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Thread: mating nuc

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Prince Edward Island, Canada
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    30

    Default mating nuc

    This winter I made 30 5 frame Nuc boxes, I plan to use some of them for Queen rearing. Ive noticed a lot of mini mating Nucs, other than the obvious size difference what if any are the benefits of having a mini mating nuc. Will my Nuc's be fine for mating nuc

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,121

    Default Re: mating nuc

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesqueenre...htm#matingnucs

    I think you'll like your nuc boxes better than the mini mating nucs...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Wausau, WI, USA
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    212

    Default Re: mating nuc

    Mini's use much less bees to get started. As little as a cup of bees.

    But you have to get all those odd sized frames drawn out and filled. Odd sized frames can't be used in standard equipment.

    Your Nucs will work great. You also have the ability to use fewer then 5 frames if you choose. I use 5 frame Nucs with a frame feeder, so 4 frames, plus medium boxes made into mating nucs. 3 compartments for 3 frames each. This allows you to transfer frames of brood and bees to other hives. You can't do that with mini frames.

    Wisnewbee
    Honey Luv Farm

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Lipik, Croatia
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: mating nuc

    Quote Originally Posted by Wisnewbee View Post
    Mini's use much less bees to get started. As little as a cup of bees.

    But you have to get all those odd sized frames drawn out and filled. Odd sized frames can't be used in standard equipment.

    Your Nucs will work great. You also have the ability to use fewer then 5 frames if you choose. I use 5 frame Nucs with a frame feeder, so 4 frames, plus medium boxes made into mating nucs. 3 compartments for 3 frames each. This allows you to transfer frames of brood and bees to other hives. You can't do that with mini frames.

    Wisnewbee
    Honey Luv Farm
    Or they can.

    These are in normal hive given to be built ( 2 attached together). They are half lang. Later will go into mating nucs ( 5 half frames).. I am so green in this, still have to learn a lot and can't give some great answers..
    half frames.JPG

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    2,863

    Default Re: mating nuc

    Just an idea on the mini mating nuc frames, you can always cut out drawn comb from regular frames to fit into the mini frames instead of trying to get them drawn out. John

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Lipik, Croatia
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: mating nuc

    Last year after transferring a colony from a skep into a lang hive, I cut out all the wax comb from it and install into lang frames ( fasten with a wire for a few days - untill bees fasten the comb to a frames). The reason that in a skep were left around 15-18kg of food ( pollen and honey) and I gave them back their food.. It was amazing for me how they attached to a frames and at what speed. But for me too sticky.. When is empty comb I believe it is far more easier.. For me in my climate is easier to give the frames with foundation when started spring or later in a some flow. They sometimes build it in a day.. Also I left some in a brood boxes, to get the brood on it already. And when time is right to take it.. Will see how I would manage all these ( took too many for to do - starting to panic to don't spin around chasing my tail..)


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Jacksonville, NC
    Posts
    216

    Default Re: mating nuc

    Quote Originally Posted by Wisnewbee View Post

    But you have to get all those odd sized frames drawn out and filled. Odd sized frames can't be used in standard equipment.
    I had the same concern, thinking how to place mini nuc's frames to be drawn in different settings...larger hive, normal frame adaptors or what have you...Why?

    Because really, even a very small amount of bees, will have enough comb drawn for the queen to lay into once she is mated. If anything, you can put a small piece of foundation just to give them direction and a place to start.

    Actually, a cup of young bees, provided with a virgin, will draw a nice patch of comb in about 3 days. At least mine did and do.
    That is the duration I keep them closed, in the dark, a cool temp of 65-70 F, with food of course. Then, with the drawn comb just about ready, the virgin queen will eventually fly out to mate. Once she is mated and you see capped brood, you can take her majesty out to "better" accommodations and repeat the process.

    If you are concerned with the capped brood, you can easily cut it out and mount it in an empty, medium, shallow or even a deep frame and give it to another hive. The bees will tend to it and build around it like it is theirs. Especially in a flow.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    4,067

    Default Re: mating nuc

    I have some half size frames that fit into a regular medium super with a simple wooden bar in the middle to act as a frame rest. I just keep this box in the brood nest of a hive until I need it. Anything that is odd sized like this is a pain in the butt at times though. But being able to make up 5 mating nucs with one box of resources is handy. Be aware though that the smaller the nuc is the more management it requires.

  9. #9
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    Apr 2011
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    Jacksonville, NC
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    216

    Default Re: mating nuc

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    Be aware though that the smaller the nuc is the more management it requires.
    David, could you elaborate on this a bit? Thanks.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    Default Re: mating nuc

    It's really that simple. I have used a lot of mating nucs that hold 3-4 medium frames, and once they are queenright you have to remove brood just about every week to keep them from swarming, and even then they can get too strong at times.

    I have also used 8 frame mediums as mating nucs - started with a cell, a frame of brood, and one of food, the rest bare foundation. Those can be alright for a long time before they need much attention.

    However the smaller the mating nuc is the easier it is to find the queen, and the few resources you need to start them.

    Also, smaller ones are more likely to be robbed, they run out of food quicker. The really small ones often leave when the virgin flies out to mate if they don't have brood.

    Everything is a trade off.

    If it is your first time raising queens you should probably use full frame nucs.
    Last edited by David LaFerney; 05-13-2013 at 08:25 AM.

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