Re: The self-sustaining mating yard
I don't think there is the perfect nuc. Every configuration has some bad point.
However I think 4 way 2 deep frame nucs are particularly bad.
Depending how big you want to go, 3 way deeps with 3 frame nucs are an option that mean no different sized frames or boxes, and they all share the heat in winter mine are permanent I winter them all.
Other plus is there is room for the queen to lay without absconding long as they don't get packed out with honey. During the season each time I cage I pull 2 frames and replace with foundation and just leave them one frame of brood with a cell. That stops them getting too strong.
The minus is it can be surprisingly time consuming finding the queens in these nucs.
"Thinking Inside The Box"