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.
44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).