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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    430

    Default I am excited about Nucs!

    I've watched Michael Palmer's Nuc vid plus I've been using the search button and trying to get more info on what to do.

    Do i understand correctly that two 5-frame boxes will be too wide to sit on a 10 frame super.
    So how about placing a divider board in a 10 frame Deep which is equipment we already have?
    If we only go with one Nuc, the empty side gets some sawdust.
    That divided Deep would get placed on top of one of our 10 frame hives for the winter.

    If we have enough brood and honey maybe we could make a double Nuc for the winter.

    What kind of entrance (round or rectangular) and size do I make? Top and bottom entrance?
    Should the entrances be on opposite sides of the box?
    We plan to make up a second 10 frame box in case the Nucs need room to grow.

    For the rest of summer and fall, what kind of bottom board do we use before the Nucs get placed on the main hive.

    During winter, we plan to give moistened sugar via the inner cover to each of the main colonies as emergency food.
    Figured since we have shallow supers, one of those would be ok to put around the sugar on the inner cover and then set the Nucs on top.
    Or is that too much vertical space for the winter?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Litchfield, CT, USA
    Posts
    414

    Default Re: I am excited about Nucs!

    Just started doing nucs myself with the help of a fellow beek (bluegrass) Thank you Sir!.

    The second round of nucs I split up one hive that was hot into essentially five nucs. I made four-four frame nucs out of two 10 frame hive bodies. Alternated the entrances on a bottom board front and back and added a wide divider that I will later convert into a double sided feeder (more on that in a possible future post). Made a top cover that was split and added quart jar feeder holes. Because of the timing this year I will requeen with queens from a friend of mine in NY instead of waiting for them to make their own. Bluegrass found the queen and we kept her and left her in one 10 frame hive body with a partially full honey super on top. I am keeping my fingers crossed. The Goldenrod is blooming and the bees are working it hard.

    Good luck!

    D-

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,070

    Default Re: I am excited about Nucs!

    Here is my bottom box. Four frames each side. Supers hold four more frames above.

    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Litchfield, CT, USA
    Posts
    414

    Default Re: I am excited about Nucs!

    Hey Keth,

    I really like the dado on the bottom board. This is a standard 10 frame hive body right? I think I am going to steal that idea... If you go with four on each side with the standard 3/4 follower in between is there too much space between frames?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,070

    Default Re: I am excited about Nucs!

    Not a standard hive body. I added about 3/8" so the bees had some room to move around under the frames. So far they haven't abused that area with burr comb.

    Four frames fit quite loosely so until they are built out I keep them against one side all together. Once they are drawn out you can ease them apart. Makes getting the first frame out nice and easy and no chance of rolling a queen if careful.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Southbury, CT
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: I am excited about Nucs!

    I am glad you mentioned that the particle board in your bottom board is AdvanTech.

    If you are able to add a disclosure you might want to note that Advantech is the only bee safe particle board on the market. Others contain Urea Formaldehyde which off gasses and will poison the bees.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,659

    Default Re: I am excited about Nucs!

    I use particle board for migratory tops and bottom boards. Never noticed any dead bees and the hives are strong as well as the nucs I built out of them. If you give them a couple coats of paint they last 3-4 years. I get the board for free.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Elmira, NY
    Posts
    937

    Default Re: I am excited about Nucs!

    Allen,
    I'm running double nucs in 10 frame deeps.

    I'm going to make some more bottom boards and dividers in the next few days, and will pot some pics or vid when I do.

    They are really pretty simple.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Southbury, CT
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: I am excited about Nucs!

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    I use particle board for migratory tops and bottom boards. Never noticed any dead bees and the hives are strong as well as the nucs I built out of them.
    There will always be somebody who practices out side of Conventional Wisdom and some will do it successfully. But then a 100,000 FEMA trailers come to mind, bought with federal dollars in a moment of national emergancy and the lawsuits that followed because of the health issues related to the off gassing of the Urea Formaldehyde adhesives. And 100,000 FEMA trailers parked in fields unused because of the health risk while the people who they were meant for were put out on the streets.

    I like my bees more than people.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: I am excited about Nucs!

    Keth, thanks for the video and I like that dado cut.
    Will you have a top entrance and what type of cover will the double Nuc use?

    I threw some of our Kelley foundationless frames into a 10 frame super and separated them down the middle.
    The gap between them came to about 1".
    Is that enough space to make a 1/4" divider board and not roll bees when doing an inspection with 5 frames on a side?
    Might have to overwinter them on 4 frames.

    Beregondo, looking forward to those photos.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: I am excited about Nucs!

    Is 1/2" plywood safe to use as a divider board?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kingsville, OH
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: I am excited about Nucs!

    I too am excited about Nucs, after using packages for years. But I also am excited in using the 5 frame nucs for swarms. After reading some other post I will be making some 5 frame Nuc Suppers for next year. I will work on the plans this winter for a stand to put them on and offer a support for a tower of five frame Nucs. Again trying to re-invent the wheel.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Elmira, NY
    Posts
    937

    Default Re: I am excited about Nucs!

    1/2" ply will work fine for nuc dividers in a 10 frame box.

    I have some that are made from 1/2" plywood. I cut them as one piece with ears at the top to hang the on the rabbet in the box ends.

    I decided it was easier to cut a top bar with a slot in it to fit masonite board into, which acts as the divider. This works very well, too and is both faster and less expensive to make.
    The top bar that the divider fits into is about 3/4" wide. The extra 1/4" of width makes replacing a super a bit simpler, too.

    You could use coroplast from political signs as well, and that might be free if you collect them after an election. I'd make the divider the same as when I make one form masonite.

    I don't glue the dividers into the top bars, but let them float. That way it will fit flush to the bottom of every box.(There is a little variation form box to box, esp. if from different manufacturers)

    The bees will propolize everything in place in a few weeks.

    I'll take those pics this evening or tomorrow, or perhaps use video to illustrate.

    The bees don't care what shape the entrance is. 1-2 square inches gives them as much ventilation as they choose in the wild.
    Mine are 3" long and 3/8 to 1/2" high and incorporated into the bottom board.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: I am excited about Nucs!

    Thanks for that info.
    I had forgotten about a small 4 frame nuc box someone gave me last Spring.
    Am leaving now to pick up a queen at Keeney & Ziegler.
    If the rains give me a break later today I'll install her in that box and then build the divider later.
    Didn't expect to get a queen this soon but it all worked out.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,140

    Default Re: I am excited about Nucs!

    Keth, one polite suggestion. Try "OdFrank" cleats; They are just cleats cut with a 15 degree angle on them. It is surprising how much more secure you feel when lifting the boxes with these cleats. Gravity just makes the box slide deeper into your finger tips as you lift it.

    I really like the dado cut bottom board.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Montgomery County, PA USA
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: I am excited about Nucs!

    Allen: Good luck.

    I started a double nuc on Monday that I am hoping to overwinter. I had a split that I have had in a 5 frame nuc for 1 1/2 months. I took two of the frames of brood from that and one frame of brood from another one of my ten frame hives and put in the one side of the double nuc. I put the old nuc frames in the other side of the double nuc, along with the queen. Filled out each side to five frames with pollen/honey from other hives. I used a migratory top with 2 3/4 inch holes cut (one for each side of the double nuc). Mason jars fit nicely in the holes for feeding. I used 1/8 inch masonite as a divider with a 3/8 inch top bar. Monday night I put a ripe VP daughter queen cell in the queenless side. Checked yesterday and the queen has emerged. Will check back in two weeks to see if she has mated and is laying.
    Last edited by mulesii; 08-10-2012 at 10:19 AM.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: I am excited about Nucs!

    Hi Mulesii, we're almost neighbors sorta.

    Its official. We now have our very first Nuc.



    Picked up a locally mated queen from Dennis Keeney this AM for $20.
    Soon as I hung the queen cage the bees were crowding around checking her out.
    The hardest part of the whole thing was making sure a queen didn't hitch a ride into the Nuc from one of the other hives.
    Will check in on her Monday afternoon to see how things are progressing.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Ashburn, VA, USA
    Posts
    150

    Default Re: I am excited about Nucs!

    Just curious, but didn't your nuc come with a queen already with the hive? I thought that's what nucs were: queen, bees, and frames of honey brood (all stages), and pollen.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Robesonia, Pa., USofA
    Posts
    430

    Default Re: I am excited about Nucs!

    Hi Irmo, that is a great question.
    The Nuc you describe is one version and I purchased three of those last Spring and grew them into 10 frame deep hives.
    The version I just put together consists of two frames of brood and eggs, 1 frame of honey and an undrawn frame of foundation.
    Because of the time of year, I decided to give them a mated queen rather than lose time while they make one of their own.

    Do a search in the forums here on Michael Palmer. There is lots of info to read up on.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,070

    Default Re: I am excited about Nucs!

    Allen,
    If you plan to get them into a double nuc with a super above keep an eye on them. In two weeks if they don't look like they are building fast enough shake a frame or two of nurse bees from another hive in and perhaps a frame of brood and throw a feeder on them. You want the super full of honey for winter. Mine are all doing well with the exception of a few so I dropped a frame feeder in the super to give them a bit of a kickstart.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

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