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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Jackson, MO
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    591

    Default Making NUC Boxes.

    I made a nuc box a few weeks ago and am going to make a couple more, but I am wondering a few things.

    Do I need to make an inside cover for the NUC Box?

    Is there really a need to make a super for a nuc or just transfer them to a deep box when they outgrow the 5 frame?

    What is a good method to feed the nuc?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tulsa OK. USA
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    846

    Default Re: Making NUC Boxes.

    Some use an inner cover and some don't, an inner cover is used with a telescoping cover but not always with a migratory top. Could make an inner cover with a hole cut for a QT. jar feeder and not use an outer cover when feeding.
    Some super a nuc to get drawn frames and bee population up before moving to a deep. Jim
    Stop and smell the flowers, 50,000 ladies can't be wrong
    Bsweetapiary@aol.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
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    2,505

    Default Re: Making NUC Boxes.

    Depends on what you are going to use them for.

    If you are going to overwinter, an inner cover and telescoping cover is nice, but if all you are going to do is catch swarms in them and transfer to a 10 frame box, they need not be fancy.

    I prefer to make them just like a hive, screened bottom board and all, but that's just me. I hope to keep a couple around next year, for overwintering, etc.

    Good thing about bees, they really don't care and will be happy in any nearly closed off space!

    Peter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,957

    Default Re: Making NUC Boxes.

    Many years ago I bought a case of unbuilt nuc boxes from a retired beekeeper. They came with telescoping covers (that you put together), but no inner cover. I had never had a hive with no inner cover so didn't really know what to expect. I think that if you take the top off every week at least, they probably work okay. I found that after a couple of weeks I couldn't get the top off. The frames inside were fairly new and the ears didn't have the usual propolis to enlarge and make it so they couldn't slide side to side. I tried to pry the lid to the side, but the frames were glued to the top and just slide with it. I think every bee but the queen was on me while I tried to get the thing apart by banging on corners of the lid. I finally just lifted the lid with 5 frames glued to it and pried them off. It was quite the mess.

    I used the parts for the rest of the tops to make migratory tops for the other nucs. I used the sides as braces over the top piece. No more telescoping tops with no inner covers for me.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    2,896

    Default Re: Making NUC Boxes.

    I use inner covers on all my nucs, more reasons to use them than not use them, nucs usually need feeding at some point so put a hole in the center of the inner cover for a feeder jar and enclose it with another empty nuc box. Like someone else said, it keeps the frames from sticking to the outer cover because if you just use the outer cover you don't get the proper bee space above the frames, an inner cover has a rim on both sides to get the right bee space. John

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Default Re: Making NUC Boxes.

    You might consider a simple flat cover that's the same size as your nuc made out of 15/16" OSB, 3/4' pine or plywood.
    Good luck,
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    966

    Default Re: Making NUC Boxes.

    A few neat nuc box ideas - one is to make up a 6-frame nuc. You can put 3 hinged frames for cut-out comb in it, and its a great size for a queen cell starter if you add a large vent screen.

    Another neat thing is a nuc-to-10-frame introduction board - just a piece of ply the size of a full box (outside dimension) with a nuc-sized (inside dimension) hole cut out. Big box on bottom, nuc on top. It works for newspaper combination as well, and you could make them for 4- , 5- , or 6-frame nuc sizes.

    A bottom board screwed onto the box, and a top nailed in place is great for catching swarms.

    Bees can be started with as few as 3 frames in a 6-frame with a 2-gallon Mann-Lake frame feeder, 4 frames with a hive dummy frame, moved up to 5 frames with a single frame feeder, moved up to 6 full frames, then moved into a 10-frame box with 7 frames and the 2-gallon feeder, and eventually taken on up to 10 frames. That 6-frame nuc is really an excellent box! It can also be divided into a double 3-frame mating nuc, too!

    As far as tops, make both types. Nail-on commercial top for moving, inner cover and telescoping top for increase on a flow, maybe even a ventilated screen top for moving in the heat. Sooner or later, you'll be glad you had all of them, and any could be used in certain pinch-situations.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,847

    Default Re: Making NUC Boxes.

    I use landscape cloth for my inner covers on many of my nucs. Good with feeding rims to keep the bees off me when i lift the lid. It also breathes so moisture can escape with a top vent.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    966

    Default Re: Making NUC Boxes.

    Camero7 - have you ever moved bees with burlap tops? Does it work? Anyone else tried it?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,847

    Default Re: Making NUC Boxes.

    Never tried it. I use migratory tops on all my hives.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,659

    Default Re: Making NUC Boxes.

    A nuc is simply a small hive. Stands to reason that it should be the same as a typical hive.
    I have seen some beekeepers run all nucs for their hive. Always wondered why the wind doesn't blow them over when they get six to seven supers tall.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    591

    Default Re: Making NUC Boxes.

    I was planning on using the nucs for a swarm catcher or just to make a split. The first one was made with a migratory cover design. Thanks for illustrating what the inner cover is actually for, keeping the bees from waxing the lid to the frames.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: Making NUC Boxes.

    If you build a FBM (Fat Bee Man) top feeder you do not need an inner cover as the bees do not get up there. I have built 4 of the plywood NUCS from the build it yourself section on the home page, but if I was going to do a bunch of them I would do SBB deeps with med. supers (I do like how Brushy Mountain does theirs). I use FBM style feeders on the top of all my 10 frame Langs., but put the screened inner covers on them to minimize the robbing, this will work in NUCs too.
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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    1,976

    Default Re: Making NUC Boxes.

    I'm creating divider boards so that I can make nucs within regular deep supers. I have been experimenting with a divided entrance/bottom board to accommodate this.

    I'm really trying to design things to minimize the amount of different parts, and the expense of building / buying gear.

    Adam

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: Making NUC Boxes.

    Adam,
    I have kind of scratched at this occasionally myself. I have seen some bottom boards that have the separated entrances front and rear for the divided NUCS in a standard 10 frame box. I was wondering if one of the plastic dividers, like Brushy Mountain has, could be used so you do not end up with a cut inside the box for Masonite or 1/8" plywood. My thought was that the groove would be a hiding haven for SHB is you used your modified box without the divider. Also was wondering if anyone has done the double NUC in a 10 frame box with stacked 10 frame boxes (2 story NUCs).
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 11-04-2012 at 12:35 PM. Reason: UNQuote
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    591

    Default Re: Making NUC Boxes.

    Why not just cut a groove in the box for the divider, and drill holes for each entrance. That way you don't have to mess with the bottom board at all

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
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    1,388

    Default Re: Making NUC Boxes.

    Someone asked about burlap? I use burlap as an inner cover, but the bees tend to wax/glue it to the top of the frames. Does the landscape cloth work better?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,211

    Default Re: Making NUC Boxes.

    I made up a few 5 frame nucs, and seeing feed bags used on photos on Beesource I thought I'd give them a try. I like them.
    I am using my wife's chickens feed bags, a kind of woven plastic. What I am finding is that when I lift of the outer cover, I can peel off the feed bag inner cover (fbic) and drum it with a finger as I peel it back. This drumming makes the bees that are on the (fbic) fall back into the hive. I don't know how they will wear, but fbic's are free, weigh next to nothing, and come with pretty chicken designs on the side that faces out.
    Try one. All you need is a pair of scissors, and a feed bag.
    On top of the FBIC I use a 2 inch piece of Dow Corning insulation.
    http://s1110.photobucket.com/albums/...1-01142051.jpg

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,847

    Default Re: Making NUC Boxes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul McCarty View Post
    Someone asked about burlap? I use burlap as an inner cover, but the bees tend to wax/glue it to the top of the frames. Does the landscape cloth work better?
    They propolize the landscape some but it peels off easily.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    966

    Default Re: Making NUC Boxes.

    Paul and camero7 - Thanks for the input. I was wondering if burlap gives enough ventilation for traveling in the heat of summer?

    Adam Foster Collins - Slotted boxes sure are versatile. My 10-frame boxes are all slotted for hive dividers. With the addition of hive dummy frames and frame feeders (both Mann-Lake 2-gallon feeders and single frame feeders), you can set bees up with very nearly exact volume control. Fantastic prevention against losing bees to a sudden cold snap.

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