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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    96

    Default Opinion needed - 8 Frame Medium or 5-frame deep Nuc

    I am planning on my equipment purchase for the upcoming year, and would like to play around with some nucleus hives. Based on my calculations, an 8-frame medium is very close in size to a 5-frame nucleus hive (deep body).

    Any advantage on using one over the other? I am planning to switch to 8-frame, medium hives next year so there is an advantage in having only one size equipment. However, the 8-frame box would be wider, though shallower.

    Would love your input.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lititz, PA, USA
    Posts
    710

    Default Re: Opinion needed - 8 Frame Medium or 5-frame deep Nuc

    This is all psychological, but I find that if I have an 8 frame medium nuc it doesn't stay a nuc for long because I just throw another box on top of it when it starts growing. 5 frame nucs force me to manage a nuc as a nuc, and I like that. Keeps me learning and doesn't let me get lazy about it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,899

    Default Re: Opinion needed - 8 Frame Medium or 5-frame deep Nuc

    libhart, I'm with you, I like 5 framer's for nucs. I like to be able to see the difference between a full size colony and a nuc when I'm looking at a yard. John

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Opinion needed - 8 Frame Medium or 5-frame deep Nuc

    I've been told by some people that a single medium box doesn't allow the bees to cluster well in the winter due to the shallowness. I'm overwintering two medium 2 story 5 frame nucs this year. If you're looking at buying new equipment a single story 8 frame colony is going to cost you about $12 more than a 2 story nuc, and the nuc is only $5 more expensive than a single story deep nuc (prices from Brushy Mountain, and do not include frames/foundation). But of course the 8 frame is easy to turn into a full size colony if you want to (just add boxes, as libhart said), and you're not investing in another type of equipment.

    If you're switching to 8 frame medium hives I wouldn't personally use a deep nuc if you can find something else that works. Why produce something that doesn't fit your equipment?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    96

    Default Re: Opinion needed - 8 Frame Medium or 5-frame deep Nuc

    I agree - if I went with the nuc boxes, I would buy the medium nucs from Brushy Mountain (or make them). But I realize that most people used the 5-frame deeps for nucs so I was interested in the comparison. The shallowness of the 8-frame medium is what I was concerned about, although it is offset by being able to combine even more simply.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Opinion needed - 8 Frame Medium or 5-frame deep Nuc

    I remember from his website that Michael Bush uses 8 frame single story medium nucs, and he's in a considerably colder location than either of us as far as the winter cluster goes. I haven't tried them yet myself. http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnucs.htm

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    764

    Default Re: Opinion needed - 8 Frame Medium or 5-frame deep Nuc

    Quote Originally Posted by bnm1000 View Post
    I agree - if I went with the nuc boxes, I would buy the medium nucs from Brushy Mountain (or make them).
    Medium nucs are very common... For whatever reason, a lot of the Northern Virginia clubs run all mediums, and teach their classes that way resulting in a lot of medium nucs up here. They run out of room pretty quickly and to overwinter need to be two stories. I have only overwintered a few mediums
    karla

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,774

    Default Re: Opinion needed - 8 Frame Medium or 5-frame deep Nuc

    Saw a groove down the middle of the medium boxes and put in a divider board and then you can use them as 4 framers or double deckers or what they were originally intended for. Like equipment is about the best advice I every took in beekeeping.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,399

    Default Re: Opinion needed - 8 Frame Medium or 5-frame deep Nuc

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Saw a groove down the middle of the medium boxes and put in a divider board and then you can use them as 4 framers or double deckers or what they were originally intended for.
    I have stacks of these on top of each other seperated by double screen bottom boards. A stack of five boxes house 10 four frame nucs that all benefit from the collective warmth of each. I just make sure I have plenty of ventalation at the top cover.

    If they are fresh splits, I place one box, (2 nucs) on top of one of my regular hives seperated by a double screen bottom board so they can get the heat and I can feed them through the top cover.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    876

    Default Re: Opinion needed - 8 Frame Medium or 5-frame deep Nuc

    Ditto with psnolte, Brushy Mnt 5 frame nucs. You get a screened bottom board two boxes a inner cover and a telescopic lid for $44. They were just on sale for $38, still might be.
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,336

    Default Re: Opinion needed - 8 Frame Medium or 5-frame deep Nuc

    The medium eight frame work well for nucs. They overwinter well (in multiple boxes) and I think better because of better communication in the gap between boxes. They don't get stuck on a comb where they can't move over to the next comb when the cluster contracts. A stack of five frame deeps blows over too easily, the bees won't move between boxes as quickly as with mediums and they won't have the advantage of communication in the gap between boxes...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Washingon CO, AR, USA
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Opinion needed - 8 Frame Medium or 5-frame deep Nuc

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie B View Post
    I have stacks of these on top of each other seperated by double screen bottom boards. A stack of five boxes house 10 four frame nucs that all benefit from the collective warmth of each. I just make sure I have plenty of ventalation at the top cover.

    If they are fresh splits, I place one box, (2 nucs) on top of one of my regular hives seperated by a double screen bottom board so they can get the heat and I can feed them through the top cover.

    I apologize if this is a true-newbie question, but will this 'stacked with double-screen bottom boards' method work to start nucs from frames with swarm/queen cells? I wondered re: each nuc being able to 'smell' the other queen(s)? Would like to try this set-up to start some nucs with swarm cells I may find soon in populous hives. (This method sounds great since it would allow me to use equipment I already have vs buying more) if it works for this. Thanks in advance for advice.

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