Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Piedmont, Sc
    Posts
    15

    Default can I start with a 4 box nuc hive?

    Hi, i live in the upstate SC. I'm trying to start beekeeping. I have a 4 box nuc hive, no bees yet, so 20 deep frames. Can I place my package bees in the nuc hive for a while? how long untill the run out of room? My wife bought it on EBAY trying to be nice...
    Thanks for your input!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Somis, Ventura, California
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: can I start with a 4 box nuc hive?

    you could hive the package in the 4 frame nuc for a bit, but its best to hive them in a single deep( 8 or 10 frame) at first then add on a super when they start to fill the box. adding too much room may cause them to abscond. what size package are you getting? 2, 3, 4 or 5 lb pakcage??? more bigger the artificial swarm is, the more room they will need. a 2 or 3 lb package will hive okay in a 4 frame Nuc, anything greater than 4lbs it may be best to hive them in a standard Deep.

    You may also want to feed a 1 to 1 ratio Syrup (Sugar and Water) to get them stimulated to draw comb in which the queen will lay her eggs, unless you got a strong nectar flow at the time of hiving the package, if so they'll ignore the syrup and head on to the good stuff.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Piedmont, Sc
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: can I start with a 4 box nuc hive?

    Thank you Pancho for your reply! I am getting a 3 Lb package. I can start with 3 boxes, 15 frames and add the last one later. Do you think I could wait untill next spring to get a regular hive, or should i plan to get one soon?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    966

    Default Re: can I start with a 4 box nuc hive?

    deleted.
    misread original post

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,928

    Default Re: can I start with a 4 box nuc hive?

    Welcome SCS!
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pickens County, South Carolina, US
    Posts
    823

    Default Re: can I start with a 4 box nuc hive?

    Welcome! I am up here on the border. :-) I joined the Pickens Co. Bee Assoc. and can give you a lot of names of people you can call and talk to that are local. I also have a good friend in the Greenville club that may be able to help.

    Hank

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    reidville, sc
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: can I start with a 4 box nuc hive?

    Welcome Spaniard!
    You will always need to keep a couple of NUCs available for splits and swarms etc.
    If you can buy or build a standard medium or deep it should be best here in SC with a 3lb package. We have a strong spring flow here and a package builds very fast.
    Good luck!

    Larry

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Default Re: can I start with a 4 box nuc hive?

    Welcome..... I agree with the others. Save the Nuc boxes, you'll need them
    down the road. Build or buy a couple 10 frame deeps and put them on one
    of them. 3# package is a lot for a 4 frame nuc. Even if you stack them.

    Good luck

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,138

    Default Re: can I start with a 4 box nuc hive?

    Trying to be nice? Succeeded, I'll take any bee stuff.

    Sundance, You would see a problem in putting nuc over nuc to start package? I can see it would be an advantage to learn on first package. Only a few frames at first to inspect for brood, very easy to make that first split. Kind a trade off to rush that first package but it will get you to two fast and might as well learn on that first one. Just thinking out loud.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Piedmont, Sc
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: can I start with a 4 box nuc hive?

    Thanks for your input!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,670

    Default Re: can I start with a 4 box nuc hive?

    Yes you can start in a stack of 4 five frame nuc boxes. I'd dump the package into just a single to start, until they had some brood started. I'd start in 2 if I was using drawn comb. I have 2 three story five frame nucs, medium depth, that I just today moved into two story 8 frame mediums. I think you can do as you are thinking.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    606

    Default Re: can I start with a 4 box nuc hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    Yes you can start in a stack of 4 five frame nuc boxes. I'd dump the package into just a single to start, until they had some brood started. I'd start in 2 if I was using drawn comb. I have 2 three story five frame nucs, medium depth, that I just today moved into two story 8 frame mediums. I think you can do as you are thinking.
    5 frame nucs are a good way to fill up those ros rounds ... just sayin.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Piedmont, Sc
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: can I start with a 4 box nuc hive?

    Great thts what i will do then, and when they start to fill the last box, I will buy a new hive and move them. Thank you everyone!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: can I start with a 4 box nuc hive?

    Given your location I am going to make a different suggestion.

    Call your package dealer and order a second queen. Take two of your nuc boxes with frames and set them side by side when you are ready to install. Remove the queen from the package and place her in a dark place with the spare queen for several hrs. Pull the screen off of the side of the package box and lay the box across both nucs so half is over one nuc and half is over the other. Then bang the bees out so you are approximately getting half of them in each nuc box. Space them out so that the bees don't drift. Put feeders on each and block the entrances on both for a few hrs. Later in the evening add a caged queen to each nuc. Keep the entrances blocked for a day or two, unblock the entrance once the queens are released from the cages.

    Now you have two hives

    I think some miss-read your original post. 4 nucs stacked is the same space as a double deep. It is fine to install a package in that for probably the first 5-6 weeks.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,313

    Default Re: can I start with a 4 box nuc hive?

    As a new beekeeper I am sure you will be itching to inspect that hive fairly often.

    Generally our job as beekeepers is to give the bees what they need. Not more, not less - as exactly as we can determine - we should give them what they need.

    So ask yourself - do they need 15 frames to start a 3 lb package? I think the answer is obviously not.

    If it were me - I'd say start the package in one 5 frame box and use your enthusiasm to watch them once a week. Always asking yourself, what do they NEED?

    I think it becomes pretty obvious that when those original 5 frames are near fully drawn and mostly filled with brood, pollen and some honey - THEN they need more space.

    Only then would I give it to them.

    Grow them one box at a time. If it your intention to keep bees in standard 10 frame boxes, then you can expand by taking the 5 frame nuc and putting it in the center of a 10 frame box with 5 new frames. If your goal is to expand your hive numbers, then putting a 2nd nuc box on top is a good idea. Then once they nearly fill both boxes, you can split them into 2 nucs, add a queen and do it again - spliting into 4, 8, 16, 32 etc.

    If you intend to make honey, then growing large colonies in 10 frame boxes that make excess honey is a better plan.

    Your managment of the bees depends on your goal.
    Troy

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Las Vegas, Clark, Nevada, USA
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: can I start with a 4 box nuc hive?

    Thanks to all of those who have commented on this thread. I found it most helpful. I have made a beebox from a box about eight feet long and 20 inches wide inside. I put 20 deep frames with plastic coated with bees wax in it and will put about 20 sticks that I have cut a groove in and then installed about 3/4 inch bamboo strips glued in. They ar about 1/16 inch thick. Most of the sticks are very close to 3/4 inch square. I have put insulation 2inches thick inside and covered that with a 3/4 inch piece of plywood. I have insulated the ends and sides with cellular sheet insulation about 1 inch thick and am planning on adding more 2 inch thick all around. I may be making a big mistake but I am thinking of only having 2,3,or four 1/2 inch holes near one end of the box, most likely near top and bottom of inside of bee area. With the deep frames there will be an open space of around 6-7 inches under the frames. I am thinking of leaving that open rather than making hangers for short frames there. The hive will be in the shade all but a couple hours part of the summer. If the brood chamber is 93 degrees F why can't this work????? I will monitor the inside temperatures with a couple refrigerator repairman thermometers sticking thru the wall. I have a full length door on top hinged. Just below that will be a small space above the frames and bee space covered with 1/2 clear glass for observation and in sections that can be removed. Above the glass are pieces of 1/4 inch plywood . It is hoped that I can successfully keep bees from coming above the frames. I will most likely put 6 inches on top of the door and have weather stripping on the bottom of the door to make the entire thing as air tight as possible. If the temperature inside gets above 98F or so I assume I may need to get the skill saw out and make some drastic ventilation. If I get a swarm I will now temporarily section off much of the available space to maybe as little as five frames thanks to what I have read here. I now have one hive of bees in a cardboard cylinder about four feet high with a diameter of about two feet. Fortunately the most gentle bees I have ever owned. I don't mess with them and fortunately with the number going in and out I assume they have made it thru the winter. Now there are some plants blossoming and I do see pollen going into the hive on some bees rear legs.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: can I start with a 4 box nuc hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Troy View Post
    Your managment of the bees depends on your goal.
    Well said, Troy. This has been invaluable for me to learn when interpreting the 14 answers I get from 5 beekeepers. Honey or bees - big question. As a hobbyist, I have to ask myself if the advice I am receiving is from someone whose goals are different from mine. Our club gives most all of their advice as if we all are commercial beeks. I'm not. So I don't need to treat on this date, or stimulate on that date.

    Bluegrass - I love that idea!
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,985

    Default Re: can I start with a 4 box nuc hive?

    I started with a 5 frame nuc last spring (May10th). By early June they where a full 10 frame box. two weeks later they where 2 deep boxes and 20 fraems. before the summer ended they had both of those boxes packed full and had made 2 med supers of honey. In all with 20-20 hindsight I believe I messed up and these bees did not do nearly as well as they could have. They are now in a double deep 10 frame hive. So if all you want to do is keep the bees through the summer and allow them to have enough stores for winter. I think you can get by on 20 frames. But you will not be bale to take any of heir honey unless you harvest a box and return it in time for them to fill it again.

    In my case colonies have found creative ways to multiply. After getting bees I got a call to capture a swarm. resulting in hive two. I then got called about bees living in the brick siding of a house. resulting in hives 3 and 4. Yesterday I completed the cut out from call 3 and now have not only hive 5 but possibly the strongest hive to date. Final equipment tally. 5, 5 frame nucs with 2 bottom boards inner covers and outer covers. 7 deep 10 frame boxes, 4 bottom boards inner covers and outer covers. 4 med 10 frame boxes. frames to fill all boxes plus a few to spare.
    With that I woudl have to say no. 4 nuc bodies are not even half of what you need. That or you need more discipline that I even want to have
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Piedmont, Sc
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: can I start with a 4 box nuc hive?

    I want to thank everyone for all your advice. i am very excited to get my bees and get going!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads