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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ballard County, KY
    Posts
    348

    Default Nuc Box vs. Deep vs. medium

    First sorry if this has been posted before but I was not able to locate the thread.

    I am preparing to install 4 - 3 pound packages in two weeks (2 italian 2 russian). I have an assortment of equipment and was wondering if there is any advantage to the bees to use a 5 frame deep nuc box vs a 10 frame deep brood box vs a 10 frame medium brood box. I have all three available and would like to get the bees off to the best start possible. I almost worry about putting them into the 10 frame until they have built up somewhat. We still have some cold nights through the middle of April.

    I plan to give each of them about two frames of capped honey from last year, two or three frames of drawn comb and feed pollen patties if they will take them. What are the preferences out there? Does it really matter, would nuc boxes require more intense management to prevent swarming if the brood area fills up? Any comments appreciated.

    Thanks

    Tim Goodin
    West KY

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    562

    Default

    I'd use the 5 frame deep nuc box. Better size to start vs. 10 fr. box. Add a couple drawn frames if you have them, any honey and pollen frames will help jump start. Add some syrup and check on them in a couple weeks. (My disclaimer is I use deep's for brood so I wouldn't be using a med. for a brood box.)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,401

    Default

    I would personally use the medium depth box and cut all other deep boxes down to medium depth. 10-frame medium supers are, for my experience, much better than deeps. Even better are 8-frame medium supers. Though I only used deeps for a few years back in the late 1960's, early 1970's, I can't help but remember wishing my deep frames were interchangeable with my medium frames, and vice versa.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    546

    Cool

    Or you could be like me and have a mixture of mediums and deeps. I swore last year to go all mediums, than I turned right around and bought 3 new deep nucs... Take my advice (as hind site is 20 - 20), pick whatever you like and stay with it. It makes it so nice to move frames around if they are all the same... I wish I could stick to my plan, but the nucs where priced right from BetterBee.... If I had a chance to go "all the way" back and redo everything, I'd be a medium man!!! I'm at about 70% medium and 30% deep now.. If these new nucs do well, I'll be out looking for deeps to expand them into, see where I"m going with this. Like a cat chasing his tail. My own fault though...
    Find A Beekeeper - Swarm List
    "There's nothing wrong with me, it's the rest of the world that has a problem"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oxford, Kansas
    Posts
    1,988

    Default

    I would put them in a 10 frame deep and use an entrance reducer. If you got drawn comb they will build up fast. I would feed feed feed. If you are concerned about it being to large. Another option would be to put them in a 10 frame hive body with a follower board. Reduce it to a 5 framer then you can expanded it out has needed without having to move them later.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Aurora, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Budster View Post
    Or you could be like me and have a mixture of mediums and deeps. I swore last year to go all mediums, than I turned right around and bought 3 new deep nucs... Take my advice (as hind site is 20 - 20), pick whatever you like and stay with it. It makes it so nice to move frames around if they are all the same... I wish I could stick to my plan, but the nucs where priced right from BetterBee.... If I had a chance to go "all the way" back and redo everything, I'd be a medium man!!! I'm at about 70% medium and 30% deep now.. If these new nucs do well, I'll be out looking for deeps to expand them into, see where I"m going with this. Like a cat chasing his tail. My own fault though...
    As somebody who is only in the first stages of considering becoming a NewBee, this is great information to have. I've been reading and researching for about a year and hope to take theplunge in the Spring of 2009. I had read George Imirie's Pink Pages and noticed he said he had always gone with nothing but mediums, so I was wondering the opinion of the general beekeeping community.

    This year I hope to hook up with a local beekeeper in order to learn before I take the plunge. One thing I have yet to do is be stung by a bee, so that's something I need to experience before I invest in the hobby.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,320

    Default

    What depth are the frames in the nuc? Are you intending to end up on mediums? A nuc usually is full of bees, brood, and honey and has a queen, so they usually need more room immediately.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ballard County, KY
    Posts
    348

    Default Thanks for all reply's

    The nuc boxes are deep and utilizing deep frames. I bought a couple of medium nuc boxes from brushy mountain in December but have not put them together yet. I would prefer to have my hives in ALL mediums due to the weight issue. But seemed like last year those in deeps for a brood nest faired better than my mediums. But the deeps had drawn comb and the mediums were all foundation so that comes into play also. I was afraid 3 lbs of bees with queen would be too much for a nuc box pretty quickly like MB mentioned. I like the idea of 10 frame box with follower board and may go that route. I ended up with SHB and some wax moth last year and want to avoid that as much as possible. Seemed like the large amount of real estate of a 10 frame box was just too much for the package to cover the first month or so. Thanks again for everyone's ideas.

    Tim

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    two things I would consider..

    1) weather- what are the chances of a cold snap between the time you get the packages and the unit does one complete brood cycle.... if you expect cold weather then the smallest unit will fare the best (ie a nuc box or if all you have is full size boxes start the unit with a small number of frame cramed to the center of the box and fill the outside voids with crumpled up newspaper... add frames and burn newpaper as they grow).

    2) if you have existing hives you might desire to boost the packages with brood. if this was in your plan then you need full frames of brood (from the existing hives) to match the depth of the box you are boosting. don't go overboard with boosting.. do it in small doses and spaced about one week apart.

    good luck..

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    546

    Default

    ** "This year I hope to hook up with a local beekeeper in order to learn before I take the plunge. One thing I have yet to do is be stung by a bee, so that's something I need to experience before I invest in the hobby."

    I was at this same point 3 years ago, however I could not find a local mentor. Missed the local bee club classes, so here I am 3 years later... Still haven't got that 1st sting, so, it isn't imperitive. However, due to allergic reactions, be sure you have somebody close by when working the hives until your sure you aren't allergic. As a matter of fact, I keep some Benadryl tablets in my hive "toolbox" just in case. I haven't been stung by a honey bee in 25 years, I wasn't allergic when younger, but I understand that can change over time.. Now that I mentioned all of this, the bees will make this "PAYBACK TIME", and I'll probably get nailed bad this year...
    Find A Beekeeper - Swarm List
    "There's nothing wrong with me, it's the rest of the world that has a problem"

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Aurora, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    14

    Default

    [QUOTE=Budster;300335I was at this same point 3 years ago, however I could not find a local mentor. Missed the local bee club classes, so here I am 3 years later... Still haven't got that 1st sting, so, it isn't imperitive. However, due to allergic reactions, be sure you have somebody close by when working the hives until your sure you aren't allergic. As a matter of fact, I keep some Benadryl tablets in my hive "toolbox" just in case. I haven't been stung by a honey bee in 25 years, I wasn't allergic when younger, but I understand that can change over time.. Now that I mentioned all of this, the bees will make this "PAYBACK TIME", and I'll probably get nailed bad this year...[/QUOTE]

    I've never been stung in my life, so I may just see if a doctor can test me for allergies.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Dresden ,Tn 38225
    Posts
    113

    Default

    timgoodin, this is off topic ,but I was wondering if you know anyone in west Ky that sells nucs.I am located in dresden,Tn in Weakley Co.I have some packages ordered from Kelley but would have liked to been able to get some nucs. without having to drive so far to pickup.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ballard County, KY
    Posts
    348

    Default West KY Nucs

    Woodyard:

    I see Charles Kash at Symsonia is advertising again in Bee Culture with 5 frame nucs for sale. I got a hive from him last year, he also sells nucs. His hive is the only one of my bunch that survived the winter. Something to be said for local bees and established colony. I am very happy with the NWC hive I got from him. His tele is 270-851-3999.

    You might also contact Kent Williams at 580 SR 385 N, Wingo, KY 42088-8703, phone (270) 382-2348. I believe he is the President of KY Beekeepers Assoc and Wingo in just above KY-TN State line. I'm sure he could put you in contact with some local sources of nucs. He has a beekeeping school at his farm in Wingo in April if you are interested.

    Tim

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Dresden ,Tn 38225
    Posts
    113

    Default

    Thanks, i may check them out.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Smile What size of brood chamber/

    Here is a simple and easy method:
    1. Place the bees and comb in your brood chamber.
    2. Make what is called a follower board.
    The follower board can be made out of scrap plywood.
    Make the follower board the same dimentions as a frame.
    Cut out the upper left and upper right corners a frame rest.
    Place the follower board against the last frame next to the cluster and move it over as needed.
    3. Reduce the entrance as needed. I would use a solid cleat to keep mice out.
    Good Luck,
    Ernie
    Lucas Apiaries
    April ad: page 335 American Bee Journal
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Lancaster CA
    Posts
    410

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    I would personally use the medium depth box and cut all other deep boxes down to medium depth. 10-frame medium supers are, for my experience, much better than deeps. Even better are 8-frame medium supers. Though I only used deeps for a few years back in the late 1960's, early 1970's, I can't help but remember wishing my deep frames were interchangeable with my medium frames, and vice versa.
    Can't agree more. About 4 yrs in I went with deep bottom and med supers. Sure wish I had gone all medium.

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