2 frame or 5 frame nuc?
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 47
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    NW Florida
    Posts
    1,129

    Default 2 frame or 5 frame nuc?

    I want to build up as many hives as possible. I just received a nicot to help ensure enough queens. I'm debating if I should put a queen cell into two frame nucs, w/one frame of bees and a foundation frame or five frame nucs w/ two frames of bees and three of foundation. I know they will outgrow the two frames quickly, but they take fewer bees and allow for more splits from limited supplies. However, I don't want to waste my time and lose them because the split is too small. I plan to feed syrup and patties to all the nucs. What do you think will build up my number of hives best this year?
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,402

    Default Re: 2 frame or 5 frame nuc?

    Jade, you will get the most bang for your buck with the 2-frame nuc,also referred to as a mating nuc. Only requires about a cup of bees, 600-700, to populate. Good for a ripe queen cell about to pop. Terrible as a walkaway split. I ordered two queen castles from Brushy Mountain last week. Each can be used as 4 2-frame nucs or 2 4-frame nucs. Much cheaper than building individual boxes. Saw one of my new queens in her mating nuc yesterday. Another mating nuc was bringing in pollen this morning. No eggs expected until Tuesday. These bees got one frame of brood and one frame of mixed stores plus a syrup feeder on top. Not sure you will get much foundation drawn with so few bees.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Southeast Texas
    Posts
    1,791

    Default Re: 2 frame or 5 frame nuc?

    Going for numbers - use 2 framers - get a mated queen inside - then the queens that miss oh well. Queens that hit - move to full size boxes and give them a couple of frames of sealed brood - then they will take off. This will also let you stretch your brood you have now.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    NW Florida
    Posts
    1,129

    Default Re: 2 frame or 5 frame nuc?

    Okay. Two frame it is. I have the plywood partially cut already. I've looked at the castles, but I'm not fully sold on the multiple lids, yet...

    Should mediums be three frame? or is two fine for mating the queen?

    sakhoney, most will need pulled from a 10 frame hive. I had to restart this year. I did buy two nucs, one is now 10 frame and the other is 10 deep brood box w/ honey super.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Decatur / Cullman, also. 35603
    Posts
    752

    Default Re: 2 frame or 5 frame nuc?

    Jade, did some looking around on this. Why not use a 5 frame nuc, put in a division board. And wallah... 2 2 frame nucs, just add a feeder...

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    NW Florida
    Posts
    1,129

    Default Re: 2 frame or 5 frame nuc?

    Rich, I'm playing with that idea. It will cut down on how many need built. Two sides may be easier to manage than the four of the queen castle. The trick is how to get the line cut for the divider.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Decatur / Cullman, also. 35603
    Posts
    752

    Default Re: 2 frame or 5 frame nuc?

    Ill cut all mine for new, and add a 1/2" grove in center, before gluing and stapling. Then just slide in the 1/2 inch divider board. Using a table saw with standard blade here, no dado will fit on my ryobi el cheapo saw.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    1,287

    Default Re: 2 frame or 5 frame nuc?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jadeguppy View Post
    Rich, I'm playing with that idea. It will cut down on how many need built. Two sides may be easier to manage than the four of the queen castle. The trick is how to get the line cut for the divider.
    My thoughts on this are that it's not just the number of frames which is important, but also their size.

    Boxes made for getting queens mated (mating nucs) and boxes made for raising nucs (nuc boxes) are different animals.

    For mating, you really want small (1/2 or 1/3rd-sized frames), as with this size spotting the queen for removal is much easier. 3 such frames provide twice the laying area as 2, as bees tend to ignore the outermost faces of the comb array, and yet you don't need that many more bees to stock them.

    For raising nucs, it's desirable to use the same size frame starting-off as you intend to build-up the finished nuc with. Same story as above with the number of frames - only here it's more relevant - 3 frames provide twice the laying space compared with 2. My own preference is to use 5-frame nuc boxes, with 2 dummy frames inserted for mating the queen, then remove them one at a time as the nuc grows in size. Just another way of 'skinning the cat'.

    Divided boxes are a mixed blessing - yes, they save on wood (BTW, the easiest way of cutting slots is with a router, if a table saw can't be used) - but are troublesome when it comes time to remove the bees. With single boxes you can simply jolt or brush the remaining bees out, after the frames have been pulled - but with a divided box you can't.

    With Florida sunshine you shouldn't have any problem at all in maxing-out your apiary by starting-off with small nucs - but those in colder climates (like the UK) tend to be more successful by producing fewer, larger nucs (say, 5-frame) especially if their weather is unpredictable in the second half of the season.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,402

    Default Re: 2 frame or 5 frame nuc?

    Jade, you're in mediums right? Use three frames or the nuc will grow so fast it swarms before you can get it in a regular nuc or hive.

    LJ, never cconsidered the getting the bees out of the box part. At least now I can think about it. I toyed with the idea of using mini mating nucs but opted for using frames I could easily move to full size boxes.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    1,287

    Default Re: 2 frame or 5 frame nuc?

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    I toyed with the idea of using mini mating nucs but opted for using frames I could easily move to full size boxes.
    A lot of people use mini-mating nucs with great success - but my attempts have always failed miserably - so up until now I've been using full-sized frames in 5-frame nuc boxes (3 to 5 frames, as needed) - with no problems at all. I did try 6-frame nuc boxes, divided into 2x 3-frames, but frequently found that most of the bees relocated into the half with the 'best' queen ! Plus the problem of getting the bees out ... so that idea didn't work out too well. LOL

    This year I'm trying half-sized (really more like 1/3rd-sized) frames in divided boxes with the same footprint as 5-frame nuc boxes - but those are just for queen-mating. I'm sticking with full-sized frames for raising 5-frame nucleus colonies with - but that's more to do with the unpredictable weather conditions we have over here.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,582

    Default Re: 2 frame or 5 frame nuc?

    Two frame nucs are nice to get a queen mated. Five frame nucs are better if your intent is for the nuc to grow up to a hive.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    NW Florida
    Posts
    1,129

    Default Re: 2 frame or 5 frame nuc?

    With the issues of hive beetles and other pests, will starting with a cup of bees in a five frame for mating the queen and growing out the colony be highly problematic? I want to be able to spread out my resources as much as possible, but don't want to lose the hive to pests. I hope to be able to get away with one frame of brood and feeding them. This will be especially helpful if I can expand while the bees are bearding during the summer. Put them to work making more hive instead of lounging in the Florida sun.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Decatur / Cullman, also. 35603
    Posts
    752

    Default Re: 2 frame or 5 frame nuc?

    Hi jade, I don't think a cup of bees would work on a five frame nuc. Too much space. It would work on a 2 or 3frame though. Got to have bees covering brood, and also.protecting from moths, beetles, and mites. My thought was doind 2-3 frame breeding nucs, then when queen laying and first frames of brood hatch out, then move them to 5frame nucs. Then start the 2-3 framers all over again from queen cells. That way you keep a continual flow of bees in and out going to nucs 5 framers. Also, adding a second 5 frame box on nucs can make em strong to sell, and splits. From 5- 10 frame nucs.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Cullman, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,240

    Default Re: 2 frame or 5 frame nuc?

    Regardless of the frame size, you need enough bees to cover the combs.
    If you want tiny mating colonies, make some half frames & boxs/compartments to match.
    Kind of tedious getting comb drawn on the mini frames tho.
    God luck, ce
    Started summer of 2013, just another new guy, tinkering with bees.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    NW Florida
    Posts
    1,129

    Default Re: 2 frame or 5 frame nuc?

    It feels like two things are being discussed. When talking number of frames, are we talking full comb/brood frames, mix of brood/comb with foundation, or some other mix? Also for needing two to three frames, are you indicating the box must only fit that many or that only that many are put in the box. I'm now wondering what will happen if I put a frame of brood and a foundation frame in a 5 frame nuc box and then add more frames as the population grows.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Decatur / Cullman, also. 35603
    Posts
    752

    Default Re: 2 frame or 5 frame nuc?

    If ya put 2 or 3 or even 4 frames in a 5 frame box, what do you get... wild comb, and a mess. If you put 5 frames in a five frame box, and you don't have adequate bees to draw the frames out, or have enough bees to cover the brood... what happens??? Brood gets chilled, or hive beetles over run ya, or wax moths take over. I think the general idea is to hatch out the queen, and get her bred, then you put the queen where you don't have one, or your trying to build a small amount of bees to the point that you can start a small nuc colony, and grow your bees.. isn't that what we were talking about. ?

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Decatur / Cullman, also. 35603
    Posts
    752

    Default Re: 2 frame or 5 frame nuc?

    Howdy Chris, you hitnitnon the head !!! How ya doing today?

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Denver Metro Area CO, USA
    Posts
    1,793

    Default Re: 2 frame or 5 frame nuc?

    I think you asking the wrong question
    you have a LONG season, Sam comfort starts grafting in Jan.. so you can start with a few mateing nucs and keep adding as the season goes on. .
    So the resources to start a mating nuc are less of an issue then the brood needed to take a queen out of the mating nuc and place her in a nuc that will grow out do to the amount of time you can keep that mating nuc running. there is a difference in mangmne if your goule is mated queens VS making new nucs for increase in that light having a mating nuc big enugf to take a frame or 2 out of to make a new start may be usefull.
    say you graft 10 cells weekly in to a free flying queen less starter/finisher and run a 3 week cycle. So after you set up the cell builder you need 20 frames a week for 3 weeks to make mateing nucs, from there you need 20 or so frames a week of brood/food to place those queens in to grow out ... and a few frame to add to the starter finisher
    Were do those come from and what hive makes them the best in your area is the question you need to look at

    next set goles.... "max expansion" is meanness... you need to say X amout of hives/queens/nucs/what ever and then work the numbers for the resources and wood wear your going to need to hit that gole.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    NW Florida
    Posts
    1,129

    Default Re: 2 frame or 5 frame nuc?

    Rich, good point. I should have been thinking of that.

    msl, yes resources for brood is a issue. I don't think I can support 10 at the moment.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,402

    Default Re: 2 frame or 5 frame nuc?

    Jade, you can use your 5 frame medium nucs as mating nucs. You will want to give them a frame of brood, a frame with honey, and a frame of foundation. You will also need a follower board which you can make to basicaly seal off the rest of the hive. It needs to fit snugly from the top of the box down to the bottom board so it is taller than a regular frame and be snug along the sides as well. The follower board gets moved as the nuc expands until you have five frames in it. Unless your two hives are expanding rapidly, I doubt you have the resources to make more than two of these at a time. You don't want to pull frames from the two nucs you just made, at least not yet. I hope I am staying current with where you are splitwise so I don't make a bad suggestion. Two hives, two nucs, one not doing all that well?
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •