Medium Nuc Minimum Requirements?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Delta, BC Canada
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    269

    Default Medium Nuc Minimum Requirements?

    Can anyone recommend what the minimum requirements might be for creating medium size nucs (6-1/4" size frames) with mated queens? I know 3-5 frame nucs are fairly common, but I believe that's for deep size frames ... does it make a difference if they're medium frames instead?

    I'm thinking 2-3 frames of brood + 1-2 frames of stores might be sufficient.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Verde Valley Arizona
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    51

    Default Re: Medium Nuc Minimum Requirements?

    You will be fine with 1-2 drawn frames of bees and 1 frame of honey and pollen. If you don't have the frames of feed, I would recommend a top feeder (fat bee man style) and feeding them for a couple of weeks. A small nuc colony will need to be fed a quart of 1:1 syrup twice a week. I like to add a few drops of lemongrass oil to my syrup. I don't know if it helps but it smells good and the bees love it.
    I also will put a medium super on my nucs as soon as they are on all five frames. The nuc supers will stay on until full. I transfer the nuc supers when I put the nucs in 8 frame brood chambers. I center the nuc super over the 8 frame box and add two 3" side migratory lids that I have made. The bees will tell you when to change these out to 8 frame supers. Then I just alternate empty frames with the transferred full frames.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Shelby, Missouri USA
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    526

    Default Re: Medium Nuc Minimum Requirements?

    Are you making these up to sell or to raise?

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Delta, BC Canada
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    269

    Default Re: Medium Nuc Minimum Requirements?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Gough View Post
    Are you making these up to sell or to raise?
    To raise.


    Volare71 - what size of nuc bodies do you use? I have 2 medium 8 frame nucs i'm planning on using ... I guess i'd need a couple of 8 frame medium boxes to add on top of those as supers, right? I was thinking I might just move them into a regular 10 frame medium hive body at that point instead though, and then add supers as/when necessary.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: Medium Nuc Minimum Requirements?

    A deep frame is (slightly less than) 50% larger than a medium frame, so as far as number of cells, a 5 frame deep is 7.5 medium frames, and a 3 frame deep is 4.5.

    8 frame medium boxes seems like a pretty convenient size to me.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Medium Nuc Minimum Requirements?

    Watch them they will swarmi at the drop of a hat. From here on when I have to do a med they will automatically Get a second story box on them.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Bucks County PA
    Posts
    349

    Default Re: Medium Nuc Minimum Requirements?

    All of the 5-frame NUC boxes I've made are designed to be medium depth. I did make some 3" shims for 'those times' when we have to accomodate deep frames. Our original "package" hive and two colonies purchased via NUC were deeps, but we have standardized on mediums since for anything new. Like with 8 or 10 frame boxes, you just need to stack them a little higher to provide the required space as the nuclear colony grows. We have one right now that's four boxes high...it's the one we use to provide frames of brood to other colonies that are new or recent splits.

    Humble assistant to beek Alison as well as family purveyor of luxury Bee condominiums and Paparazzi activities...

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    lafargeville ny usa
    Posts
    2,275

    Default Re: Medium Nuc Minimum Requirements?

    5 medium frames is small for a medium nuc, like minimum for a starter nuc. an 8 or 10 frame medium box is more like it, even if you start tiny nucs in a 5 medium box.. the most common nuc is 4 or 5 frame deeps with once in awhile 3 or 6 frame. the standard to sell is 5 deeps or a 10 frame medium over 3/4 full.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Rockford, IL
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: Medium Nuc Minimum Requirements?

    I am using 5 frame medium nucs, but they are 2 story. I placed 2-3 frames of brood in with a couple frames of honey/pollen from the mother colony in the lower box. Then I place empty drawn comb in the second box above. The two nucs that I set up this way in early May have since graduated to 10 frame medium equipment and are doing well.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Rockford, IL
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: Medium Nuc Minimum Requirements?

    One caveat, these nucs failed to make queen cells. I ended up giving them cells from another hive, which have since hatched, mated and began laying.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Bucks County PA
    Posts
    349

    Default Re: Medium Nuc Minimum Requirements?

    Quote Originally Posted by mathesonequip View Post
    5 medium frames is small for a medium nuc, like minimum for a starter nuc. an 8 or 10 frame medium box is more like it, even if you start tiny nucs in a 5 medium box.. the most common nuc is 4 or 5 frame deeps with once in awhile 3 or 6 frame. the standard to sell is 5 deeps or a 10 frame medium over 3/4 full.
    Yes, they are smaller than a deep 5 frame, but there can be "upward mobility" by adding boxes. Starting with deeps forces deeps, for the most part, and many of us prefer medium gear.
    Humble assistant to beek Alison as well as family purveyor of luxury Bee condominiums and Paparazzi activities...

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