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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Seattle, WA, USA
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    176

    Default Deep Nuc's at Supers?

    Have any of you tried using nucs as supers?
    Does it work well enough?
    If you've tried it, what problem/benifits did you observe?

    I've seen a few pictures of this setup floating around the web, but never seriously considered it until my wife started helping manage the bees. She is tough, but expecting her to lift a 90 lb deep off a 3 story colony is stupid (or so I've been told ).

    In an attempt to keep all one frame size and only two different box sizes (deeps and deep nucs), and because I don't want to sucume to my friend iwombat's persistant suggestion to switch to 8 frame mediums, I'm considering doing a trial with nucs as supers this year. The options I've contemplated are:

    1) 4 Frame Nucs - which, side by side, would almost exactly the width of a deep.
    2) Skinny Walled 5 Frame Nucs - with four 3/8 inch plywood walls you get a width exactly the same as a deep (I've built and am using nucs of this nature for increase and this setup will be part of the trial).
    3) Standard 5 Frame Nucs - side-by-side width about 1.5 inches greater than a deep, which is less than ideal as the outer walls would not overlap at all and some additional piece of hardware might be needed.

    I've done a fair number of cutouts (15+) and I've observed booming colonies with all sorts of twists, turns, and divisions, so my expectation is that the solid wall that would be created in the middle of the bees long term storage location would not be too problematic.

    What may be a problem is that now there is pathway for water/wind to get into the brood nest through the split between the two nucs . Some sort of shim to keep rain from blowing in might work.

    Any of your have experience with this setup?

    Thanks in advance,
    Reid

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    24,462

    Default Re: Deep Nuc's at Supers?

    I have nuc boxes whose bottoms aren't permenently attatched. They are held on w/ wires attatched to the box and the bottom board by a screw in the box and a screw in the bottom board, front and back. I find these reaL usable when making splits in the spring.

    I can also use a bottomless nuc box as a super, which I do if I haven't transfered, or sold, all of my nucs into full sized boxes(ie 10 frame). I don't super nucs for honey production, but I don't know why it wouldn't work. You'd probably have to keep a closer eye on them, perhaps. I imagine others know.

    Have fun w/ your experiment and let us know how it works.

    Most people I know avoid picking up a full deep of honey by running brood nests in deeps and honey supers in mediums or shallows. W/ little if any problems.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,431

    Default Re: Deep Nuc's at Supers?

    One of the arguments of top bar hive proponents is eliminating the heavy lifting. Single frames can be lifted and transferred even easier than top bars and they come out of the extractor better. Who ever said you have to lift whole supers? Is there some code of beekeeping or "its just the ways its always been done"? My top bar hives are made for 19 inch bars so I can really mix it up!
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,290

    Default Re: Deep Nuc's at Supers?

    It seems to me that if you wanted to do the standard 5 frame you could attach some 1X2 or other scrap lumber so it was flush with the top of the full sized deep(on 2 sides). That would make the edges flush when you supered the nucs.

    But i have never tried it.

    Good luck. I would like to see pics of what you come up with, if possible.

    Dan
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,709

    Default Re: Deep Nuc's at Supers?

    Using nucs as supers will result in a tall hive which will easily fall over.

    If you want to use deeps as supers, simply transfer frames into another box so you aren't killing yourself trying to carry the whole box. Just carry a few frames at a time.

    Yes, it will take more time, but it will allow you to use all deep boxes without killing yourself carrying deeps that are full of honey.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: Deep Nuc's at Supers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Countryboy View Post
    Using nucs as supers will result in a tall hive which will easily fall over.
    I'm not talking about supering with only 1 nuc, but 2 nucs side-by-side. There would be absolutely no structural difference between a full deep and two nucs in this configuration.
    -Ken

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Seattle, WA, USA
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    176

    Default Re: Deep Nuc's at Supers?

    Quote Originally Posted by RiodeLobo View Post
    It seems to me that if you wanted to do the standard 5 frame you could attach some 1X2 or other scrap lumber so it was flush with the top of the full sized deep(on 2 sides).
    Good idea. I'll consider that as well. And yes, I'll post pics if it works out (or not).
    -Reid

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Seattle, WA, USA
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    176

    Default Re: Deep Nuc's at Supers?

    Quote Originally Posted by AmericasBeekeeper View Post
    Who ever said you have to lift whole supers? Is there some code of beekeeping or "its just the ways its always been done"?
    Funny you said that! It's exactly what I posted a couple of years back. I also said something to the effect of "Don't any of you have friends? You all seem to be a likable enough".
    Pulling out half the frames of a deep is exactly what I do at my home apiary because all the hives are 8 ft off the ground on my carport roof. The other locations I have hives are less restrictive.
    The problem arises when pulling honey just after the main flow. We've been inundated with bees trying to rob in just a few minutes after pulling a box and breaking apart and pulling out 5 of the frames. Having a box that can quickly be set aside and covered without additional screwing with it is preferable. But you're right, it may not be worth it. We will see.
    ~Reid

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,451

    Default Re: Deep Nuc's at Supers?

    Back when I ran all deeps I made some 4 frame deep nuc boxes that would work side by side on a ten frame deep for supers. This allowed me to get some drawn comb in deeps without having to lift the entire box. But then I cut them all down to mediums and then I cut all the hives down to eight frame boxes.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Seattle, WA, USA
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    176

    Default Re: Deep Nuc's at Supers?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    I have nuc boxes whose bottoms aren't permanently attached. They are held on w/ wires attached to the box and the bottom board by a screw in the box and a screw in the bottom board, front and back.
    Sounds like what I've put together for the same purpose. I've been using those to transfer honey off my carport roof, where 4 of my 20 hives are located.


    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Most people I know avoid picking up a full deep of honey by running brood nests in deeps and honey supers in mediums or shallows. W/ little if any problems.
    They do around here at all, but the convenience of running all the same frames (especially when you run all foundationless and an unlimited brood nest, like I do). I need to be able to move frames up or down as necessary.
    ~Reid

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Seattle, WA, USA
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    176

    Default Re: Deep Nuc's at Supers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Back when I ran all deeps I made some 4 frame deep nuc boxes that would work side by side on a ten frame deep for supers. This allowed me to get some drawn comb in deeps without having to lift the entire box. But then I cut them all down to mediums and then I cut all the hives down to eight frame boxes.
    So, it sounds like it worked fine for you, other than the fact they were deep frames and standard 10 frame boxes.

    Did you use the nucs as supers? Or just to get comb drawn?

    You had no complications? Like weather? Nothing to note concerning the division above the broodnest?
    ~Reid

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Deep Nuc's at Supers?

    >Did you use the nucs as supers?

    Yes.

    > Or just to get comb drawn?

    That was my main motivation. But also to cut down on lifting. I did still have a lot of shallows and mediums around as well as deeps but was trying to standardize on deeps.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Seattle, WA, USA
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    Default Re: Deep Nuc's at Supers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >....but was trying to standardize on deeps.
    Good deal. I've had really good winter survival in my area with 9 frame deeps and follower-boards, though iwombat has had the same success with 8 frame mediums. I'll give this idea a try and see how it goes.
    Thanks for the input!
    ~Reid

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Bend, WA
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    506

    Default Re: Deep Nuc's at Supers?

    Namedropper!

    In reality, I'm overwintering in 1 deep and 2 mediums. Although now that everyone seems to want medium nucs, I'll be changing a few over to all mediums this year.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
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    774

    Default Re: Deep Nuc's at Supers?

    I wouldn't see any problem with it. Aside from the fact that your going against the grain that I see most people going.

    i.e. all deeps vs mediums.

    But with that said, most nucs are still deeps. *shrugs*

    I've seen pictures of hives in all shapes, sizes, and configurations. I really don't think the bees would care, as long as it's not 8ft high and the queen smell doesn't come up that far. But even then, I doubt it will matter a lot.

    I'm trying to standardize on all mediums, bit I find myself constantly having to get a deep for this or that. *mumbles*

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    43,451

    Default Re: Deep Nuc's at Supers?

    I think the deeps multiply... there always seem to be some around despite me cutting them down all the time...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Seattle, WA, USA
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    176

    Default Re: Deep Nuc's at Supers?

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinR View Post
    I wouldn't see any problem with it. Aside from the fact that your going against the grain that I see most people going.
    I tend to go against the grain frequently and I don't have too many colonies (yet), and plan to stay between 20 and 30 colonies for awhile. So, switching to all mediums wouldn't be too much of a problem, though finding a good use for all the cut down deep pieces will be interesting. Extending mediums to deeps in a little easier than the other way around.
    ~Reid

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Bend, WA
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    506

    Default Re: Deep Nuc's at Supers?

    Seems like I'm always needing a shim for one thing or another. Those cut-down pieces come in pretty handy.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
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    2,709

    Default Re: Deep Nuc's at Supers?

    Why not run all shallows if you want the same size frames in everything, and a shallow super of honey is a lot lighter than a deep.

    Stack two empty shallow boxes, and you can drop deep frames in if you want to install a deep nuc. Put shallow frames int he empty spots, and you can phase out the deep frames and put in shallows pretty easy.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Seattle, WA, USA
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    176

    Default Re: Deep Nuc's at Supers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Countryboy View Post
    Why not run all shallows if you want the same size frames in everything . . .
    Interesting. That really would make the whole process lighter, but shallows might not allow for much of a functional comb height. Without actually trying it out, it seems that the bees would prefer a more unbroken comb face. Obviously no boxes really allow for comb hight like that in a natural tree cavity, but plenty of beeks have commented that the bees will concentrate the brood nest in the deep box if given the choice between deeps and other height boxes.
    Thoughts?
    ~Reid

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