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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    370

    Default My mini-Kenya-breeding-nuc

    It's half the size of a standard medium super, so two can fit on top of your main hive with a plywood adapter so main hive bees can build comb. Or, in theory, a super/excluder can be put above 2 mating nucs to collect 'excess' honey!

    My plan is to divide it three ways, which comes out to about 3 bars per mating queen, and combining as I sell queens should be as easy as a quick spray with peppermint oil water and removing the division board.

    End boards: Top is 9" across, bottom is 5.5" (15 degree slope)
    Side boards: 6.5" tall, 16.25" long

    I aligned the corners on the bottom edges, so the outside corner of the sides sticks out below the edge of the end boards. I then used my router to cut the bottom flush so it would sit flat on the base I made. This puts the tops of the end boards about a quarter inch above the sides, allowing room for the top bars to rest.

    The top is 14" flashing. Everything except the screened area on the base is glued with Tightbond II. Hive body staples are all 1" or 1.5" as appropriate, with an electric stapler used on the roof (the compressor blows staples right thru the flashing.)

    I've discovered that a little sandpaper and some stain makes everything look a LOT better!

    Whole hive connected via 1" vinyl tubing to the outside. I've got an empty boardman feeder (no jar at the moment) with the entrance to the outside just in case they run out of juice inside.


    Hive components:

    Roof, with 1/2" plywood. Cutting the angle on the eves was a pain on a Ryobi table saw--flat roof for all the rest!


    Hive body--all 8"x3/4" pine from Home Depot, trimmed to 6.5" to leave me with enough trim for the majority of the base. (yes, I'm the one who digs thru the entire pile for boards with no splits or large knots...)


    Base--Trimmings from the main board, with window screen stapled between the bits.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    370

    Default Re: My mini-Kenya-breeding-nuc

    Entrance adaptor for indoor use. I got 1" PVC end caps and an elbow, so if I want to move the hive I can cap the entrance tube and the exit tube where both fit into the elbow.


    Entrance adaptor, front and side view


    Entrance adaptor, back view (drill your hole in your 1.5"x2" block of 2x4 first, THEN cut your L-shape!)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    370

    Default Re: My mini-Kenya-breeding-nuc

    Interior:

    Top bar design courtesy of: http://lyonsvillefletcher.blogspot.c...pictorial.html

    The bars are made of the same 3/4 lumber I used for the rest of the thing.

    Stocked:



    top bar and comb


    Feeding with baby food jars

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Elgin, South Carolina
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: My mini-Kenya-breeding-nuc

    Outstanding very nice.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,210

    Default Re: My mini-Kenya-breeding-nuc

    You are quite crafty and a good woodworker too there Tara. You aught to write some of this stuff up and send it in to Bee Culture or American Bee Journal along w/ photos.

    That's one of those crazy ideas that I refered to in my PM. Crazy good and out of the box, sorta, I guess. I love it.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    370

    Default Re: My mini-Kenya-breeding-nuc

    Thanks! I do enjoy the woodworking.

    But write up what? That I stole a bunch of ideas from smart people on Beesource and combined them? That's just research!

    I'm still playing with the idea that Michael Bush is smarter--don't bother with 'mini' mating nucs, just use medium supers divided into two-frame nucs so you don't have to make any extra equipment--but minis have a 'cute' factor, and I don't have a ton of bee resources yet to pull a bunch of 2-frame nucs for each queen cell. I have very ambitious plans for next spring!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,210

    Default Re: My mini-Kenya-breeding-nuc

    Roger Morse made a carreer of doing just that, from what I hear. One of the Deans of Modern Beekeeping Literature.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Bergen, Norway
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: My mini-Kenya-breeding-nuc

    It's not stealing, it's building upon others work. Thats the way we do progress

    I have an idea that you might want to use. It's to make collapsable sections. Basicalyi it is that you have a font piece and an end piece, and inbetween you have sections of say one foot that can be taken off or added.

    I am thinking that the same kind of brackets that are used in some beds could be used to snap them together. That way you could make a nuc into a full hive, and it would be easier to move them by dividing them into sections(by snapping on a new end and front-plate). The varroa-netting and bottom board would slit into grooves, and also be in sections.

    If you are interested, I could try to expand and explain it a little better.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    370

    Default Re: My mini-Kenya-breeding-nuc

    Duboisi,

    I THINK I can imagine what you're talking about, but I'm not entirely sure. Do you think the collapsable sections would be easier than follower boards?

    I had just intended to use a 1/2" follower board in between each section... I'll be sticking permanent bottoms on the ones I use for queen-rearing (this was my trial model), so the follower board will completely block one section from the other. Then I could just pick up the follower board and split the nuc wherever I wanted by inserting it between 2 frames...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Bergen, Norway
    Posts
    248

    Default Re: My mini-Kenya-breeding-nuc

    It is a bit of the same. But you could have a series of nucs with follower-boards inbetween, and when you wanted to expand them, you could make every nuc into a hive using boards that are easy to store/stack.

    You would basically dissconnect the nuc, from the nuc-bank, one side at a time put on end-boards and reassemble the nuc-bank. You could them move it easily and put on another section where you wanted it to stay.

    If you wanted to move a hive to another location. You would take away the honey, and/or empty space - Giving a hive that is nimbler and easier to move.

    One thing I think is a great benefit to the TBH's are that you do not need to store a lot of space-demanding equipment like boxes and frames. But on the other hand the size of the hive is fixed, and cumbersome to move.
    You should be able to store several sections in the space of one deep.
    Last edited by Duboisi; 09-21-2010 at 06:44 PM. Reason: typo

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Attleboro, MA
    Posts
    278

    Default Re: My mini-Kenya-breeding-nuc

    Tara -

    Very cool

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    370

    Default Re: My mini-Kenya-breeding-nuc

    Here's how I feed pollen and syrup.

    Pollen feeding: If you're using 1 1/4" bars, you can afford a few extra eighths after the comb is built. I just put down a couple shims with slats over them to give the bees a sense of being enclosed, and to keep the updraft down. I laid a dark hand towel over the whole thing and then put the lid on.

    My bees get pretty pissed when I take these patties off for an inspection...




  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    370

    Default Re: My mini-Kenya-breeding-nuc

    Old way: baby food jars inverted over spacers. Pros: Its easy Cons: They'd empty the jars in 24 hrs. I was using a pint jar, but they built comb far enough over I wanted to give them one more bar to build on.



    New way: Shamelessly adapted from Mike Palmer's division board feeder design (which, btw, works wonderfully). I used thin plastic instead of masonite to maximize volume while keeping external dimensions as small as possible, and also so I can see how far to fill it! It probably holds a quart and a half.
    I took a bit of window screen and folded it over the last quarter inch, then draped it over the edge of the plastic to give the bees a ramp. I hate seeing drowned bees...



    I only made a 1 inch hole. You could make it bigger to avoid needing a funnel...



    About 15 seconds after filling, they're sucking it down.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    370

    Default Re: My mini-Kenya-breeding-nuc

    As small as it is, they wintered fine! No extra pollen or sugar/candy feed since December...

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