Josh W
I have some experience with double nuc hives. I try to keep about 50 of them going year around. It is completely different then running 10 frame hives. Here are some of my experiences….a 5 frame nuc needs much more of your attention and time…when they hatch out two frames of brood and any honey is coming in they will start swarm cells and swarm…a swarmed out nuc puts your plans on hold for another month or so…when the honey flow starts the nuc is full in just a day…you can spend lots of time pulling out frames of honey and putting in foundation or you can put on an excluder and super them for more room but this needs done before they start swarm cells...I don’t like supering the double nucs because many times one side of the double nuc will go ahead and swarm out…a supered double nuc that swarms does not always draw swarm cells because of the second queen’s pheromones leaving you without a queen on one side….what I have learned that works best for me just before the honey flow is to cut the nucs back to just one frame of brood and bees and put in three or four foundation frames….I work a 40 hr week job and run my double nucs to raise nucs for sale in the spring and summer, so sometimes I have to get to them a day or two later then I want…just this spring the double nucs come thru the winter looking great, good brood and bees…the several days before I went to split them were extra warm and some good nectar was coming in so the day I am splitting them they were swarming with just an egg in a cup…when a nuc swarms they take more bees then they leave behind so I end up with 3 or 4 frames of brood and no queen or and a few bees…this fall for some reason unknown to me and my beekeeping buddies 1\2 of my double nucs are dwindling in bee population to just one and two frames now….if the dwindling stops maybe here in Georgia I can get them thru the winter?....but the loss of bees is already cutting into next spring’s nuc making….even with the extra time double nucs take and how quick they can be in trouble I do like them…they are like brood factories in the spring…I pull brood and leave the queen, come back in two weeks and it’s like you were never there, lots more brood…my 10 frame honey hives make good brood in the spring also and you can make lots of nucs with them, I just found for me personally I have a hard time finding the line between pulling nucs for sale and leaving brood for my honey hives…with the double nucs they are just for bees and brood no question, just easier for my simple mind….if I have any words of wisdom it would be “beekeeping always looks good on paper”……..