Building a couple of nucs, confused on dimensions
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  1. #1
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    Default Building a couple of nucs, confused on dimensions

    I'm wanting to split my one hive into a nuc this spring, perhaps if it is real good shape, split it into two nucs. Haven't looked into hive since October, so that decision is later on.

    I've decided to do the split by pulling frames, then set the pulled frames in a nuc above a queen excluder on the main hive. If I use one nuc, I'd simply block off some of the hive, if two nucs, thinking both would fully cover the hive.

    Using the D. Coates nuc information, they have the side as 10 1/4 x 19 1/8 dimension. My deep hive bodies are 9 9/16" so why is the nuc at 10 1/4". I want to build the nucs side/ends, with bottoms/tops not detached and handle a nuc like you would a regular hive.

    Just don't understand the 10 1/4" dimension....so before I start ripping 4x8 apart, want to understand the why of this. I'll be using 3/8" plywood since it is what I have on hand.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Building a couple of nucs, confused on dimensions

    Quote Originally Posted by jcummins View Post
    My deep hive bodies are 9 9/16" so why is the nuc at 10 1/4"..
    The coats doesn't have a separate bottom board to create the entrance and space between the frames and floor, measure you hive body distance from the top to the bottom of the floor created by the bottom board and you will see. without this space on a coats the frames would block the entrance or at least reduce it to on bee space between the combs

    I've decided to do the split by pulling frames, then set the pulled frames in a nuc above a queen excluder on the main hive
    Not sure why you would want to do this, lots of ways it could go wrong
    Last edited by msl; 02-10-2017 at 02:53 PM.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Building a couple of nucs, confused on dimensions

    Do the sides overlap the bottom board instead of sitting on top of it?
    7 years; 3 colonies.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Building a couple of nucs, confused on dimensions

    I build mine to the same height as a standard box if you are referring to that dimension. We do mediums, so my height is the same 6 5/8" as the normal 10 frame medium boxes. I believe that a deep is 3" more than that, if I'm not mistaken. I assume you're doing the rebate method given your 19 1/9" dimension for the long direction of those sides.

    The bottom board question that others raise is the likely explanation for the plan dimension you cite.
    Humble assistant to beek Alison as well as family purveyor of luxury Bee condominiums and Paparazzi activities...

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Building a couple of nucs, confused on dimensions

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim_in_PA View Post
    I build mine to the same height as a standard box if you are referring to that dimension. We do mediums, so my height is the same 6 5/8" as the normal 10 frame medium boxes. I believe that a deep is 3" more than that, if I'm not mistaken. I assume you're doing the rebate method given your 19 1/9" dimension for the long direction of those sides.

    The bottom board question that others raise is the likely explanation for the plan dimension you cite.
    I see the why of it now.

    So did you build a spacer up onto the bottom board to allow the same side dimensions as a regular hive?

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Building a couple of nucs, confused on dimensions

    The first NUC I built has a bottom board that's pretty much a mirror of a normal solid BB on the regular size box with 3/4" "risers" and that uses a typically constructed entrance reducer. The most recent sets I started working on only has 3/8" "risers" and a fixed 2" opening, but otherwise is of the same design.
    Humble assistant to beek Alison as well as family purveyor of luxury Bee condominiums and Paparazzi activities...

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Building a couple of nucs, confused on dimensions

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post

    Not sure why you would want to do this, lots of ways it could go wrong
    What's the downside on this? Reason I'm wanting to do this way, is I have a horrible time IDing the queen. Just don't have the eye for it. I originally was going to just use another deep, but reading why you want to initially use nucs because of bee-space changed my thinking. But I'm all ears...having never done a split.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Building a couple of nucs, confused on dimensions

    ok lets do this one step at a time so I don't make a bad ausmtion
    start with the 3 way split, mother hive and 2 nucs, were are the extra 2 queens coming from?

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Building a couple of nucs, confused on dimensions

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    ok lets do this one step at a time so I don't make a bad ausmtion
    start with the 3 way split, mother hive and 2 nucs, were are the extra 2 queens coming from?
    Mother queen stays in bottom deep. Queen Excluder, then two "nucs" side by side, then a super (optional). This is not different from a deep, QE, another deep method I read and watched elsewhere.

    The assumption is, bees start QCs in the nucs above the QE.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Building a couple of nucs, confused on dimensions

    Why would they start cells? The hive is queen right
    hence why you use a queen less starter if you're going to use a queenright finisher

    Say for some reason they make cells, or you place cells, what stops the virgin from killing the mother queen and cells in the other nuc? they fit right threw the excluder as they are not mated/laying yet, there are folks who requeen production hives by placing cells in the supers

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Building a couple of nucs, confused on dimensions

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    Why would they start cells? The hive is queen right!
    hence why you use a queen less starter if you're going to use a queenright finisher

    Say for some reason they make cells, or you place cells, what stops the virgin from killing the mother queen and cells in the other nuc? they fit right threw the excluder as they are not mated/laying yet, there are folks who requeen production hives by placing cells in the supers
    The justification I read is that, lack of Queen pheromone in the second deep (or two nucs here) and presence of brood (and nurse bees) puts them in QC making mode. And you are supposed to take the QCs out or in OP case I assume he will remove the nuc boxes once QC are capped but before they hatch.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Building a couple of nucs, confused on dimensions

    Back to OP original question.. I am following as I need to make some nucs out of standard homedepot 3/8 plywood too.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Building a couple of nucs, confused on dimensions

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    ok lets do this one step at a time so I don't make a bad ausmtion
    start with the 3 way split, mother hive and 2 nucs, were are the extra 2 queens coming from?
    If I do one nuc, buy mated queen to get new generics in my hives. If two...I've given thought of letting them make a queen to simply measure the progress to the purchased queen. However, having just one hive, I'm anxious to get up to 4 hives, and probably would also buy a mated queen for the 2nd nuc. Late on next year, I may do that.

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Building a couple of nucs, confused on dimensions

    Unless I am missing something here (and I very well may be) what you and daisy are describing sounds like a misinterpretation of one of the board methods.

    Given what you have and your goals, I would look into OTS queen rearing he has a whole book on the subject but here is a start
    http://www.mdasplitter.com/docs/OTS.pdf

    In a nut shell, take your queen and put her in a nuc, come back in 10 days and break the hive into as many nucs as you can, grow them up, rinse and repeat
    the whole point of a nuc is to do more with less, start it with minimal resources and grow it. Hives grow at a linear rate not exponential, this is do to only one queen. Its about 2 frames a week for langs, regardless (to a point) of size. drawn comb matters as does foundation, my top bar hives only seem to fill 1 comb a week (=to 0.88 of a deep frame)
    so a double deep with one queen is going to make 2 frame of bees a week (till they hit gole/run out of space) were as those same bees split into nucs with laying queens will be making 8 frames a week. you can do a lot with 8 extra frames of bees a week


    Daisy the extra space on the coats Nuc is so it doesn't need a separate bottom board and provides a good deal of structural stability to flimsy plywood, if you were looking to make supers for the nucs you would make them at standard hive body height
    Last edited by msl; 02-10-2017 at 04:59 PM.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Building a couple of nucs, confused on dimensions

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    Unless I am missing something here (and I very well may be) what you and daisy are describing sounds like a misinterpretation of one of the board methods.

    Given what you have and your goals, I would look into OTS queen rearing he has a whole book on the subject but here is a start
    http://www.mdasplitter.com/docs/OTS.pdf

    In a nut shell, take you queen and put her in a nuc, come back in 10 days and break
    You missed by comment.....I have a HORRIBLE TIME finding the queen. I cannot find her reliably. Wish I could my technique would be different then. I simply don't seem to have an eye for it.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Building a couple of nucs, confused on dimensions

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    Unless I am missing something here (and I very well may be) what you and daisy are describing sounds like a misinterpretation of one of the board methods.

    Given what you have and your goals, I would look into OTS queen rearing he has a whole book on the subject but here is a start
    http://www.mdasplitter.com/docs/OTS.pdf

    In a nut shell, take you queen and put her in a nuc, come back in 10 days and break
    I am too lazy to look up latest links. But here is the one few years old. MB and others comment about how bees raise QCs above Queen Excluder, in a queen right colony.

    You can still use OTS method of picking the larva and encouraging bees to draw QCs where (the frame and place) you want them.

    Other places I read about this talks about few variations including placing a honey super as barrier between two brood boxes (apparently Queens are reluctant to cross honey barrier) . But the apparent goal is raising Queen Cells in a queen right hive.

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/arch.../t-263831.html

    Note: I do see the problems people referenced in that thread, about queens disappearing. I guess thats result of not moving the capped cells out and letting the queens hatch in the queen right hive.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Building a couple of nucs, confused on dimensions

    If you place an excluder, then two honey supers, the bees may start cells in fresh brood frames in the next box (or paired nucs) placed above. I would only leave the nucs there for a few hours for nurse bees to migrate up to cover the brood. If you put a double screen board in between they will almost definitely start cells! Distance from the queen is one factor for sensing being queenless, the other is not being fed queen pheremone by queen right bees. That is what the double screen division board provides.

    The method you have in mind adds a lot of empty space in the hive; could be hard for the nucs to maintain hive conditions for rearing fully nourished queens. Also wax moth and hive beetle concerns. Dont attempt it till the hive is booming; just short of swarm preps would be best.
    Frank

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Building a couple of nucs, confused on dimensions

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    The method you have in mind adds a lot of empty space in the hive; could be hard for the nucs to maintain hive conditions for rearing fully nourished queens.
    From reading...not experience....from your statement, is why I'm using a nuc and not another deep, to contain the bee space. Also, why I'm inclined to buy mated queens and not deal with the issues of letting them make a queen. Your comment about them sensing they are queenless with hours, I had not read before. From research I thought it was more like 2-3 days.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Building a couple of nucs, confused on dimensions

    You might consider making/using regular 10 or 8 frame hive or super boxes for your nucs and use follower boards to confine them initially to the size of a 5 frame nuc. Move the follower boards as they grow. I agree that the ots system is good or you could take out 2 or 3 brood frames with 2 of pollen and honey gently shake or brush all the bees back into the lower hive box. Put those frames in your nuc box (same size as your brood box) and put it on top of a queen excluder. The nurse bees will move up to cover the brood in a couple of hours. You then could do a lot of different maneuvers to give your new nuc a queen. There is a very good article on splitting on the Welsh Beekeepers web site. I will see if I can find it for you.

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Building a couple of nucs, confused on dimensions

    Quote Originally Posted by jcummins View Post
    From reading...not experience....from your statement, is why I'm using a nuc and not another deep, to contain the bee space. Also, why I'm inclined to buy mated queens and not deal with the issues of letting them make a queen. Your comment about them sensing they are queenless with hours, I had not read before. From research I thought it was more like 2-3 days.
    A couple of hours to have nurse bees populate the frames, then move them above a double screen board. The will start cells almost immediately but you may not see the evidence of their initial cutting down cell walls to start queen cell for several days. If you are going to requeen rather than force them to requeen themselves you have to be sure that the bees have NOT started queen cell building or they will quite possibly not accept the introduced queen.

    Simply placing an excluder (not a double screen) and a honey super may or may not immediately convince them they are queenless. It may take longer for them to start cells.
    Frank

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