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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Homerville, Ohio
    Posts
    59

    Default Nuc entrance locations.

    Hello All, I'm looking for some advice on entrance locations.
    I'm putting together some Michael Palmer inspired nucs, 10 frame box with a partition, 4 frames on a side and then 4 frame supers. My question is on how to position the entrances. If I put them on opposing sides I run into the issue of one of them will be getting hit with the prevailing winds. If I put them both in front I'm thinking there will be a lot of confusion with the returning foragers, also the notched inner cover will allow an upper entrance/vent, same basic question there. If anyone has experience with this setup please share. Also I plan to put several on a common stand, ant thoughts on drift between them?

    Jim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    594

    Default Re: Nuc entrance locations.

    i plan to do the same this season and will be putting the entrances on the same side, unless i see a lot of comments that conflict with this idea. I don;t thin kthere will be all that much confusion about which entrance the bees will go in and out of, but i base that on absolutely nothing the addition of some color at the entrances (different color for each entrance) might also reduce confusion. I just like the idea of teh bees coming and going in one direction, so I'm not in their way as I inspect.

    I'm a 2nd year guy with a lot less experience than many here, so take my thoughts for what precious little they are worth.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    southwest colorado
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Nuc entrance locations.

    That's a good question , I have issues very similar except my issue is facing the sun or not . Look forward to reading your responses.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Utah, USA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Nuc entrance locations.

    Hi, my brother and I experimented with split hives last season, and exactly the design you are considering. We started out with a split hive that had entrances on opposite sides... ie left most and right most sides. This did not work so well in my apiary space where we wanted to keep this hive, so we changed it to both entrances on the same east facing side. The first observation we noticed with opposite sides, was that one side was South facing and the other North. The south facing side seemed to fly stronger and better than North, getting a little more sun through the day. An apparent disadvantage to the North entrance side? When we changed the hive so both entrances were on the East side, we failed to separate them sufficiently in the beginning. This was a dual queen experimental hive and while both sides joined at the top through a queen excluder, there must have been enough smell difference between the sides to allow for confusion. We observed a very significant increase in flight in front of this dual queen hive that approached the number of bees often seen in a swarm. This did not quiet down for weeks, so I simply cut a 3/8" angle board that covered all but about 4" of the landing, and centered it. This left about a 2" opening on the outside extreme sides (North and South ends of the East facing landing. The 3/8" board basically looked like a piece of angle iron and it protruded into the hive until it met the divider board so there was no passage for bees to mix there.
    This immediately solved the high confusion flight pattern and both sides immediately settled down to normal flight patterns.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Larimer County, CO, USA
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: Nuc entrance locations.

    I'm looking at the same thing in the future.

    Advice and photos would be great.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Homerville, Ohio
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Nuc entrance locations.

    Quote Originally Posted by warmbees View Post
    Hi, my brother and I experimented with split hives last season, and exactly the design you are considering. We started out with a split hive that had entrances on opposite sides... ie left most and right most sides. This did not work so well in my apiary space where we wanted to keep this hive, so we changed it to both entrances on the same east facing side. The first observation we noticed with opposite sides, was that one side was South facing and the other North. The south facing side seemed to fly stronger and better than North, getting a little more sun through the day. An apparent disadvantage to the North entrance side? When we changed the hive so both entrances were on the East side, we failed to separate them sufficiently in the beginning. This was a dual queen experimental hive and while both sides joined at the top through a queen excluder, there must have been enough smell difference between the sides to allow for confusion. We observed a very significant increase in flight in front of this dual queen hive that approached the number of bees often seen in a swarm. This did not quiet down for weeks, so I simply cut a 3/8" angle board that covered all but about 4" of the landing, and centered it. This left about a 2" opening on the outside extreme sides (North and South ends of the East facing landing. The 3/8" board basically looked like a piece of angle iron and it protruded into the hive until it met the divider board so there was no passage for bees to mix there.
    This immediately solved the high confusion flight pattern and both sides immediately settled down to normal flight patterns.
    This is exactly the kind of info I'm looking for. I had thought that 3 inch wide openings with some separation would allow my entrances to face east/southeast. Perhaps the splash of color right above would help also, easy enough to do. My nucs are completely separated with no common space so that should help avoid any confusing smells.

    Another factor is that we have Shb here and my solution is SBB with oil trap trays underneath that slide out the back of the hive so the bees have somewhere to chase them to. I'm running this setup on all hives going forward. A little more cost to start with but it solves the problem quite nicely I wasn't sure how I was going to slide these trays out with an entrance right over the slot.

    Hopefully we get more responses, seems I'm not the only one puzzling over this. Lol

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,064

    Default Re: Nuc entrance locations.

    Don't worry too much about prevailing winds or sunlight and darkness. You can always turn things 90 degrees. But mostly align them in a manner convenient to you and your environment. The bees will be fine.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Utah, USA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Nuc entrance locations.

    I believe the smell confusion was outside the main entrance. I'm pretty sure the upper entrances were on opposite sides and didn't change. So there is obviously enough hive-identifying smell coming from the hives to aid in homing to the right entrance.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Utah, USA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Nuc entrance locations.

    My brothers original split configuration was exactly as you described. We eventually modified some 10 Deeps to clasp together side by side with large holes drilled between them. This configuration brought the highest confusion that I mentioned previously, and the answer was to separate the entrances by blocking the middle completely.

    WP_000498.jpg WP_000705.jpg

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,389

    Default Re: Nuc entrance locations.

    What is the advantage of having side by side nuc size colonies...as permanent hive set ups it seems...over running 8 or 10 frame regular sized hives? Last summer was first experience with hives but by July some of my hives were overflowing with bees and that was using 2 10 frame deeps for the brood area.

    Why split the boxes? Do you put a queen excluder above the brood boxes and let both halves work common 10 frame honey supers? Does this result in a larger honey crop?
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    carney, maryland, USA
    Posts
    602

    Default Re: Nuc entrance locations.

    Has anyone tried a dual box with entrances on the same side, but one side top entrance, the other bottom entrance? Might that work?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Utah, USA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Nuc entrance locations.

    Split NUCs with total segregation, has advantage of two small colonies sharing the heat load or warming their environment. They are totally separate but being in the same box means they can survive colder temperatures like a larger hive would. It can be done with normal equipment rather than having to purchase or construct smaller boxes etc.

    In my case, we were experimenting with dual queen hives, which can be a real advantage in quickly growing a colony to full strength and beyond. Research has shown some significant gains in honey production with a dual queen hive over two separate hives of same size. There appears to be some synergy or advantage of scale with the larger bee counts. Dual queen hives take a little more management and there can be some tricks needed to succeed, but they can allow you to actually be able to pull some honey the first year from package bees, or on poor honey years where almost none can be safely harvested while preserving viability for winter. The most common dual queen configuration is vertical which means the hives can get too tall to manage without lifting, while on a ladder. This is why my brother and I tried a more horizontal approach. You can see from my pictures above that the brood chambers were horizontal with vertical supers. We placed a queen excluder below the supers and between the two horizontal brood sections. This hive would have been two boxes taller using the traditional methods.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Utah, USA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Nuc entrance locations.

    Quote Originally Posted by philip.devos View Post
    Has anyone tried a dual box with entrances on the same side, but one side top entrance, the other bottom entrance? Might that work?
    Philip, we tried something similar, however due to heat convection, it is wise to allow both colonies to have both a top and bottom entrance. This allows for proper ventilation with heat rising. Cool air enters the bottom with warmer air leaving the top. Our original split had entrances and vents on opposite sides of the box, one North facing and one South facing. I did one similar to what you are suggesting last year with moderate success. At first it was totally segregated, but later I turned it into a dual queen hive to grow it more rapidly. Here is a picture showing this hive. Notice the two separate entrances on the landing board, and I simply cut a piece of plywood for the inner cover and put a slot on both sides for an upper entrance. It also had a hole for both sides further in the box for feeding bottles. The bottles and inner holes were in the empty top box.

    The general idea here is to utilize existing normal equipment with a couple of custom add-on's rather than a complete custom hive. Inside the main split is simply a piece of plywood cut in the shape of a frame, however it extended to the top brim and the extra 3/8" below the box to touch the lid and base for full segregation. So with only the addition of the split board, the split inner cover board and a piece of wood cut like a piece of angle iron that protruded in from the front of the base to touch the divider board to separate the entrances, the boxes and frames and base and lid are standard.

    WP_000704.jpg

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Homerville, Ohio
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Nuc entrance locations.

    Quote Originally Posted by WBVC View Post
    What is the advantage of having side by side nuc size colonies
    In my case I'm using the nucs to expand our apiary by overwintering a large number of nucs following Michael Palmers methods. This season is all about making bees and queens, not harvesting honey. Next year we will begin expanding the production hive #'s from overwintered nucs while retaining enough nucs to create a large number of nucs to carry into the winter again, promoting further expansion of our apiary. No packages here

    Jim

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Scarborough, Maine, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Nuc entrance locations.

    Our local shop carries this bottom board with two entrances facing the same direction: LINK

    I haven't had bees in mine yet so I can't say how well it works with side-by-side entrances. When assembled for a 10-frame split box, it leaves a ledge on either side. (The outer setting is for two 5-frame nuc boxes side by side and the inner setting is for an 8-frame box.) I've modified my outer edge blocks to provide a second bottom entrance on each side because I noticed my bees last year mostly entered on one side of the front and exited on the other even when the entrance reducer was removed. I also painted the box I'll be using so that one corner has a series of black dots and the other has a series of black lines forming a chevron. Each set of markings align with the two entrances of the corresponding hive side. Once the weather gets warm and the colonies build population, I'll also use notched inner covers to provide ventilation and an upper entrance for each side. I hope to have good results to report later this summer, but this is all about experimenting for me.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    international falls, Mn
    Posts
    263

    Default Re: Nuc entrance locations.

    Howdy Leather Jim.....I have made 2 split deep boxes up as MP has in his videos, my intentions

    are to use them to produce comb and brood to support production hives.....and splits...I had to

    look at the bottom boards to see how I had made them, and I had them facing oppiste directions,

    but I think I'll modify them to send them both out the same side....I have several packages com-

    ming in april and will "skim" some bees off of these packages to populate these boxes, I've also

    ordered extra queens to head the skimmed nucs....With each queen laying up the 2 story nucs

    (8frames) each, should generate a lot of eggs and comb....I know it'll take a little time (weeks)

    to get the nucs up to speed but the packages will be advancing at the same rate so I'm hoping

    the nucs will be ready to boost the main hives when needed in about 4 to 6 weeks....

    Good luck and I'll be watching for updates...

    ==McBee7==

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Chillicothe, Ohio
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: Nuc entrance locations.

    Leather Jim
    Would you tell me where Homerville is located. I can't find it in the atlas.

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