball on your side of the pond.

    They do not develop well in the Spring though and the Queens need using ASAP. But you will be very supprised just how early you can make splits and nuc's up, and it's far earlier than generaly acceped.

    Our losses are normaly about 1/3 in the small mini's


    Regards Ian

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    surrey uk
    Posts
    33

    Default

    Hi Chef

    As with a larger hive it's simply a numbers game, from what I have seen there is just not enough of them. But the value is purely in the Queen so get her out and use her.

    I have some of the Canadian Langstroth poly nucs and these are fantastic for Wintering 5 framers if you are making late splits/nucs. Our Standard frames are a little smaller than Langstroth and this means you can create an in built feeder.

    http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/ianmda...96979850518658


    Also double nuc boxes made from a normal brood. One 5 frame and a six.

    http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/ianmda...87317576409266


    Regards Ian

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, Tennessee,USA
    Posts
    207

    Default

    Chief Issac,

    Those on lazybeestudio are a little bit pricy, but they look like they would be a good investment.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Granby, CT
    Posts
    547

    Default

    All my baby nucs that I put inside a barn, on December, are still alive. They are the foam nucs that I got from Bee Works.
    At the end of the season I left them to their destiny, late December some were still alive and i took them home, feed them honey and I put them inside a barn more for wind protection.
    We had some good flying days 10 days or so ago and I moved them out and they had some cleansing flights. After the weather got cold again they were moved inside the barn.
    I am impressed that they can make it in these low temps, the barn is not heated and it is really cold inside, serves mostly as protection against the wind.

    Any similar experiences?

    Gilman

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,199

    Default

    It wouldnt be hard to set up a small indoor wintering room. In fact why not put them in your hot room. That is essentially what I am doing, but my hot room is 20 by 20 filled with 250 hives. Thats all the room I have got, the rest are outside,
    I use to winter a few late caught swarms in my smaller facility few years back. Takes pretty much nothing to maintain a small room. Just keep it dark, I wouldnt even think small mating nucs would need ventalation. Just open the door from time to time at night

    Sounds fun! I actually really enjoyed getting my late swarms through the winter this way. It was before I started wintering some of my hives inside. It is quite amazing how adaptable these bees can be to our environment and our interactions!
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Western North Carolina
    Posts
    105

    Default

    CS ... you have a PM.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Heavener Oklahoma
    Posts
    932

    Default mini nuc

    Check out the new mini nucs in Mann Lake

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