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  1. #1
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    Default 2013 double mating nuc design-photos and parts

    After trying several home made mating nucs last year, This is the design I am using as a new and improved model.
    It has the best features of all and eliminated the unnecessary things or design flaws.
    -My climate is cool-so a screened bottom is not necessary here. I made one just to show those that want it, how to do it.
    -Fence hanging nucs were my favorite. I had single mini mating fence nucs last year. This is just a double version, using a standard box anyone can get.
    -Each side holds 5, half size deep frames.







    This shows how it hangs on a fence or other support.



    back side showing hindges and brackets


    Front and back side. You can see also how I stain and urethane my box's 4 at a time. They are on a turntable and spin around for easy application



    Here are all the parts, except the bottom, which can be screen or solid plywood. I run the top 3/4x12 cedar plank on the router to shape the side and front edges.




    More photos of assembly, so here is a slide show.

    http://s425.photobucket.com/albums/p...t=91435149.pbw

    I'll have alternating dark brown and blond nucs hanging on the fence for easier orientation. I may do some black and silver ones too.

    I had a great mated return in these box's. If you can see, the disk excluders are different colors and the 1" hole I drilled was inserted with a 3/4" slice of PVC pipe. It really made the entrances stand out. I'll be painting the entrances in these new nucs white. Might not be necessary, but who knows, it may help.



    The top inner cover with the screened feeding holes also allows some top ventilation.
    Heres how to feed:


    Be sure to poke your holes in the lid, then invert and screw on the band. The bees can't reach the syrup through the screen if the lid is slightly concave.
    Make the feeding hole slightly smaller then the lid for a water resistant seal. You have a better seal if it is not screened, but the bees are corraled better with the screen.

    Hope it gives you some ideas for your own nucs.
    Let me know if you see room for improvement or have any other ideas.

    P.S. These would make great swarm traps too with five standard drawn frames and a spritz of lemon grass oil. I'd make the entrance significantly larger though.
    Just sayin
    Last edited by Lauri; 12-07-2012 at 07:24 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
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    Default Re: 2013 double mating nuc design-photos and parts

    Thanks for posting.
    Your photos always inspire.

  3. #3
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    Apr 2012
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    Gaston, SC
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    Default Re: 2013 double mating nuc design-photos and parts

    where do you get your half frames??

  4. #4
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    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
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    Default Re: 2013 double mating nuc design-photos and parts

    Quote Originally Posted by beegeorge View Post
    where do you get your half frames??
    She whittles them out of 1x6s
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  5. #5
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    Winhall, VT
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    Default Re: 2013 double mating nuc design-photos and parts

    Very nice!

    Do you find that the cedar tops warp over time without any form of bracing?
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 2013 double mating nuc design-photos and parts

    I cut standard deep frames down and remill them with my router.

    Mann Lake has mini frames, but they are expensive, more than full sized frames. And they are shallows, you'd have to special order the longer end bars. Milling them takes me a few hours, but I can do a bundle of 100 standard frames, (giving me 200 minis) in a fairly short period of time. Remember, you only have to cut and mill the top and bottom bars. The end bars fit as is.
    It's pretty cost effective to buy from Mann Lake otherwise. If I didn't need so much stuff and want custom items, I would just buy it. Because I am already set up with a small shop in my barn, I can save at least $100.00 in a 5-6 hour day over buying it already made.
    I do buy the frame parts though. And Mann Lakes frames are amazingly clean and fit great.

    The cedar tops will cup if untreated. That's why I stain and seal both sides and the ends very well. If I do that, they stay straight. If I only seal one side, it will warp in just a few days.

    I use an inner cover so the inside of the top having stain and urethane on is is no matter.(ALthough once it is dried and cured the bees don't care if they are exposed to it) But if it does still cup a little, the inner covers will assure the two colonies will stay seperated.

    I use a lot of cedar, because I got a few half sized units of shorts (2' lengths) from a local mill almost for free. (Chocolate chip cookies, some honey and homemade pickles) I have to cut out some split ends, but most was usable.

    I need to get ahold of some pine, but at Home Depot, it is rediculously priced. The pine is a lot more stable than cedar. The cedar sure smells good though and takes a good finish.



    Last edited by Lauri; 12-08-2012 at 06:02 PM.

  7. #7
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    Nov 2008
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    Kensington, Maryland, USA
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    63

    Default Re: 2013 double mating nuc design-photos and parts

    Lauri,

    Interesting photos thanks for sharing. The fencing hanging is kinda cool; your idea or borrowed. Do they hang vertically or tilt a bit? How long does the urethane coating last? Do you choose that just for the look or is there other logic behind that decision?

    George

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 2013 double mating nuc design-photos and parts

    Quote Originally Posted by gkervitsky View Post
    Lauri,

    Interesting photos thanks for sharing. The fencing hanging is kinda cool; your idea or borrowed. Do they hang vertically or tilt a bit? How long does the urethane coating last? Do you choose that just for the look or is there other logic behind that decision?

    George
    I saw a few European video of some tiny mini mating nucs (Single mini frames) installed on fences and stands. It just made sense and I incorporated that idea into my home made nucs.
    This bracket fits snugly on the standard fence board. Level enough to you can use foundationless if you wanted to. Perhaps just enough of a tilt to let the water run off and not pool i[ up on the top, but almost perfectly level.
    I do use machine screws with washers and nuts to attach the bracket. An 8/32 thread with an 1 1/4" screw works best for 3/4" material.
    It will acquire some weight when the colonies grow and I didn't trust screws to hold it.
    The urethane coating has lasted a few years now, I've used it on other projects in the yard too.
    Apply At least two coats. I love rough cut lumber, you can roll on the urethane nice and thick without it running. Makes it look like glass. I only use gloss. My husband keeps telling me I should use sanding sealer first, but it is as expensive as the urethane itself, so I just apply a few coats of that. I probably should try the sealer, since he does know what he is talking about, LOL.

    My weather here is quite wet and the urethane works well to waterproof and preserve the wood. I do like the look too.

    Watch the series of videos, It is where I taught myself to rear queens ad well as reading beesource. It shows a few different mini mating nucs-where I got the idea to also hang mine up off the ground.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZlQ7...J4fdQ&index=23
    I adjusted my technique for my own climate and available materials. These are great videos! I can't say enough good things about them. When I watched this for the first time, it only had about 500 views! They are easy to follow, never boring and you can see hands on applications. These videos gave me the confidence to just do it. I like the neat little handmade box's they have and a lot of old style methods. I hand graft into the Mann Lake brown cell cups and yellow cup holders so I can use the roller cages

    http://www.mannlakeltd.com/beekeepin...es/page51.html

    (You'll also see why I now keep the wings of the Canada geese and mallard ducks my husband shoots this time of year. It's nice to find a use for game animal parts that would otherwise be thrown away, and they work amazingly well. Gentle and springy)

    Here is the first of the series of general bee keeping videos:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93YM3...eature=related

    Also, I already see an improvement to the OP box's.. Mill down the shelf that holds the frames just a little deeper so you have more room for a pollin patty. Since the bottom was extended with 3/4 material, there is plenty of space for another 1/4" at the top. I'd show you but I dropped my camera and it's Broke
    Last edited by Lauri; 12-08-2012 at 06:05 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 2013 double mating nuc design-photos and parts

    Lauri,
    You are going to be a great beekeeper one day if you can ever get over your creativity. (nudge,nudge, wink,wink) I hopoe your horses aren't feeling negelected. Do u ever sleep? When will you be on the Bee Culture Cover. I think I'll send Kim Flottum out to visit you. You need to be experienced beyond us here at beesource.com.

    I alweays enjoy your creativity and photos and your willingness to share.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 2013 double mating nuc design-photos and parts

    Thanks Mark..So nice of you to say that.
    I threw the saddle on my young gelding the other day and he turned around and gave the most peculiar look. Like. 'WHAT?" No way! I had not ridden him all summer. I do look forward to accomplishing some things with the bee equipment and get back to all the other things I love.

    I sleep very well up at 4:30 though.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: 2013 double mating nuc design-photos and parts

    Can I get you to do something for me? I have always heard that if you want something done get someone who is already busy to do it for you.

    You are such a doer, how do you squeeze in time for beesource?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  12. #12
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    Default Re: 2013 double mating nuc design-photos and parts

    What can I do for you Mark?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: 2013 double mating nuc design-photos and parts

    Keep inspiring us w/ your creativity.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  14. #14
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    Default Re: 2013 double mating nuc design-photos and parts

    I always try.

  15. #15
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    Kensington, Maryland, USA
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    Default Re: 2013 double mating nuc design-photos and parts

    "My husband keeps telling me I should use sanding sealer first, but..."

    Lauri,

    You can skip the sanding sealer and reduce the woods tendency to blotch-up by saturating the pine with a mineral spirits (MS) wipe, and then follow up with your stain just as the pooling of MS subsides. I came upon the technique by accident while prepping 150-200 6"x10' boards with stain and spar-urethane coating. I intend simply to wipe the dust and grime from the surface prior to staining. I was doing all wiping and staining using a process that had 10 boards flat on sawhorses, and the boards were wiped in succession with mineral spirits with a saturated cotton rag to get maximum MS on the boards. When the first boards surface was free of pooling but obviously damp, I would follow-up with the stain and do the boards in the same succession as the MS. The stain was applied with a el-cheapo 2" or 3" natural bristle brush from HD, and again the goal was to ensure a decent coating of stain.....pooling on the surface was the goal and because of the MS saturation does not allow it to quickly penetrate. As the MS evaporates the stain gets sucked into to wood. If not mistaken, I waited 10 minutes on the MS saturation and 20-30 for the stain to set. With stain was set, boards were wiped with a relatively clean (to start) cloth and changed out conservatively. Sometimes a little extra elbow greases was needed on the final wiping of the boards and hint of MS couple be use if necessary to clean any that get extra dry (while your trying to figure out the right timing for your conditions. The first coat of finish can also be cut to 50-50 mix of to ensure a deeper penetration into the wood and smoother application. Patience is the key to finishing wood.

    I commend you on the care put into the "look"....I always struggle with finishing beeboxes knowing that the bees don't care about the look and my natural attention to detail comes at the expense of speed. At some point, I'd really like to explore the wax dipping approach to finishing bee boxes but until then latex paint will have to do for me!

  16. #16

    Default Re: 2013 double mating nuc design-photos and parts

    Lauri
    It appears that you have two different boxes in your photos Witch one did you end up liking the most.
    David
    My-smokepole
    http://www.davidspaintingandwallpapering.com"

  17. #17
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    Default Re: 2013 double mating nuc design-photos and parts

    Thanks for the tips, gkervitsky. Thank you very much for taking the time to write all that!
    I have just the vat for wax dipping. I have a 60 gallon and an 80 gallon commercial stainless double walled steam kettles. LOL, they are for sale too. Any takers?
    Common Barry, you can use it to make your big beer batches, then dip your hives!
    A little beeswax/gum rosen flavor to the beer just makes it more manly!



    Shoot, I'd even loan one out if someone was going to set up a wax dipping area or business. (As long as I can dip my box's too)
    I still don't know where to get the gum rosen. Folks here say Mann Lake carried it, but they don't appear to anymore.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: 2013 double mating nuc design-photos and parts

    Lauri, I saw your youtube vid on releasing a virgin queen after incubation, also read your post about incubator. Care to post pics, vid on the making of...? love your pics & posts.

    Why the diagonal cut of foundation in your mating nucs? Not the communication holes.

    Also the milling of endbar slots in top bar w/router? like to see pics of your method for doing that. I have lots to do & the only way I could think of would be to clamp a bunch together & slide over dadoe blade (thickness of end bar) on mitre guage. Love to see how you do it.
    Last edited by lakebilly; 01-08-2013 at 06:08 AM. Reason: add, & clarification
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  19. #19
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    Default Re: 2013 double mating nuc design-photos and parts

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauri View Post
    I still don't know where to get the gum rosen.
    Gum Rosin is available here:
    http://www.jhcalo.com/products.htm

    Here's an earlier thread with a positive reference for J.H Calo, Inc.
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...Rosin-supplier
    Graham
    --- Victor Hugo - "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: 2013 double mating nuc design-photos and parts

    Regards, Barry

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