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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    pensacola, Florida
    Posts
    16

    Default Nucs from Shallow Supers?

    I have just been given 250 shallow supers from a cousin that recently got out of the bee business when his father passed away. I really what to breed as many bees as possible this year. Any thoughts as to using the shallow supers to make nucs from? I'm thinking divider boards and double stacked to make two nucs. How would you guys use these supers?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,869

    Default Re: Nucs from Shallow Supers?

    Make a separate inner cover for each for easy access. If you double stack, make a separate top box for each, not a divided single box.
    I use my router table to shave off a bit of the shoulder on some of the frames. 4 frames allows too much room if the frames are not all drawn out. Five works better to start, but it will soon be too tight. Just use the 5th frame until they are all drawn out, then reduce to four so you don't get comb building on the side of the box. You could also use 4 frames and another follower board to take up space. I don;t use shallows anymore. I think deep frames get laid up and get worked better. But if you have them you might as well use them. For mating nucs they will work fine. You could also glue and screw a 1x2 around the bottom and use deep frames. That's what I do for all my divided deeps . I staple a 3/4" rim around the bottom and staple on a plywood bottom. I will never stack these and it is a fast secure bottom board for mating nucs.



    Below are deeps, but you get the idea.



    Below you can see the 3/4" rim on the bottom of the divided deep. This has a screened bottom, but I am using solid bottoms now. By attaching the bottom securely and securely at the divider, you help eliminate shrinkage gaps. You still have to check for divider shrinkage though. Even with very dry lumber, they can shrink or warp and create gaps for bees to jump ship from one side to the other.







    3 frames and a one gallon interior feeder are good for starting out.







    Tight tolerences when installing your divier. Clear silicone all gaps. Check later for shrinkage and more gaps. Close up all gaps.......Did I mention you may get gaps?

    Last edited by Lauri; 01-19-2014 at 08:55 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Billerica, MA
    Posts
    298

    Default Re: Nucs from Shallow Supers?

    Hope I don't hijack this too bad whiterk...

    So, Lauri, gaps you say? I have a question for you in that case. I've taken eight frame medium boxes to the table saw and cut a grove as deep as the frame rest. I've then cut a piece of 1/8 tempered hardboard to fit lengthwise, planning to have the bottom rest on a cleat on the bottom board with the top extending 3/4 so I can place separate inner covers to keep them apart while working them as mating nucs. I can fit four frames on each side with plenty of wiggle room. The divider is snug in the groove, but I'm hoping with plenty of vaseline I'll be able to pull four frames with a newly mated queen from one side AND remove the divider to give the remaining queen and bees that box to grow into. This should enable me to save the box and the bottom without having any single purpose equipment hanging around other than the two inner covers. In your experience, do you see this as a workable plan?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,869

    Default Re: Nucs from Shallow Supers?

    It should. Your thin hardboard won't shrink, but it may cup a bit, especially if it is finished on one side, rough on the other.. Be sure the bottom rest is wide enough to allow for a less than perfect straight divider. You'll likely cut through your hand holds, but that is not a big deal. Just putty it or tape over it if you want it closed up.

    A flat inner cover without a rim will not allow space for feeding patties. You might want to think about that. I run my frame shelf on the router a little deeper, if I've firred out the bottom and have the room to slightly lower the frames.





    Screened hole in inner cover allows mason jar feeding


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Billerica, MA
    Posts
    298

    Default Re: Nucs from Shallow Supers?

    I hadn't thought about patties, but it would be an easy fix to add a rim to the inner covers to buy some space. You've given me some excellent ideas, not just here but in many other other posts. Thanks for your input.

    K

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,869

    Default Re: Nucs from Shallow Supers?

    Your welcome.
    The mating nucs generally don't have enough foragers to keep the nuc tip top strong and growing. Especially the first month, unless you made them very strong right from the start. I give a small protein patty after the most recent newly mated queen starts laying. They won't take it up unless they have brood to feed. But when you need to feed you need the room.
    I'd rather keep them on the strongish side than just 'existing'.
    I mark my virgins when they hatch, so a strong mating nuc colony is not an issue for fast location of the queen after she is mated.
    If you are using capped queen cells for introduction, I could see a weaker or less populated mating nuc so you don't spend all day looking for her.

    Last edited by Lauri; 01-19-2014 at 10:06 AM.

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