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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Collinsville, VA
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    Default How do I position nuc frames in a full hive body?

    I have a double deep five frame colony that has made it through the winter well. The colony is starting to get crowded so I believe it's time to put them in a full 10 frame configuration. My questions is how should I configure the frames? Should I put all ten frames in a single deep box with all brood moved together or should I put them in two deep boxes with the same 5 over 5 frame configuration they have today. If I do the latter the outside frames will just be foundation.

    Thanks for your input.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Taylor County, Georgia, USA
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    713

    Default Re: How do I position nuc frames in a full hive body?

    Either way will work. Just make sure you keep brood together if you decide to put all ten frames in a single box. Shift the pollen and honey toward the outer spots.
    Try it. What could happen?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    5,462

    Default Re: How do I position nuc frames in a full hive body?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hokie Bee Daddy View Post
    My questions is how should I configure the frames? Should I put all ten frames in a single deep box with all brood moved together or should I put them in two deep boxes with the same 5 over 5 frame configuration they have today. If I do the latter the outside frames will just be foundation.
    What's the alternative? To put all 10 frames in the bottom box and put a box of foundation on top?

    That's a good way to prompt them to swarm. The strong nuc needs expansion room…comb space right now. Often, the bees don't recognize overhead foundation as room for expansion and they swarm. If my 5 over 5 nuc had 6 brood combs and 4 of feed/pollen, I would put 3 brood and 2 feed/pollen in the bottom box, with foundation added at the sides, and in the top box I would put 3 brood, 2 feed/pollen and fill with foundation. Now the bees have foundation against drawn comb…which the bees don't want and they draw foundation…which they expand onto more easily.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,640

    Default Re: How do I position nuc frames in a full hive body?

    would the advice be any different if instead of foundation frames empty comb and/or honey frames were available?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    9,759

    Default Re: How do I position nuc frames in a full hive body?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    If my 5 over 5 nuc had 6 brood combs and 4 of feed/pollen, I would put 3 brood and 2 feed/pollen in the bottom box, with foundation added at the sides, and in the top box I would put 3 brood, 2 feed/pollen and fill with foundation.
    My assumption (which may not be correct) is that there would be more brood in the top box so evening them up to me sounds like a soft reversal. Your thoughts were my thoughts. They are running out of space so he can't just put 10 frames in a single box.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default Re: How do I position nuc frames in a full hive body?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Your thoughts were my thoughts. They are running out of space so he can't just put 10 frames in a single box.
    Well, he could if he were adding comb above them. They'll go right up onto it. Some resist moving up onto foundation and swarm. With the foundation in contact with them they draw it out right off because it's right next to them.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    5,462

    Default Re: How do I position nuc frames in a full hive body?

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    would the advice be any different if instead of foundation frames empty comb and/or honey frames were available?
    I might still move a couple frames of brood up and fill in with comb. He says the nuc is already crowded.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    9,759

    Default Re: How do I position nuc frames in a full hive body?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Well, he could if he were adding comb above them. They'll go right up onto it.
    Yes, of course. There wasn't any talk of drawn comb so I didn't think it was available. I would still mix in some foundation so the wax makers had something to do and also the time to build comb is when a nuc is expanding.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: How do I position nuc frames in a full hive body?

    Collinsville is 32 deg now and will be 23 overnight tonight with sleet and snow later in the week. I don't think that installing them now is a good time at all.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    895

    Default Re: How do I position nuc frames in a full hive body?

    You could even go crazy and go 5 over 5 over 5 and then the move to 2 10 frame boxes later is a very small change indeed.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    5,462

    Default Re: How do I position nuc frames in a full hive body?

    Yep, you could even do that. Ain't nucs grand.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Bertie County,NC
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    870

    Default Re: How do I position nuc frames in a full hive body?

    or split and have TWO!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia, MS, USA
    Posts
    632

    Default Re: How do I position nuc frames in a full hive body?

    When I put a 5 framer in a 10 frame box I put the 5 nuc frames on one side and the 5 foudations all together rather than split on either side of the nuc. It seams once they start drawing out the foundation in one direction they will keep going, but if split they often refuse to go back to the other side and draw that out.

    Johnny
    "Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." - Mark Twain

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Collinsville, VA
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    447

    Default Re: How do I position nuc frames in a full hive body?

    Michael,

    Thank you for responding. This was my first year overwintering a nuc. I was surprised at how well it did and I'll do more next year. This was a split I made about August 1 and it's done very well. Nucs are a handy new tool and I made a lot more of them over the winter.

    I do have some drawn comb so I will make a double deep hive with brood, pollen, and honey 5 down and 5 up like you mention with drawn comb on both sides. This will carry them for a good while I believe.

    Bluegrass, thanks for your cautions also. I'm putting together my plan for the weekend and the high temperature then and over most of the next week will be in the 60's. The bees are bringing in pollen aplenty and brood rearing has ramped up in the last two weeks. The timing is right for my area to go ahead and make these changes.

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