Height of mating nucs
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia, MS, USA
    Posts
    712

    Default Height of mating nucs

    Currently my mating nucs are setting about 6 " off the ground. It is a pain in the back, literally, for me to get down and work them. It also means frequent grass cutting to keep it clean around them. Ants also a problem.

    I have been thinking about putting them up on posts about waist high. It would alleviate alot of my problems. But I was told by another queen breeder that it would increase the loss of queens returning from mating flights.

    How high do ya'll place your mating nucs and do you have landing boards on front or just a hole?

    Thanks,

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

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,373

    Default Re: Height of mating nucs

    I like my new nuc shelves/benches. They're thirty inches high and eight feet long.



    The rails on one side have been left off to make it easier to see the leg details.

    My 5-frame nucs have top entrances where the cover has been slid back 1/4" creating an entrance slot. My 3-frame mating condo's have 5/8" entrance holes.

    I haven't noticed an increased propensity of the virgin queens to drift.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Spencer, MA, USA
    Posts
    2,862

    Default Re: Height of mating nucs

    I stack 3-4 pallets and put them on the pallets. I face each one opposite to the one next to them. Seems to work pretty well.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Mount Vernon, GA, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Height of mating nucs

    Mine are fairly low to the ground. I built a caging bench to sit on while I cage and has storage for the caged queens
    Most of what I know about beekeeping, the bees taught me out of self defense!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Elmira, OR
    Posts
    2,136

    Default Re: Height of mating nucs

    Mine are on pallets or pretty low on blocks. I work on my knees quite a bit in them. I'm only in a mating nuc for a couple of minutes though, so I don't notice it like working a bigger hive where my back starts to talk to me while trying to find the elusive queen. It's the larger hives that I like having higher off of the ground.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    2,775

    Default Re: Height of mating nucs

    I keep my colonies and nucs on stands with 12 in. leggs. The nuc stands hold 2 nucs, the colonies 1. I carry a folding stool and do most of the work sitting down. Using a stool and work stands to sit the supers on while inspecting saves the back!

    I do not use landing boards on any of the bottom boards, colonies or nucs.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Height of mating nucs

    Quote Originally Posted by Broke-T View Post
    But I was told by another queen breeder that it would increase the loss of queens returning from mating flights.
    Is there any truth to that? I've seen pictures of several different mating yards with the nucs set on posts. Buckfast Abbey comes to mind.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Brandon, MS USA
    Posts
    1,563

    Default Re: Height of mating nucs

    No need to worry about the height... just make them comfortable for you to work... we have thousands that are 6"-9" from the ground (tall grass doesn't bother them either, so long as its not so thick that it causes "pile-ups" coming in)... we also have indoor nucs that are set along the walls with the entrances piped to the exterior... small slats are used to create landing boards on the outside of the walls and a color pattern is drawn around each entrance... they all make it home just fine, and these entrances are as high as 12' in the air... another person that may be able to give you their experiences with stands is Greg Stahlman, he is a member here and made stands for mini nucs this past winter... you can pm him (or maybe he will see this and post here) to ask if he had any troubles with returning queens finding the right hole in standing height nucs.

    Hope this helps.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Mason, MI, USA
    Posts
    1,015

    Default Re: Height of mating nucs

    I keep mine between 18" and 3' and have lost very few queens. My log for the last 5 years shows about = loss at either height. 2 to 7 queens out of the 75 I make.
    Clint
    Clinton Bemrose<br />just South of Lansing Michigan<br />Beekeeping since 1964

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Selby, SD, USA
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: Height of mating nucs

    the height of the stands should make no difference. our stands sit at a comfortable working height which is around waist height. several benefits that may even improve the percentage of queens. varmits cannot climb the stands and knock the lids off, fire ants will not be all over the nucs, and never have to worry about flooding issues. your knees and back will surely thank you (as well as your stress levels lol!!)
    Greg Stahlman; Stahlman Apiaries Inc.

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