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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Atlanta GA
    Posts
    277

    Default 5 frame hives anyone?

    Does anyone keep five frame hives and then put on five frame supers? I was talking to a fellow beekeeper and he mentioned he uses five frame hives and they have doubled honey production because the narrow hive is much more natural for bees.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,867

    Default Re: 5 frame hives anyone?

    5 frames is what nuc boxes are frequently around here. Putting a second box on is common - though the purpose of the added box is not exclusively to collect honey. The queen is free to move up and lay if so inclined. Is your "fellow beekeeper" using a queen excluder to keep the queen out of the honey super?
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,270

    Default Re: 5 frame hives anyone?

    I use 5 frame nuc boxes and have been overwintering 16 to 32 nucs each winter. The nucs over winter well in moderate climates but a five frame box will starve in late February or early March. They do best if they are allowed to expand in the spring/summer to 10 or 15 frames. A 10 frame (2 5 frame boxes) will survive until late March or early April and if the early nectar flows are good do not need to be fed.

    The bees draw wax very well in 5 frame boxes and they will store surplus honey. I use an excluder above the brood nest when the main nectar flow starts and the bees will store 10 to 15 frames of surplus. I have no fall flow so usually I use surplus frames for feed.

    The main problem with 5 frame boxes is swarm control. You must keep close check on them to prevent swarms, not only in spring, but summer overpopulation swarming as well. If a person is wanting honey for personal use and is hampered by lack of upper body strength or back problems 5 frame equipment works well. I build my equipment except for frames and the front/backs of 5 frame boxes are made from scrap lumber from other projects. If I did not do wood working and must purchase everything then the price difference in 5 frame versus 8 frame equipment would be the deciding factor in which equipment I would use. In my beekeeping conditions one would work as well as the other.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Lima, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    722

    Default Re: 5 frame hives anyone?

    I knew someone who used 6 frame hives for the same reason, at least he claimed they worked well. I have no first hand experience. While I run a lot of 5 frame nucs and will add one or two supers (all medium frames), it's more for queen rearing and overwintering than for honey production. They do seem great for brood production, often having brood wall to wall. Many of the overwintered 5 frame nucs, I've been able to split multiple times.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Caledonia, Ontario, CA
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: 5 frame hives anyone?

    I played around last year with some 5 frame nucs with a bunch of med supers on them. The only real problem I encountered was the fact that they are tall and skinny, and if not secured somehow they could easily be knocked over. I didn't use any queen excluders and the bees used the bottom two boxes for brood and packed the rest with honey. It is definetly a good way to get comb drawn out!
    Sorry about the size of the picture. I have no clue on how to make them smaller.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,690

    Default Re: 5 frame hives anyone?

    My mentor has started using two 4 frame medium nucs, side by side, 3 boxes high, with a Queen excluder and 10 frame supers above. Essentially a two queen colony that fits into the footprint of 10 frame equipment. This is new this year but is shaping up to be very promising.
    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

  7. #7

    Default Re: 5 frame hives anyone?

    I had a speaker say that he has a friend that does 5 frame for the weight. He can manage. The weight

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,121

    Default Re: 5 frame hives anyone?

    The problem here, is them blowing over in the wind...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,235

    Default Re: 5 frame hives anyone?

    Nucs are great I had two 3deep nucs go thru winter and they where swarms I took in SEPT. The bees love them but ya have to keep a eye on them and make sure they have room.
    I love my nuc yard .

    I plan on as soon as these nucs have two boxes of brood to take a box off and give it a lid and a bottom board and let them make a queen and build everyone up for winter. What a good year so far.
    Hoping to have some nucs for sale next JUNE.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,622

    Default Re: 5 frame hives anyone?

    The only thing better than a five frame nuc is an 8 frame deep. Get each hive a rachett strap and you can stack'em high and not worry about tip over. Heres how I overwinter:




    remainder of sugar brick in March:




    Overwintered 'nucs' late April. No chance of winter wind now, but I still have the rachett strap on. I ususually attach the strap to the bench, over the top front to back to hold it upright in the case of wind or animals.

    Time to get them in a larger box or split them up and use those nuc box's for new crop of mating nucs again.


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