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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Princeton, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    163

    Default best nuc boxes for the price

    I made a few nuc boxes out of plywood this year, which is definitely cheaper than what you can buy, but it was a little more time and trouble than just getting a pre-cut box and nailing it together, and I'm not sure what I made will hold up as well. I'm just looking for opinions and information from other beekeepers; who do you think sells the best nuc boxes, including a bottom board and top, for the price?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    1,880

    Default Re: best nuc boxes for the price

    we went with these, then made our own tops and bottoms. the fit is excelent, they make them wide enough that you can put a queen cage between the frames without removing a frame, and you get handholds. couldn't buy the wood to make the box for the price of the nuc.

    http://www.mannlakeltd.com/mm5/merch...box#!WW-410/1/
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,813

    Default Re: best nuc boxes for the price

    I use the same nuc boxes and the price is great.. I'm making my tops and bottoms out of Advanatech. Working well. I bought 50 of the BetterBee nucs and don't like them except for wintering. They are not holding up nearly as well as wood.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    834

    Default Re: best nuc boxes for the price

    I don't know about "best for the price", but Brushy Mountain has a good selection of woodenware sized for nucs, including screened bottom boards, deep and medium boxes, a few different inner covers and tops, robber screens, an interesting looking "nuc wintering baord," etc.
    Last edited by shinbone; 06-03-2013 at 08:44 AM.
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 14 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Skagit, WA, USA
    Posts
    220

    Default Re: best nuc boxes for the price

    One caution on buying nuc boxes. There doesn't seem to be a standard size, even in 5 frame nuc equipment, as there is with other standardized boxes. A Mann Lake 5 frame nuc doesn't fit perfectly on a Brushy Mountain screened bottom board. Someone's telecover may be too tight for someone else's box, etc. The Mann Lake boxes seem slightly larger than others (in width, as pointed out above), but are of nice quality, as is most of the stuff from the big suppliers. They just aren't quite as interchangeable as "regular" equipment.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    649

    Default Re: best nuc boxes for the price

    The Mann Lake 5 frame nuc boxes are indeed a little larger than other manufacturer's (such as Western Bee) so that the tops are not interchangeable. I bought 30 of the Mann Lake boxes and simply made my own bottom boards and telescoping tops. Nuc boxes are well worth the investment. As stated, the extra room inside the Mann Lake nucs work well.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Princeton, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    163

    Default Re: best nuc boxes for the price

    Thanks guys. What are you making your covers and bottoms out of?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,939

    Default Re: best nuc boxes for the price

    I have a general question based on that Mann Lake box. Do people really carry boxes using handholds on the sides (not front and back)? I have a bunch of nuc's like that don't have handholds on the front and back. Maybe after 20-25 years I am just set in my way of doing things, but I always carry boxes using the front and back handholds. I always get irritated when I want to carry a nuc, but it only has handholds on the sides. I just pick it up from the bottom instead.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,813

    Default Re: best nuc boxes for the price

    I put some scrap wood handles on the front and back when I'm putting them together. I almost never use the holds on the sides. Still, really like them and I always seem to have plenty of scrap around and a little glue and some crown staples make them very sturdy.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,939

    Default Re: best nuc boxes for the price

    Good idea. They are all in the bee yard right now, but that will be a good easy winter project.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    1,880

    Default Re: best nuc boxes for the price

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon11 View Post
    Thanks guys. What are you making your covers and bottoms out of?
    I'm with camero7, I use Advanatech for the tops and cover with flashing, have never leaked a bee yet.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    596

    Default Re: best nuc boxes for the price

    we are probably going to make a bunch of the coates design nucs this weekend. any one have experience with them ?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,590

    Default Re: best nuc boxes for the price

    Quote Originally Posted by tommysnare View Post
    we are probably going to make a bunch of the coates design nucs this weekend. any one have experience with them ?
    You might read some of these threads :

    http://www.beesource.com/search-resu...made&sa=Search
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    891

    Default Re: best nuc boxes for the price

    Quote Originally Posted by tommysnare View Post
    we are probably going to make a bunch of the coates design nucs this weekend. any one have experience with them ?
    I LOVE the dcoates nucs. I build them for selling nucs in and for the price I think it's a much better deal than buying those lousy cardboard or plastic nucs and the customer is getting something they can use for years if they take care of it. When I build them I paint all of the edges that are exposed with titebond II glue and then everything gets a coat of exterior paint. I have some that are 3 or 4 years old (how ever long the plans have been on beesource) and are still in service and that's before I started painting the edges with the glue. 4X8 piece of 15/32" plywood $22 around here, makes 4 nucs. I then buy 1X1/2 that I use to make telescoping lids with (I don't like migratory), so each nuc might have 7-8$ depending on how much the glue,paint,and staples are. Now that's pretty hard to beat by ANY bee supply company especially if shipping is involved.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Decatur, GA
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: best nuc boxes for the price

    I made a couple of nucs last weekend - for now I'm building mediums, so I find myself modifying plans. I wanted to build some that were modular - i.e. boxes, with a separate bottom and covers. That way I could build up easily, etc.

    I bought a piece of 1x8x12' and for around 12 bucks if I recall and the nucs came out great. Also the scraps were used for the bottom board so it worked out well. Happy to share what I did if anyone is interested, it's actually a pretty simple design (but I did use a dado for my joints so a table saw is pretty much required).

    --Matt

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,804

    Default Re: best nuc boxes for the price

    Quote Originally Posted by beedeetee View Post
    Do people really carry boxes using handholds on the sides (not front and back)? my way of doing things, but I always carry boxes using the front and back handholds. I always get irritated when I want to carry a nuc, but it only has handholds on the sides. I just pick it up from the bottom instead.
    Yes, i carry some, and pick up some by the side hand holds. If your boxes don't have them, you can cut them very easily, safely, if you have a Skil Saw. The plans to make a very simple jig are in the Beesource Library as is the link to the video to show you how to cut them.

    2012 Nucs (1).jpg

    cchoganjr

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
    Posts
    792

    Default Re: best nuc boxes for the price

    Quote Originally Posted by mcauth View Post
    I bought a piece of 1x8x12' and for around 12 bucks if I recall and the nucs came out great.
    --Matt
    DIY in beekeeping is definitely the way to go for me too. Since you're in GA your lumber prices should be about the same as mine. You might want to check around at other lumber outlets. I'm buying 1x8x12's for $6.85 each. That's southern yellow pine, not spruce or "whiteboard." I wonder what the heck whiteboard is?

    beedeetee, I cut handholds on the ends of mine. I NEVER use the side handles.

    One thing that speeds up nuc making for me is to cut the sides and back end 10" wide. Cut the front 9 5/8" and flush the top edge of each board when you put them together. Then you don't have to "make" a bottom board like a standard hive. Just rip a board to the width of the nuc and screw it to the bottom. You wind up with a 3/8" opening all the way across the front.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,804

    Default Re: best nuc boxes for the price

    If you know anyone in the home building trade industry you may be able to get small cut-off pieces of Advantec, which can be used for making nucs. Advantec is used for sub-flooring.

    Here are a couple of photos of Advantec nucs that I made.

    Advantec Nuc Front.jpg

    Advantec 5 Frame Nuc.jpg

    cchoganjr

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Skagit, WA, USA
    Posts
    220

    Default Re: best nuc boxes for the price

    Cleo, how to you make YOUR box joints? There seem to be many ways, table saw, router, etc. Do you have a favorite jig?
    I don't keep bees, I tend bees. Does this make me a beet?
    Sea level, Puget Sound, USDA 7a-7b

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Ashland City, TN, USA
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: best nuc boxes for the price

    I like Advantec also. It does not seem to swell like other plywoods. I have not tried making sides from them just tops and bottoms. I have Lowes precut the large sheets into 18 1/4 for bottoms and 21 for the top then I just have to handle shorter strips and cut to the width that I need at home.

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