When to move overwintered nuc into 10 frame hive
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  1. #1
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    Default When to move overwintered nuc into 10 frame hive

    Richmond, Va Planting zone 7

    I have two 5 over 5 nucs that were created early last fall (shout-out to John Palmer for the on hands instruction) that are looking pretty good right now. My question is when should I move them into a 10 frame hive box?

    The one variable I'm wondering about is that the nucs have a deep on bottom and medium on top. The arrangement I'd like to move to is a 10 frame deep and medium hive setup. Do I just move all frames over (deep to deep and med to med) and add extra frames? Or try somehow to get all frames into a single deep box (seems like a good way to get wonky wax built up on the med frames).

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  3. #2
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    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: When to move overwintered nuc into 10 frame hive

    Your major concern is setting them back by removing them from a tight knit warm situation into a larger cooler space. It stays cold at night, in the thirties and forties, here well into June most years and that concern is huge for me here. I deal with it, by putting a queen excluder on the divided double and wait until night time temperatures are in the fifties. If the divides have young queens, as mine do, swarming is not an issue. I often run them for honey production and split them after the flow.

  4. #3
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    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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    Default Re: When to move overwintered nuc into 10 frame hive

    One can reduce the volume of the ten frame boxes by using follower boards and/or pieces of Styrofoam. A follower board is solid plywood from bottom board or bottom of super to top of super. Need to cut so there is two tabs to sit on frame rest.

    A piece of two inch Styrofoam next each wall will reduce to 7 frames. If one just uses Styrofoam, it needs to be protected by aluminum tape or duct tape, as bees will chew away at it.
    Zone 3b. If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  5. #4
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    Mar 2014
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    Red Bud, IL, USA
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    Default Re: When to move overwintered nuc into 10 frame hive

    That's part of the problem with running 5 x 5s with a med on top; it's less than a straight forward move into a 10 frame deep. My first concern would be how is the brood arranged? It would limit options if the brood exists in both boxes.

    For me, putting medium frames in a deep box usually means they'll draw comb off the bottom bars. Unless I crowd the brood nest with an undrawn frame on either side and keep an eye on the mediums so I cycle them out of the deep before they draw too much comb off the bottom. But as Vance mentioned, too much open space in cool weather risks chilling brood.
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  6. #5
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    Mar 2014
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    Gould, OK
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    Default Re: When to move overwintered nuc into 10 frame hive

    Have you thought about splitting the nucs in half? The deeps in deep boxes of your choice and the mediums into medium boxes. I would wait until late March to the middle of April depending on the weather. I raised bee in the Hampton roads area for 3 yrs running 8 frame medium boxes. Last year I bought 2 nucs that are deeps trying to move over to mediums this spring. Will keep the deeps and use as swarm traps. Good luck in your choices.

  7. #6
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    Jun 2016
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    washington, vermont, USA
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    Default Re: When to move overwintered nuc into 10 frame hive

    Here is my suggestion. Instead of moving them to a 10 frame box why not add another nuc hive body to the stack making it 3 boxes tall? Simply add it to the bottom of the stack. Once they fill that as well move to 10 frame equipment 1 deep and 1 med. That way by only adding a little bit of space at a time you won't shock them with cold and should make it easier for them to draw the frames out quickly. Good luck whatever you decide.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
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    Richmond, va
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    108

    Default Re: When to move overwintered nuc into 10 frame hive

    Quote Originally Posted by dr4ngas View Post
    Have you thought about splitting the nucs in half? The deeps in deep boxes of your choice and the mediums into medium boxes. I would wait until late March to the middle of April depending on the weather. I raised bee in the Hampton roads area for 3 yrs running 8 frame medium boxes. Last year I bought 2 nucs that are deeps trying to move over to mediums this spring. Will keep the deeps and use as swarm traps. Good luck in your choices.
    I am intrigued by your idea of splitting the nucs. Though I'm not sure if you meant combining the deeps into 1 hive and the mediums into another, or splitting into 4 separate hives. I like both ideas, as I'm interested in seeing if I want to run all medium hives, or stay with a deep and medium hive body.

  9. #8
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: When to move overwintered nuc into 10 frame hive

    Don, we can split Mercury and Venus into four separate nucs. Queen can go into double mediums and let the single deeps make their own new queens. Still about 6-8 weeks out for that though. Mid March should be good if the weather stays nice.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: When to move overwintered nuc into 10 frame hive

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Don, we can split Mercury and Venus into four separate nucs. Queen can go into double mediums and let the single deeps make their own new queens. Still about 6-8 weeks out for that though. Mid March should be good if the weather stays nice.
    Thanks John. I'm tending towards that as a solution.

    For those following along, I named my hives after the solar system... Sun is my first 'Main' hive, Mercury and Venus were splits from Sun last August. The queens are named after females of Star trek (Uhura, Kes, Seven of Nine)

  11. #10
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    Dane County, WI, USA
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    Default Re: When to move overwintered nuc into 10 frame hive

    Quote Originally Posted by dddillon View Post
    ...when should I move them into a 10 frame hive box?...
    When you have equipment and time and it does not rain.
    As long as you keep them reduced properly in N-frame equipment - it does not matter.
    I winter them directly in N-frame equipment.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: When to move overwintered nuc into 10 frame hive

    Quote Originally Posted by dddillon View Post
    The arrangement I'd like to move to is a 10 frame deep and medium hive setup.
    If that's your preferred objective, then I'd suggest focussing on that alone, rather than considering other options(*). In your position, what I'd do while the weather remains unpleasant is make-up 10x dummy deep frames and 10x dummy medium frames - these needn't be works of art, and I'd bet my pension they'll be used time and time again in the future - certainly the ones I've made have proved a wise investment.

    Then, on the next convenient fine day, swap the 5-frame boxes for 10 framers, taking care to keep the nuc's frames/combs in their existing positions relative to each other, and then pad-out the unwanted space with dummy frames. That way, any set-back from the box-swap will be minimised. As the season progresses, those dummy frames can then gradually be replaced by new frames.

    Although I have used a 5-frame 'space-occupying box' (cardboard box covered in thick plastic, well taped-down) in an emergency to achieve the same initial 'fix' - individual dummy frames are a far better solution.
    LJ

    (*) One way of tackling the 'different frame length' issue for extended periods of time is to make dummy add-ons, tie-wrapped underneath shorter frames in order to extend them to the desired longer length. These will then prevent wild comb from being drawn, but at the expense of loss of comb area (obviously).
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  13. #12
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    Jun 2016
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    York, York County, SC
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    Default Re: When to move overwintered nuc into 10 frame hive

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Don, we can split Mercury and Venus into four separate nucs. Queen can go into double mediums and let the single deeps make their own new queens. Still about 6-8 weeks out for that though. Mid March should be good if the weather stays nice.
    John is right on the money and in your local area. I am in SC and will not move them to 10 frames until mid March to make sure they can keep the temps. I also look at the weather checking for extended rain patterns as well. Good luck this year. Great problem to have.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: When to move overwintered nuc into 10 frame hive

    Quote Originally Posted by dddillon View Post
    Thanks John. I'm tending towards that as a solution.

    For those following along, I named my hives after the solar system... Sun is my first 'Main' hive, Mercury and Venus were splits from Sun last August. The queens are named after females of Star trek (Uhura, Kes, Seven of Nine)
    Nice! - I used to refer to that first hive we got as the "mother hive" cause everyone came from that. Now, mother has been split so much its not really the same. I have tags to put on as I have more than the planets in the solar system.

  15. #14
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    Jun 2017
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    Richmond, va
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    Default Re: When to move overwintered nuc into 10 frame hive

    Quote Originally Posted by thesecurityeagle View Post
    Nice! - I used to refer to that first hive we got as the "mother hive" cause everyone came from that. Now, mother has been split so much its not really the same. I have tags to put on as I have more than the planets in the solar system.
    I thought about that, and figured there were plenty of moons, and other celestial bodies to use as naming sources.

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