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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Richardson, TX, USA
    Posts
    374

    Default Getting Mating Nuc Foundation Drawn

    Could someone give me any good ideas for getting the foundation in a 4-way mating nuc drawn? They are based off of the design used by Michael Palmer where the frames go from side to middle divider to other side.

    I was hoping to get them drawn out as my current double deep hives expand in early Spring and then use them to start rearing queens by the time swarm season arrives. I'm just not sure how to get them integrated into those hives to get them drawn out since the frames will be small. I'm considering taking the double deep hive and putting all brood in a deep that would go on the bottom board, my 4-way mating nuc on top of that, and then the other deep from the double deep hive on top of that with a division board feeder containing syrup in it. Pollen substitute patties would also be fed continuously.

    The only thing that concerns me is that I am moving the honey frames away from the brood nest during a time when we will still have some nights down in the 30's and in some years even lower.

    If I can't get them drawn out, what amount of bees should I put in the nucs with a queen cell to make sure they can support themselves.

    I'm especially hoping for comments from MP and Lauri! and others who've used this system.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,982

    Default Re: Getting Mating Nuc Foundation Drawn

    Quote Originally Posted by RichardsonTX View Post

    I'm especially hoping for comments from MP and Lauri!
    So send an email or PM...
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,474

    Default Re: Getting Mating Nuc Foundation Drawn

    Mind you, I am green as grass when it comes to mating nucs, but the one season I used 4-ways, I couldn't get the bees to draw it, so I stole drawn comb from my stash. I cut it to size with my scroll saw, then installed it in those tiny frames. The edges were a bit chipped but the bees fixed that and went ahead and used it.

    HTH

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper and Rusty's Bees.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,474

    Default Re: Getting Mating Nuc Foundation Drawn

    I tried to edit the post above, but it doesn't like me this morning!

    Anyhow I just wanted to say that if I were to do it today, I'd use the foundationless sections from my Lauri Half Frames, and rubber band them into the empty frames. That would be a LOT less stressful than trying to get the bees to draw those frames!

    HTH

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper and Rusty's Bees.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Richardson, TX, USA
    Posts
    374

    Default Re: Getting Mating Nuc Foundation Drawn

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Hills Farm View Post
    I tried to edit the post above, but it doesn't like me this morning!

    Anyhow I just wanted to say that if I were to do it today, I'd use the foundationless sections from my Lauri Half Frames, and rubber band them into the empty frames. That would be a LOT less stressful than trying to get the bees to draw those frames!

    HTH

    Rusty
    Thanks for the info Rusty! I thought that might be the best way to do it but it'd sure be nice to just have some drawn comb with a little brood, pollen, and honey in frames that I could l adjust into the nucs like I've seen Michael do in one of the Youtube videos where he getting ready for Spring queen rearing.

    Maybe some others will have ideas.

    Hey, where's the thread with the info about the foundationless sections from Lauri Half Frames? I'd like to read that. Could you give me a link?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    2,530

    Default Re: Getting Mating Nuc Foundation Drawn

    I just came in for coffee and have to get back to work. But for a real quick answer:

    The best is to Put your full box of mini frames in the original location of a decent overwintered hive. Shake bees onto them, cage your queen for a couple days until they start getting frames drawn. If they have nothing else to work, they get right to it. Give the standard frames from the hive to another hive to baby sit them.

    If you need to you can buy package bees and do the same thing. Just install them on mini frames. It's the fastest way.

    Or you can top an existing hive with you mini frames, but they will take there sweet time getting to them. Feed them well if you do this, the trick it not to feed them so much they get swarmy.

    This configuration works well in both situations so you have a feeder available. You can use a divided deep too,with mini frames on both sides, but typically if the queen moves up to lay up some of the frames, she will only venture to one side or the other if the box is divided. With this box she'll tend lay up more frames for you. Don't forget a good protein patty once she starts laying. They won't grab a gear if they are light on feed.







    Lauri Miller. VSH Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn & Wild lines.
    200+ hives, minimal mite treatments, no antibiotics or meds.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Richardson, TX, USA
    Posts
    374

    Default Re: Getting Mating Nuc Foundation Drawn

    Lauri, thanks for the info!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,474

    Default Re: Getting Mating Nuc Foundation Drawn

    Quote Originally Posted by RichardsonTX View Post
    Hey, where's the thread with the info about the foundationless sections from Lauri Half Frames? I'd like to read that. Could you give me a link?
    This is the one that got me started. I used a bunch of them last season and had very good results--good enough to do it again this year.

    HTH

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper and Rusty's Bees.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    2,530

    Default Re: Getting Mating Nuc Foundation Drawn

    It doesn't take them long if you do it right.

    I don't make up mating nucs too strong with too much brood or they get overpopulated too fast. Plenty of bees though to keep brood warm and allow for fly back. Capped brood frame only when making up mating nucs. DSC06366.jpg

    Later I'll tell you how I do the really small mating nucs with no drawn frames, just young bees. I do these in summer when night time temps are reliably mild.

    DSC06298.jpg
    Last edited by Lauri; 01-26-2016 at 02:16 PM.
    Lauri Miller. VSH Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn & Wild lines.
    200+ hives, minimal mite treatments, no antibiotics or meds.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Montesano, wa
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Getting Mating Nuc Foundation Drawn

    I found a really nice pdf on the internet about mating nucs. Go to google.com and type exactly "mini-nucs .pdf" without the " and it will be the first link. Everything you ever wanted to know about four way mating nucs!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ballard County, KY
    Posts
    425

    Default Re: Getting Mating Nuc Foundation Drawn

    Quote Originally Posted by Mangonpeach View Post
    I found a really nice pdf on the internet about mating nucs. Go to google.com and type exactly "mini-nucs .pdf" without the " and it will be the first link. Everything you ever wanted to know about four way mating nucs!
    http://www.michiganbees.org/wp-conte...s_20150130.pdf

    Nice article

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Crown Point, NY, USA
    Posts
    209

    Default Re: Getting Mating Nuc Foundation Drawn

    What I did to get mini frames drawn out was make a bunch of top bars out of 2x scrap. They were 1/2 inch thick same size as a full top bar. I screwed the top bar to 2 mini frames and placed them over regular production colonies. Disadvantage is that they have to go in the top box and you need to use a quilt type inner cover till they are drawn out. Advantage was there was no boxes to build. Just a cheapo method to get the job done.

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