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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Seeking Advice On Removing Chopped Nuc Frames

    I know this was touched on in a recent thread, but I'm looking for any more thoughts/directions/advice. Here are my current details:

    -Installed 4 chopped nuc frames on June 1.

    -Here's the current pattern:

    --4 TBs fully/mostly drawn with some brood and curing honey.
    --4 chopped nuc bars with mostly capped brood (workers mainly).
    --1 TB just started about 3 days ago.
    --1 TB 3/4 drawn with curing honey and capped honey at top.
    --1 TB 1/2 drawn with curing honey.

    Also, the bees are clustered mostly among bars 1 thru 9.

    To eventually remove the nucs, I am adding empty TBs toward the front of the hive (where the entrance is) between the drawn TBs and the nucs. (When I first installed the nucs, I placed an empty TB at the front and then alternated between nucs and empty TBs. Then, based on a recent post, I set up the pattern above last week during my first inspection.)

    I understand that I am eventually looking for the nucs to be converted from brood rearing to honey storage. Will the above work? Any recommended changes?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,027

    Default Re: Seeking Advice On Removing Chopped Nuc Frames

    I'm not sure I understand. This is a top bar colony it sounds like? By "nuc" and "chopped nuc", do you mean that you have nucleus colonies made of half-length top bars that you'd like to incorporate into a regular-width top bar colony?

    And good to see Eau Claire on here again... spent 10+happy years in that great town as a younger man .
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,429

    Default Re: Seeking Advice On Removing Chopped Nuc Frames

    Pretty sure they were Lang frames that were chopped apart to fit a top bar. If you google chop and crop top bar you can find videos of this transfer method. The good thing about this method is that you get a good attachment to the bar, but you have to cover the tops of the bars since the langs have bee space were a top bar does not.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Seeking Advice On Removing Chopped Nuc Frames

    My bad. Shannon has it right though. The "nucs/chopped nucs" are from a traditional Lang 5 frame nuc I bought to get started.

    I added "shims/spacers" to the chopped Lang/nuc bars, and these also serve as the covers Shannon is referring to. But I'd like to retire them, and their foundations, eventually.

    Ben--Eau Claire is great! Coming up on 9 years here ourselves. But the spouse and I also spent time in CO, and still have family there as well.

    Thanks.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,429

    Default Re: Seeking Advice On Removing Chopped Nuc Frames

    How hard was the chop and crop? I'm considering doing one myself. Any lessons learned? The videos I've seen make it seem easy, but no one post videos (for the most part) of someone making a fool out of themselves.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,322

    Default Re: Seeking Advice On Removing Chopped Nuc Frames

    >How hard was the chop and crop?

    That depends on so many things out of your control, like wires: horizontal, vertical or none? Foundation: plastic, duragilt or wax? What width is your top bar in you top bar hive? How much waste will there be (depends on the width of your top bar and the slope of your sides)? But I would say for a newbie it is a bit intimidating under the best of circumstances (the best being all wax and no wires). Your nuc provider may have a mixture of many different kinds of frames and foundation or they may be consistent. They may or may not have wax foundation at all.

    I would buy a package. You lose everything you thought was an advantage to a nuc when you start doing "chop anbd crop".
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,429

    Default Re: Seeking Advice On Removing Chopped Nuc Frames

    In this case it would be wax foundation with wires. I can get a good deal on the hive (an unsold nuc that has expanded to a 10 frame brood box), so I thought I should go with that. I don't want to purchase a package this late, I'm concerned that pretty soon there will be too little forage and the package never gets going. I was hoping to get a swarm earlier, but I got a late start.

    I don't expect much from the hive this year, I just want to get it through this coming winter.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Seeking Advice On Removing Chopped Nuc Frames

    The chop/crop experience was a real drag, personally. I had to go that route because all the packages had sold out in my area before I even built my hive. But I found someone selling nucs on Craigslist and went with what I had.

    As M. Bush indicates, the chop/crop can be a real mess, especially for a newbie. Three frames were wax with wire and cut easy enough. But I wasn't prepared for the sight of cutting through larva and pupa. Pretty discouraging.

    The two other frames were plastic. Once barely had any comb drawn while the other had brood. Both simply popped completely out of their frames when I tried cutting the plastic with tin snips. I tossed out the empty foundation and didn't even want to mess with it. The other I managed to wire to its top frame along with some spacers/shims so it matched my TB dimensions.

    After that, all of the cropped nuc frames--now nuc bars--also had to be trimmed at the ends of their bars. They were a little longer than the 17 inches of my TBs. This took a number of attempts to get just right with the coping saw, trying to be as gentle as possible.

    Overall it was messier and more confusing that I was prepared for. But if nucs are all you have, then that's all you have. Thankfully the bees settled in and seem to be doing fine 25 days later.

    Needless to say (and here is where I circle the wagons back around ), I look forward to eventually removing the chopped "nuc bars" from the hive. Mainly so that all the hive's comb and cells are made by the bees. Also, after that crop & chop day, I look forward to retiring those cut up frames.

    Any recommendations?

    Thanks.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,429

    Default Re: Seeking Advice On Removing Chopped Nuc Frames

    I'm not too worried about the damage after being through a cutout. I could just isolate the queen and dump the bees, but that seems rather silly. Even if I loose 30 percent of the brood I'm way ahead moving the brood than just dumping the bees into the hive and losing all of the brood. I'm getting a good deal on what had been a nuc that had grown out to ten frames. basically for the cost of a 3# package. It should be strong at this point in time.

    The only problem I have is I don't really have a helper on this one. My wife said that she would do it, but she has never been around bees, so I don't know how that will work. I'm thinking I may place the Lang on top of my top bar and remove the bottom board and leave them there for a week or two. I will have to make some shims to allow them down on the sides by removing a bar on each end where they can go down and out of the hive. At least this way they will be acclimated to exiting through the top bar hive body, and if they start pulling comb on the bars, all the better. That or I will have a terrifying mess. I'm not in a big hurry as I have no expectation of having honey, I just want to get them situated and strong enough to make it through the winter.

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