Could you use screen to seperate nucs in a single box?
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  1. #1
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    Default Could you use screen to seperate nucs in a single box?

    Could screen be used to separate 2 nuc colonies in a single medium 10 frame box? I have seen where folks use a dividing board that separates 2 nucs in box. However I was wondering if a screen separating them would be beneficial in the winter in terms of letting the 2 nucs cluster on the dividing screen and thus sharing heat better in the winter and maybe allowing better moisture ventilation. Staple a section of aluminum window screen between frames 5 and 6. Or would the pheromones from the 2 queens interfere with the colonies? I could/would stack a 2nd medium of stores above the nucs divided with the same screen. Thank you

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Could you use screen to seperate nucs in a single box?

    You would need a double screen or they will fight through the screen. Ideally, you would also need to keep the queens at least 3 inches apart.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Could you use screen to seperate nucs in a single box?

    there is shared heat with wood divider, and they will form 1 cluster 1/2 in each NUC side.
    if you made something Ideally it would need to be bee proof , IE no bees going back and forth. over , under , around.

    GG

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Could you use screen to seperate nucs in a single box?

    Wood has an r value of less than 1 per inch. A solid divider is not going to stop any significant heat transfer, they'll share the heat just fine across it just as well as a screen without the risk of any conflict. Besides, as they move up during the winter into the second story boxes they'll have 1-1/2 between them, and they'll still share heat.

    Edit: More about this. Thermodynamically, sharing heat is not what is really happening. This is less about sharing heat than it is about having both sides of a wall warmed. Heat always flows from warm to cold. The rate at which heat moves is affected by the material it is flowing through but the biggest factor that affects it is the difference in the temperature. Heat moves fast when the temperature difference is large, it moves slowly when the difference is small, and heat does not move when the temperature difference is zero. By sharing a long wall, 35% of the exterior surface area of the nuc has been changed from a wall where there is a large temperature difference between inside and outside to a wall where there there is very little temperature difference between sides. The same thermodynamic rules remain in play even if you have two separate nucs strapped very tightly together, and also in the second story of a double 4x4 even though the wall thickness is 1-1/2" there. Its like a shared wall on a town house or in a brownstone row. Two bee clusters on opposite sides of a shared wall means little heat is moving through that wall, each cluster gets to keep more of its own heat, loosing only that heat that escapes in other directions, and you can slow that by insulating the outside. If one cluster is large and one is small the large cluster does help the small cluster with some heat, but even then the small cluster helps back because it still decreases the heat loss rate the large cluster would have to contend with otherwise.
    Last edited by JConnolly; 05-22-2020 at 11:53 AM.
    Zone 6B

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Could you use screen to seperate nucs in a single box?

    You would need a double screen or they will fight through the screen
    people run 2 queen hives all the time and they don't fight
    "oh well, let us stick to science. let them have their beliefs and intuitions!" -Medhat Nasr

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Could you use screen to seperate nucs in a single box?

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    You would need a double screen or they will fight through the screen
    people run 2 queen hives all the time and they don't fight
    They will if they can get close enough.

    The omission of a double screen was the cause of Doolittle screwing-up prior to publishing Scientific Queen-Rearing, and why he subsequently needed to include an Addendum. If two queens can get together, with just a single screen between them, then they will attempt to fight, and cause so much anxiety within their colonies in the process, that the bees will kill one of the queens in order to restore harmony. Doolittle only realised this after the original text had been delivered to the publishers.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Could you use screen to seperate nucs in a single box?

    If you dont want chance of confusion or drift I think it might be better to keep the pheremones and smells as separate identities to prevent drift. I have had entrances inches apart on side by side queenrite colonies but I vote for solid as safer than double screens; single excluder or screen---nnnaahh!

    If you use thin metal or corroplast sheet you should be able to get 5 frames each side. You need a central runner on the bottom board. Bee tight top to bottom!
    Frank

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Could you use screen to seperate nucs in a single box?

    Thanks for the input. I will invest in some more wooden ware and just cut the groove for a thin plywood panel divider in the middle of the boxes.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Could you use screen to seperate nucs in a single box?

    No need to by new gear, use a jig and bearing router on your old boxes
    "oh well, let us stick to science. let them have their beliefs and intuitions!" -Medhat Nasr

  11. #10
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    Griswold Connecticut USA
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    Default Re: Could you use screen to seperate nucs in a single box?

    Quote Originally Posted by HuskerBee View Post
    Thanks for the input. I will invest in some more wooden ware and just cut the groove for a thin plywood panel divider in the middle of the boxes.
    I have done exactly what you are planning. I had issues with 1/4 plywood warping. The moisture was more than the plywood could handle. The warping ended up leaving a gap. I will try again but Ill use something More stable. Plastic maybe? Perhaps someone has another idea.

  12. #11
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    Default

    Just use pocket screws to attach a 1/2” divider and attach a 3/4” wide top strip to fill the frame rest and give a wide enough surface to support the second story mics. A groove cuts through the recessed handle. Pocket screws can be easily removed later.
    Zone 6B

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Could you use screen to seperate nucs in a single box?

    Good point on the cut going through the handle portion.

    You can buy sheets of white plastic, 4' x 8' roughly 1/8" thick at the bigger home improvement stores. I guess that would be the way to go if someone wanted to cut the groove and go that route.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Could you use screen to seperate nucs in a single box?

    trouble with thin stock has been mentioned; hard to keep from taking a bow and leaking bees. I have used it with a slotted receiver on the bottom board and a stiffner on top. The advantage is you may be able to squeeze 5 frames in. Go with 4 a side and then you can use inch or inch and a half stock for divider. That is the route MPalmers 4 frame side by sides take.

    I have made a larger than standard bottom box to host regular 5 frame nucs which each are 9 3/4" wide. A horrible amount of work but I have other tricks I hope to play with that setup.
    Frank

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