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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Memphis, TN
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    54

    Default Ways to reduce space in an 8-frame medium?

    I use all 8-frame mediums, but I'd like to have the equivalent of a 5-frame medium nuc to use for starting splits or small swarms. Rather than buying 5-frame medium nuc boxes, I'm thinking of reducing the space in 8-frame mediums somehow. I could just put in a divider, but I'd like to fill or seal off the excess space so that hive beetles can't lurk in the areas that the bees can't reach. My first thought is to use an appropriately-sized block of styrofoam to fill the space that 3 frames would normally occupy. Would this work? Is there a better or easier way to do this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
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    574

    Default Re: Ways to reduce space in an 8-frame medium?

    well, they don;t call them small hive beatles for nothing! tehy are small, and I suspect that they will finda way to use the small gaps between the foam and the hove body. You'd probably be better off using some of teh "great stuff" expanding foam to seal that side off. you MAY be able to make this less permanent by lining the cavity with clear packing tape and spraying with pam, or something. then you could chip out the foam if you needed the 8-frame space again.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Sacramento,California,USA
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    3,560

    Default Re: Ways to reduce space in an 8-frame medium?

    I've heard that bees will destroy the styrofoam, but I have no experience with it myself. There is a difference between a follower board and a division board. The follower board has beespace around the edges, the division board does not. You could cut out some division boards to seal off area. You can also use the division board to divide an 8 frame box into side by side 4 frame mediums, so having 2 nucs contained in single 8 frame box. The boxes from Mannlake are wide enough to split it with a 3/4" thick divider board, incase that's where you got your boxes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Memphis, TN
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    54

    Default Re: Ways to reduce space in an 8-frame medium?

    Quote Originally Posted by KPeacock View Post
    well, they don;t call them small hive beatles for nothing! tehy are small, and I suspect that they will finda way to use the small gaps between the foam and the hove body. You'd probably be better off using some of teh "great stuff" expanding foam to seal that side off. you MAY be able to make this less permanent by lining the cavity with clear packing tape and spraying with pam, or something. then you could chip out the foam if you needed the 8-frame space again.
    Good points. They will find any crack, and the main reason I want to do this is to reduce the space that a smaller group of bees has to defend. The hive beetles are terrible around here. The expanding foam is a good idea. I wondered about sealing it off without making it permanent, but I could live with a permanent modification, as long it's effective.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Memphis, TN
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Ways to reduce space in an 8-frame medium?

    I believe my boxes are wide enough for 2 nucs, although I'd have to measure to be sure. I may not always be able to use both sides, though, so I'd still need a way to occupy the extra space sometimes.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    574

    Default Re: Ways to reduce space in an 8-frame medium?

    could do a division board with silicone caulk to seal any small cracks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    341

    Default Re: Ways to reduce space in an 8-frame medium?

    SG,

    What about using the division board idea, lining all four sides of the cavity with several layers (2 or 3) waxed paper, and then filling the cavity with the Great Stuff? Keep in mind that some of the foams expand quite a bit. You might have to trim both the top and bottom edges of the foam with a serrated knife or hack saw blade. In theory you should be able to just slip the foam block out and replace it at another time.

    For me, with that amount of time, labor, and money, it would be better to just build a nuc box out of scrap wood. Then you have it for other applications.

    Steve

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lexington, VA, USA
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: Ways to reduce space in an 8-frame medium?

    You can divide the medium hive box with one of these-http://http://beetlejail.com/store/i...&product_id=66 Just put a filler strip at the bottom and the top and it is sealed. You then have a beetle trap and drone brood frame combined or get two so you can swap out and freeze the mites and any beetles that are still alive.
    Of course you will now have a four frame and a three frame nuc. That shouldn't be a problem and if they don't swarm on you you could have two new hives or combine for a stronger hive.
    My bees eat or otherwise dispose of styrofoam.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Posts
    296

    Default Re: Ways to reduce space in an 8-frame medium?

    I built these to medium specs ...only cost was for the board and nails ..about $20.00 for quite a few of them.

    http://www.beesource.com/build-it-yo...oates-version/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,251

    Default Re: Ways to reduce space in an 8-frame medium?

    I agree! The D. Coates' nuc design is simple, brilliant, and cheap. I made 4 deep nucs out of a sheet of 1/2" ply, for about 5 bucks apiece, and I don't think you can buy medium boxes for that-- plus then you still have to have a bottom and top, which are included in the D. Coates design.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,912

    Default Re: Ways to reduce space in an 8-frame medium?

    Just put 5 frames of resources in an 8 frame box and fill it up with 3 of indrawn foundation. Beetles will always find places to hide anyway, but the undrawn frames doesn't give them any resources to use and can be patrolled by just a few bees. Also it lets the bees expand if they need to. Empty comb is way worse.
    since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,838

    Default Re: Ways to reduce space in an 8-frame medium?

    I cut styrofoam 14 3/4" by 9 1/8 and make the 'heated' area anysize I think is right and give them more room as required. I use the foil coated foam.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,423

    Default Re: Ways to reduce space in an 8-frame medium?

    It's easy enough to make two follower boards out of 3/4" boards. That would reduce it significantly. But an eight frame nuc is the equivalent of a five frame deep which is about the minimum size for making a reasonably strong split.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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