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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
    1,329

    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
    1,329

    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
    5,384

    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
    4,374

    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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,384

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

    Might work, but I've never done it that way. With brood comb inserts in the mini's, she jumps right on them.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Concrete, WA, USA
    Posts
    761

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

    we did several hundrend mann lake breeder nucs -- the fastest way to get comb in there is to simple put comb in there !!!!! but here is the trick

    we use ritecell in our outfit .... if you take a 3/4 deep frame that is drawn .... you can use full deeps but you will have waste ... anyhow --- take the drawn frame at 60 degrees or higher and run it though a table saw going the long direction -- then cut them on a chop saw to the correct lenghth (( USE SAFELTY GLASSES ))when cutting --- plastic is hot and sharp ... i would give you the measurements but im away from the shop ......

    KEY NOTE --- you MUST keep the cells pointing UP when placing the comb into the frame..... then use a 1/16 wide rubberband and put it around the sides to make tention on the comb ... once inside with bees they will conect the wood to the wax and they will remove the rubberband within a day or so of opening the hive for mating flights --- if you have any questions on my method contact me


    since we are on the mini nucs i should also tell you a good trick to keeping them ALIVE ....... once the queen is mated and has started laying .... dont remove her just yet .... let her lay eggs until the capped brood is a week into capping ... reason is these are your nurse bees and you need them to live as the oridginal stock bees are getting old at this point ...

    Best of luck to ya
    Doing the Right things Right
    http://thevalleysbuzz.webs.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Concrete, WA, USA
    Posts
    761

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

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    Mike: what happens if you mix in foundation down there alongside your brood comb?
    Jim --- we do this and its a great way to keep the bees busy -- and gets new comb into the system -- we put drawn .... undrawn .... drawn ... feeder
    that way there is little burr comb
    Doing the Right things Right
    http://thevalleysbuzz.webs.com/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia, MS, USA
    Posts
    632

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

    This is the reason I don't use mini nucs.

    I use 3 frame mediums and set up with a frame of honey, a frame of brood, and a frame of foundation and all adhearing bees. I can get this from any hive so nothing special needed.

    Johnny
    "Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." - Mark Twain

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Indianapolis IN 46227
    Posts
    285

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

    Quote Originally Posted by concrete-bees View Post
    -- we put drawn .... undrawn .... drawn ... feeder
    that way there is little burr comb
    You insert the queen cell between a frame of brood and a frame of foundation?

    Thanks for the info,
    Don

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