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Thread: Medium Nucs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Ridgewood, NJ, USA
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    Default Medium Nucs

    What do people who run all mediums use for nucs? I have seen people run two 5 frame medium hive bodies as a medium nuc. Brushy mountain offers this as a standard item. I have also seen people use a single 8 frame medium as a nuc. I did some math comparing the different options and this is what I have come up with:

    Deep frame: 19"x 9 1/8" = 173.37 sq inches
    Medium frame: 19"x 6 1/4" = 118.75 sq inches

    Standard 5 frame deep nuc: 173.37 x 5 = 866.85 sq inches of frame area

    Double medium 5 frame nuc (10 frames total): 118.75 x 10 = 1187.5 sq inches

    8 frame medium: 118.75 x 8 = 950 sq inches

    According to the math, a single 8 frame medium hive body is much closer to a 5 frame deep than using a double 5 frame medium nuc. I suppose the disadvantage to a single 8 frame medium is that the hive is much shorter than it is wide, which goes against bees tendency to move up instead of out. If you ran all 8 frame equipment though, it would be very easy to winter an 8 frame nuc on-top of another colony and all your other components would be compatible (covers, bottom boards, hive top feeders, ext)

    Any input on the pros and cons of the different methods? Or am I completely over-thinking this (I am an engineer so I tend to translate everything into numbers).

  2. #2
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    Apr 2010
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    Tipton, TN, USA
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    Default Re: Medium Nucs

    I vote over thinking, but what is your real question?

    I ran 4-5 frame medium nucs last year. When the frames were all drawn/covered. I transferred to 10 frames, or added a 2nd 4-5 frame nuc box.

    As for going against the bee's nature. I'm of the opinion that the are opportunistic. I've done 2 cut outs where the combs were less than 4 inches deep and over 36-40 inches wide. ((inside a house))

    So I don't think they "really" care. They might like a vertical space better, but they build where they can.

    But.. they do need to defend their smaller house. So you need a small entrance and room for them to grow. Change out to a bigger hive before it gets too crowded.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Dripping Springs, TX USA
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    Default Re: Medium Nucs

    Go with 8 frame mediums, maybe a long hive body with mediums on top.
    http://picasaweb.google.com/11012930...6588/LongHive#

  4. #4
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    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    Default Re: Medium Nucs

    Quote Originally Posted by blazin View Post
    snip

    it would be very easy to winter an 8 frame nuc on-top of another colony and all your other components would be compatible (covers, bottom boards, hive top feeders, ext)
    I have all medium 8's and use 5-frame "nuc" boxes for smaller colonies or for when I'm mess'n about with bees.

    I have a friend who had a double 5-frame medium "nucleus" colony that is wintering over one of my eight frame hives... as you said "it would be very easy to winter an 8 frame nuc on-top of another colony" but I decided that the weak colony was better in a stack of 2 fives. To place the nuc box on an 8-frame I trimmed down a 2x6 to use as a spacer. Some Styrofoam, aluminum tape and a bead of sealant served to weatherproof the partial cover.

    I still have access to the host colony by using a deep double-screened box that has a removable side cover. If I feel the need, I can feed the host colony...


    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Medium Nucs

    maybe a long hive body with mediums on top

    A little off topic, but I just don't understand these long hive bodies. What's the point of an 8 frame over a 10 frame? Either you are looking for a more natural bee space, as bees are not as prone to use the outer two frames on a 10 frame hive, or you are looking for a lighter body so you can pick it up and move it easier. So when you take a long hive body that is equal to three 8 frame mediums, arn't you eliminating both of the potential advantages of moving from 10 frame to 8 frame? You now have a MUCH heavier box that is harder to move, that bees are less likely to make use of efficiently than a 10 frame OR an 8 frame box. But I've never had them, maybe I'm missing something.

    As far as your difference between two 5 frame medium boxes and one 8 frame medium box and it's comparison to a 5 frame deep box, I don't understand the question. If you are moving away from deep boxes, why are you trying to replicate their results? If you want the same space as a deep 5 frame, get a deep five frame.

    If you have a 5 frame nuc and they run out of space, you can either 1) add another 5 frame medium box, or 2) move them to an 8 frame box (if you are running 8 frame boxes). I don't really think it matters which one you do. To me it just matters what time of year it is. I get the feeling that the bees would be able to heat up two 5 frame mediums easier than they would be able to heat up one 8 frame medium, as they can take advantage of the heat rising and not dissipating left or right. A five frame with a smaller entrance also seems better for the bees to defend against SHB, Wax Moths, and Robbers. But who know's, I'm not a bee. Never lived in a box.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Medium Nucs

    I don't use them, but generally the long hives are completely stationary. There is no lifting of supers required.

    In my experience the bees will fill whatever space you give them, but I expect they prefer tall and skinny.

    *shrugs*

    As for the original poster, if you stay with standard frames... Deeps or mediums... all you need to do, is make sure the bees have space.


    *Off topic*
    I vote that we have Specialkayme live in a box for research purposes.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Medium Nucs


    *Off topic*
    I vote that we have Specialkayme live in a box for research purposes.


    Hahahaha.

    Can I get a grant for this?

  8. #8
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    Dripping Springs, TX USA
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    Default Re: Medium Nucs

    Except for those who are in the migratory pollination business, I ask, how many beeks move their whole hive to other locations? Long hives aren't designed to be moved to another apairy. They offer a beek a lighter sulution w/o stacking boxes to heights that require a ladder to work the supers! Everything else is interchangeable, frames and 8-frame supering. If you haven't tried them, then it is sort of like you failing to try a new food dish cause grandma didn't cook that before. Do yourself a favor, save your back, handle only one type of frame, and try it, you and the bees might just like it!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Medium Nucs

    I'm not commercial, and I do move hives. I have an out-apiary about an hour away. I can only house 2 or so hives at my home and the rest need to be in the out-apiary. I move hives around too much to have them be stationary. It does seem interesting though.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Brandenburg, KY
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    Default Re: Medium Nucs

    We move hives in and out depending on what is in bloom. We're not commerical.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Medium Nucs

    It depends on the purpose of the "nuc". To make splits I use eight frame medium boxes. to make mating nucs I make 2 frame boxes. I have some five frame boxes I use when consolidating the two frame mating nucs sometimes...

    http://bushfarms.com/beesnucs.htm#varioussizes
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Medium Nucs

    A lot to be said for universality. One size box cures a lot of problems. If you are worried about weight, go with all mediums. If all your boxes are the same depth it is easy to move full frames of honey in or out of nucs as reqwuired As far as having to super with a ladder, that is only done for bragging. It is better to extract as soon as a couple boxes are capped and put the wet exteracted boxes back on. They move right in and refill them too. When I am asked what my yield was I always found the best answer to be, "It Varies"

  13. #13
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    Aug 2002
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    Default Re: Medium Nucs

    Keep in mind an eight frame medium is exactly the same size as a five frame deep...

    Which is VERY convenient if you run all eight frame mediums...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    florence sc usa
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    Default Re: Medium Nucs

    Ok Mr. Bush, I'm new and have been reading my eye balls out. I've made my decision to go with all 8 frame meds. Win or lose I'm blaming you. LOL.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    El Dorado County, CA
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    605

    Default Re: Medium Nucs

    when i make nucs with a bottom and an entrance i make them all 5 frame deeps. since i have both deep and medium equipment i can use them for either. i have no problem giving the bees clustering space below.
    all that is gold does not glitter

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: Medium Nucs

    I think for wintering over you can have space under. Just use two standard 8 frame mediums with the empty on the bottom.

    PS, I didn't think you over thought it. Good logical approach.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

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