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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Dudley, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    196

    Question Q: How to "start" the mating nuc frames?

    Hello,
    I purchased some of the Mann Lake Styrofoam mating nucs:
    http://www.mannlakeltd.com/beekeepin...es/page53.html

    The mini frames obviously don't have foundation.

    What's the best way to "start" the frames, to get comb on them so the bees will have somewhere to have the queen lay?
    Is this even advisable?

    I though about modifying a standard Langstroth frame to put a couple of mini-frames in it, and then putting it in one of my full-size hives to get the bees to draw out the foundation.

    What have others done?

    Thanks,

    Steven

  2. #2

    Default Re: Q: How to "start" the mating nuc frames?

    You can cut drawn brood comb up and put in the frames, do what you are talking about with putting them in a full size frame in a hive, or you can build a special grow out box and put on a strong hive during spring build up. If you are planning on using a lot of these I would recommend building some grow out boxes that these frames fit in. Then stack them up and shake some bees in the stack with a queen and let them continue to draw comb just on mini frames for you until you have the amount that you need. Maybe multiple stacks depending on how much comb you are planning on using. Hopefully others will comment, I have never used the mini nucs, but am starting with 1/2 frame mating nucs this year using mann lake style grow out boxes. 2 of the mann lake grow out boxes are the same size as a 10 frame hive body. Place on top for honey or in the middle for brood depending on what needed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,307

    Default Re: Q: How to "start" the mating nuc frames?

    Stock the mini nucs with a pop can of bees, place a cell inside, make sure the feeder is full. Keep them indoors in a cool dark place for 3 days to let the cell hatch. Once hatched bring the nucs to the mating yard one evening, and open the entrance. By the time the queen is mated and laying the frames will be built out. If the frames are not built, it is because the nuc is usually queenless.

    Jean-Marc

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,307

    Default Re: Q: How to "start" the mating nuc frames?

    Almost forgot, make sure to give them foundation.

    Jean-Marc

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,322

    Default Re: Q: How to "start" the mating nuc frames?

    Cut up brood comb to fit the mini-frames. Are your mini-frames deeps or something else? Take apart a strong colony, putting an empty box that matches depth on the bottom board. Add your mini's to the box end to end until the box is full. Place the queen in box, then an excluder, then the rest of the hive with bees and brood. In three weeks you should have those mini's full of brood.

    That's what I do, using stacked nucleus colonies. My mini's are made from deeps. The queen and 8 mini's go in bottom nuc box, the two nuc boxes with the brood and bees go above excluder. Took my nucs three weeks to fill the combs with brood. At that point I had cells ready and I used the mini combs of brood and bees to stock the mini's. Use two combs with brood and bees for each mating nuc, and one frame with foundation. Place cell between the brood combs. Feed.

    Just placing your mini frames into a strong production colony doesn't work well...even if you have comb in the frames. The queen will ignore most of the mini combs and the will put pollen and nectar in them instead.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,326

    Default Re: Q: How to "start" the mating nuc frames?

    Mike: what happens if you mix in foundation down there alongside your brood comb?
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

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