double nuc hive design questions
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  1. #1
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    Default double nuc hive design questions

    I am making several double nuc hives, to hold four frames on each side. Rather than using a standard deep box and partitioning it, i'm planning to place two 4-frame nucs next to each other on a bottom board with a divider and entrances at opposite ends. So, first question, is there any advantage to sing a standard deep instead of two side-by-side boxes?

    I am making the boxes out of 3/4 inch stock, so they will have the same dimensions as the store bought one I already have--1 1/2 inch wall between the two boxes. But since I am making these I can do anything I want. Is there and advantage to making the inside walls of the nucs boxes thinner? Say, 3/8 inch or 1/2 inch in thickness. Could this transfer warmth more efficiently and and create a healthier cluster? For that matter, what about going even more extreme and using #8 hardware cloth as the inside side of the nucs? I can see problems with this, too. But maybe it some kind of odd divider or snelgrove board-like thing. Hmmmm.

    Thanks.
    Year 3
    Zone 7b 3500 ft.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: double nuc hive design questions

    Quote Originally Posted by cconnell View Post
    So, first question, is there any advantage to sing a standard deep instead of two side-by-side boxes?
    It probably makes for a slightly more stable set-up, but other than that - probably not.

    Say, 3/8 inch or 1/2 inch in thickness. Could this transfer warmth more efficiently and and create a healthier cluster?
    I'm pretty sure that Michael Palmer once posted that on one occasion he left one half of a divided brood box empty, and it didn't make any difference at all to the colony in the other half. From that I conclude that it may not be 'shared warmth' (in the sense of thermal transfer) that is important here - but rather that one side of the box is insulated/buffered from the elements by virtue of another box being against it, and so is warmer as a result of that (even if that box is empty).

    I started using MP's system with divided brood boxes, but now use pairs of 5-framers from the ground up - which works extremely well - I'm becoming quite an enthusiast of nuc stacks !

    Hopefully Michael will chip in with an expert opinion ...
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  4. #3
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    Default Re: double nuc hive design questions

    Truly. Stacked nucs have become so important in my apiary...I don't know how I ever made it without them.

    You're are correct. I did stock one half of some double nuc boxes to see how they would winter. Didn't seem to matter. Although, because double nucs each make semicircular clusters with the divider in between the two nucs, I would say there is some amount of heat sharing. I don't think the style of nuc box matters. double boxes or singles pushed together. Pretty much the same. I don't like stand alone singles because I stack them...4-6 stories high. Singles tip over too easily

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    I started using MP's system with divided brood boxes, but now use pairs of 5-framers from the ground up - which works extremely well - I'm becoming quite an enthusiast of nuc stacks !

    Hopefully Michael will chip in with an expert opinion ...
    LJ

  5. #4
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    Mar 2017
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    Plumas County, California, USA
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    Default Re: double nuc hive design questions

    Thanks MP and Little_John. My double nuc set up has been very successful this winter. I will continue as planned and not worry about any fancy doings. I always thought there was heat transfer. Learn something every day.
    Year 3
    Zone 7b 3500 ft.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Kamloops, BC, Canada
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    Default Re: double nuc hive design questions

    I am going to a 6 medium frame square dadant footprint, double nucs. Separate boxes all the way to the bottom board. I went this way so I could move a colony at a time off of it. Very stable setup even if they are single stacks. And they overwinter well in it.

  7. #6
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    Santa Fe, NM
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    Default Re: double nuc hive design questions

    I have noticed that some of the pre-manufactured divided deep boxes from supply houses for 4 over 4 setups use a 1" division board. When I make up my divided deeps I use (2) 3/4" boards to insure an 1-1/2" divider. For me anyways this leaves plenty of room for 4 frames and the added width of the divider is a little safer stacking on the 4 frame boxes that flush out.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Joliet, il
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    Default Re: double nuc hive design questions

    Heres a thread i started about my double 5 frame custom double nuc i made. It works very good. It has 1.5 inch divider. Heres my thread check it out. Top link is the first one with good pics.

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...ble-nuc-update





    https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...ame-double-nuc
    The bottom box is 1 large box the ones above are single 5 frame boxes that lock together to keep tight.

  9. #8
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    Feb 2015
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    Salt Lake City, UT
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    Default Re: double nuc hive design questions

    cconnell,

    If you're stacking them from the bottom up and you are making the equipment, then why not make standard five frame nucs with a custom bottom board, that way the only odd equipment you have is the bottom board, which is non-standard since it is divided anyways? Better yet, make the bottom boards standard as well and screw them tight together to make one stable platform.
    Last edited by JConnolly; 04-15-2019 at 07:19 PM. Reason: edited to make it clear I was addressing OP
    Zone 5B

  10. #9
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    Dec 2014
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    Joliet, il
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    Default Re: double nuc hive design questions

    I made it the way the buyer wanted. He was very specific on his design. It came out very good as you see i made myself one. Its a good design and works great during winter. Both sides keep warm. Im very pleased with it.

  11. #10
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    Catskills, New York, USA
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    Default Re: double nuc hive design questions

    It looks great, maybe my husband will build one even though I do like Mikes 4 frame dbl.
    Proverbs 16:24

  12. #11
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    Aug 2018
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    Boston, MA, USA
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    Default Re: double nuc hive design questions

    this same question came up a few weeks ago (by me). I ultimately decided to go with stacking standard 5 frame Nucs with migratory tops on bottoms. It was hard to beat $18 each including tops and bottoms. I will push 2 together and secure them with a strap to make double nucs for overwintering and brood rearing warmth.
    Last edited by Alex Madsen; 04-17-2019 at 04:58 PM.

  13. #12
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    Mar 2012
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    Default Re: double nuc hive design questions

    Do you think the width of the boards that will separate the hives be too thick for warmth?
    Proverbs 16:24

  14. #13
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    Aug 2018
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    Default

    The width of the center divider is mostly irrelevant so long as it has a high thermal r value and is small relative to clusters size and the setup is symmetrical. If the cluster is small it may matter.

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