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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Columbus, Oh
    Posts
    56

    Default Double Nucs, has anyone tried....

    I've seen on Micheal Palmer's videos where he makes a double nuc box with an eight frame deep and a solid divider down the middle. Additional frames are added to the top with single four frame boxes. The advantage is in overwintering as the clusters from both nucs cluster in the center against the divider to make efficient use of heat from both clusters.

    I've also read where two brood chambers (with two queens) can be stacked on each other with a queen excluder ( process over-simplified) and the two colonies act as one with two queens.

    Has anyone tried a double nuc with a queen excluder for a divider? I'd think one would have better heat transfer and the advantage of the two to pool resources and act as one.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, CA
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Double Nucs, has anyone tried....

    Jeyster,
    I can see using a double screen board, so they can't communicate with each other.
    If they are allowed to pass back and forth, you will end up with all the bees with only one queen.
    If you had them side by each, with an excluder, the outcome would be the same.
    Just my $0.02
    First day of pollen coming in April 13, 2014.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,503

    Default Re: Double Nucs, has anyone tried....

    I have heard several folks say that you end up with one queen by spring. Go to frenchbeefarm.com and under articles you will find an English language discussion of them wintering double nucs with a single food source above in Manitoba. If I find myself rich enough in bees this fall I am going to try it with five doubles for a test.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Bedford, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: Double Nucs, has anyone tried....

    I don't think the heat transfer between the two colonies increases survivability too significantly, since they winter fine even when one side is empty.

    It would be my guess that the queens(or bees) would try to kill each other through the excluder, thinking that its one colony instead of two.
    Stuart Ratcliff - Beekeeping Journal

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, CA
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Double Nucs, has anyone tried....

    I wintered 1 hive that way this year as I tried the 2 queen system (2 divided brood boxes) with an excluder on top of that. They sure suppered up quick and the honey was just under 400#, I knocked them down to 1 divide brood box with an excluder on and then the honey super. I was surprised to see both queens doing well and honey missing from the top super over the excluder. I didn't have a top entrance in the top super but only on a shim above the excluder. I put pollen patty there, for both sides to use a couple of weeks ago.
    I was doubtful of this system as I thought they would abandon the queen for food but apparently not. They must bring it down to the bottom on warmer days?
    Mark
    First day of pollen coming in April 13, 2014.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Bedford, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: Double Nucs, has anyone tried....

    Quote Originally Posted by allincuddy View Post
    I wintered 1 hive that way this year as I tried the 2 queen system (2 divided brood boxes) with an excluder on top of that. They sure suppered up quick and the honey was just under 400#, I knocked them down to 1 divide brood box with an excluder on and then the honey super. I was surprised to see both queens doing well and honey missing from the top super over the excluder. I didn't have a top entrance in the top super but only on a shim above the excluder. I put pollen patty there, for both sides to use a couple of weeks ago.
    I was doubtful of this system as I thought they would abandon the queen for food but apparently not. They must bring it down to the bottom on warmer days?
    Mark
    400 pounds of honey from that one double nuc?!

    I'd say you had a nice cluster going into winter to be able to bring down honey and keep the queen alive.
    Stuart Ratcliff - Beekeeping Journal

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,503

    Default Re: Double Nucs, has anyone tried....

    Did you have that double wrapped during the winter?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Larimer County, CO, USA
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Double Nucs, has anyone tried....

    Check out Brushy Mountain Bee Farms Double Nuc Box. Overland Farms in VT is using this system.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, CA
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Double Nucs, has anyone tried....

    Vance,
    I didn't double wrap it as I had them in poly boxes. Sorry forgot to mention that because I use all poly boxes up here in the great north. LOL
    SRatcliff,
    There were so many bees they had trouble fitting into the two deeps, I think alot drifted to other hives where there was room or just plain got kicked out? The one double nuc was really one double nuc with another divided box on top accessible to the queens. So really a 2 queen system where both had 10 brood combs to lay. The 2nd divided box accessible to the queens was a box cut in half with masonite glued to the sides and put together back to look like 1 divided box. The reason I did this was so I could gain access to the queens individually and move frames of brood if they were getting too congested. The frames of brood were put just above the queen excluder or used in another hive and foundation was put in its place.
    I hope that made sense.
    Mark
    Last edited by allincuddy; 04-15-2014 at 10:36 PM.
    First day of pollen coming in April 13, 2014.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,115

    Default Re: Double Nucs, has anyone tried....

    Quote Originally Posted by MTN-Bees View Post
    Check out Brushy Mountain Bee Farms Double Nuc Box. Overland Farms in VT is using this system.
    That would be in Maine.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Columbus, Oh
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Double Nucs, has anyone tried....

    Quote Originally Posted by MTN-Bees View Post
    Check out Brushy Mountain Bee Farms Double Nuc Box. Overland Farms in VT is using this system.
    I don't think the divider allows the bees to pass through.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Columbus, Oh
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Double Nucs, has anyone tried....

    Quote Originally Posted by allincuddy View Post
    Vance,
    The one double nuc was really one double nuc with another divided box on top accessible to the queens. So really a 2 queen system where both had 10 brood combs to lay. The 2nd divided box accessible to the queens was a box cut in half with masonite glued to the sides and put together back to look like 1 divided box. The reason I did this was so I could gain access to the queens individually and move frames of brood if they were getting too congested.
    Mark
    Almost exactly what I put together. I was wondering about allowing the bees to pass through the masonite dividers with section of queen excluder inserted. I was afraid that the cluster might drift from one box to the other and leave a queen, but with only four frames per side, they might not get that far away with enough bees. Maybe splitting hairs.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Columbus, Oh
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Double Nucs, has anyone tried....

    Quote Originally Posted by SRatcliff View Post
    It would be my guess that the queens(or bees) would try to kill each other through the excluder, thinking that its one colony instead of two.
    "They" say that the workers and queen cohabitate peacefully in a two queen system with the queens separated by an excluder. I don't know.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,115

    Default Re: Double Nucs, has anyone tried....

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeyster View Post
    I don't know.
    I do. They do.

    Only issue I've seen if one side attempt to change their queen. Usually fails.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Bedford, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: Double Nucs, has anyone tried....

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    I do. They do.

    Only issue I've seen if one side attempt to change their queen. Usually fails.
    Are you talking about a vertical excluder in the divider box, or a regular excluder above?
    Stuart Ratcliff - Beekeeping Journal

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,115

    Default Re: Double Nucs, has anyone tried....

    A regular excluder above with a super on top. Both nucs go up and work in the super.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Loup City, NE
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Double Nucs, has anyone tried....

    Michael - Have you tried more than one super on top of the excluder?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    24,461

    Default Re: Double Nucs, has anyone tried....

    A friend of mine has done something like that when he had more nucs than he had hives to put them in. He set two nucs side by side, put an excluder across both of them and supered up above.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, CA
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Double Nucs, has anyone tried....

    Post #6.
    Produced 400# but the height wasn't easy to deal with and they drew out nice frames.
    First day of pollen coming in April 13, 2014.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,115

    Default Re: Double Nucs, has anyone tried....

    Quote Originally Posted by CtyAcres View Post
    Michael - Have you tried more than one super on top of the excluder?
    No

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