stacking "double nuc" boxes / divided hive bodies
We are expanding and have started assembling a lot of boxes for use as double nuc (2, 5 frame nucs with central movable divider that slides into saw kerfs) boxes.
making dividers out of 1/4" luan or possibly corroplast ->trial
Many times in the past I have found it very useful to stack a second nuc box on top of 5 frame standard nucs.
I would like to be able to do this with the double nucs, but have not yet found a good solution for ensuring that two separate dividers will "seal" together leaving no gaps for bees to cross over.
other than making dividers that are 2 boxes tall (not a good idea management wise) anyone have any ideas or a solution already worked out with similar stackable equipment / dividers/ etc?
I double stack mine, both 4 frame nucs and mating nucs. No problems that I can see. I use 3/4" pine as a divider in my nuc boxes with a fixed division board. Also, my double nuc boxes with movable division board feeders can be stacked, but the feeder is 2" wide. Also, the mating nuc boxes...4 way in the summer, and 2 way in the winter have a 5/4" divider. Maybe the Luan is too thin to form a good seal?
Originally Posted by abeeco
As long as the edge of your divider is cut square, they should butt together with no significant gap. As long as any gap is less than 1/8" or so, it shouldn't be a problem. The downside is having a divider flush with the top edge of the box. This makes it harder to inspect each hive without crossover for me. You might try the canvas inspection cloths.
Thanks Ross & Michael-
I guess that the issue I am having is that a lot of my boxes are "not exactly identical" and with the divider only 1/4" thick, it just doesn't look like the chances of them lining up well enough are all that good for the long term. -- hoping for a better solution that will ensure they line up, warpage is not an issue, etc
- I guess that a thicker divider could certainly help... (obviously!)?
For overwintering double nucs this year (so far very happy!) I did use a "canvas" style inner cover- actually black gardener's shade cloth stapled to the divider- on some boxes
and on others I used a slightly taller divider board (taller than the boxes) and 2 separate pieces of (3/8? 1/2?) ply cut to fit as inner covers
so far I like the second option best (advantage easiest to inspect) although -some downsides (requires telescoping top and like Ross mentions not conductive to stacking)
advantage of the shade cloth stapled to divider- more space ...(some ended up being light despite my efforts and I opted for dry sugar on top bars instead of feeding late) and can use flat/ migratory covers (note: I use flat or migratory covers all year but for winter cover with a piece of foam board with several inches overhang in all directions).
Michael I really like your division board feeders and have seen the "plans" / drawing that someone posted awhile back - I had not really planned on it but I may have to try to put some together asap. My biggest concern would
be clearance / tight enough fit in the frame rest area- could you tell me how much gap these feeders generally have between the sides of the boxes and if propolis / unevenness / etc in the frame rest area gets to be an issue.
I have the same problem...boxes of different depths. Even some new boxes that I make from scratch are different depths. The boards shrink at different rates, depending on the type of grain. I've found it best to cut your dividers to fit the box.
Originally Posted by abeeco
I like my feeders to be a little loose when I install them. 1/16" on each end is good. Too tight, and you'll never get them out...when everything expands due to moisture.
One problem I've found...if the end boards on your hive body is cupped out, it can create a gap between the edn board and the feeder. I've seen it be large enough for bees to cross around. It that case, one queen will be lost.
all of your input (and knowledge from searching the archives) is much appreciated
I guess I'll also have to make them one by one then... anything you have used (semi permanent repair) to seal these gaps that inevitably come up when you are running a large enough number of these double nucs/ w feeder? (other than duct tape)
Actually, I have used duct tape to close the gap between the end wall and the end of the feder.
Silicone caulk works better. When you're getting the boxes ready, just seal any cracks...between end wall and feeder, or any gaps in the frame rest where bees can cross around or under.
I still use duct tape on the top of the feeders if I want to add a super to the double nuc box. Without closing the fill holes, the queen can cross under the excluder, and into the opposite nuc.
sure would love to see some photos of your set up if you got them. we are playing around with lots of ways to do this.
making a 2nd story is my latest cunnundrum
Here is a photo of a 6 & 5/8" depth queen mating nuc
Here is a photo of a 6 & 5/8" depth queen mating nuc or what's called a medium. They are stackable, durable, efficient and can be changed back to standard frames. 3/4" thickness is the way to go.
More photos of my nuc.
Here are 4 more photos showing the nuc in production.
Top view of the nuc as a double.
Nuc frames are transfered into their new home:
Close up view of the bees greeting me at their new residence.
You all have convinced me that divider boards thicker than 1/4" are the way to go...
we are using divided mediums as well...
could you describe the tops you use and is there a reason you use the aluminum foil tape other than to prevent bees from crossing over during inspection?
(off topic, to Ernie- I believe you should be able to fit 30-40 lbs of bulk bees in a 2' square screened box (ie bulk shipping container) - question was asked in the for sale section)...good idea to make a mount for a frame or 3 of honey in there...
1. So if you caulk the gaps, does that make the double feeder nearly impossible to get out or is silicone caulk easily pryed off if need be?
Originally Posted by Michael Palmer
2. If adding a super to the double nuc box (something I really am seeing a need for down this way come Spring and my current design does not allow for easily) you close off the double feeder down below- I get that, but do you have the same type of double feeder in the super on top then? I think you are saying yes. I got a little lost on what you are referring to when you say "excluder" is that part of the double feeder design?
could you describe the tops you use and is there a reason you use the aluminum foil t
I use a a flat cover or a cleated cover made out of either ACX or CDX depending on price.
The heating and air conditioning foil is something I came up with a few years ago. it's to prevent the bees from co-mingiling.
I think that I will lay a plastic feed sack over the nucs this season.
I think you are right about the bulk bee box. 2 x 2 x2 = 8 cubic feet
Last edited by BEES4U; 03-06-2009 at 07:38 AM.
Reason: added a sentence.
You can remove the feeder easily enough. The bead of silicone is only along the outside edge of the feeder.
Originally Posted by winevines
There's no need for a divider in the super. Bees from both nucs work in the super. No fighting. Make sure the queens can't cross under the excluder. Only problem I've seen is when one nuc changes their queen, it will fail to bring the queen to maturity.
When you want to remove the super, place triangle escape board on excluder, with super on that. Bees go down into whichever nuc they want. No fighting.
I think I misunderstood your original post on this as the thread started with a dicsussion of 2nd story on double nucs and I was thinking of a 2nd story super for more room for brood as well as honey and pollen. But I am glad to also know about the possibility you describe. Thanks
Originally Posted by Michael Palmer
Just a simple question. Laun or not. Why not have two different heights of divider? One that is 1 box high and another 2 boxes hive for when you stack them. Just replace the shorter one with the taller one when doubling up the boxes.