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so... question is...

what is a mini nuc, ( i know, it's a smaller version of a nuc):rolleyes:
and what are they for? why not use a nuc? or why use a nuc at all? why not just break up a hive and put it in a couple of 10 framers?

some of this i know answers to, but just wanted to know more bout minis and why people use them vs nucs, and why people use nucs more than just a normal deep?

I have 10 nucs in various parts in my living room.. (without bees).. so just pretend im ignorant... pretend... key word is pretend...
 

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Heh.. for me at least, its because I have 1 full sized hive and 7 queen cells! If I took a frame of brood and a frame of honey for each queen cell, I wouldn't have much of a hive anymore. Instead, I shake about 2 frames worth of bees into the mini and put a queen cell in there, and then I have queen-support plus my mostly-full hive. If she mates and lays well, then she'll be worth putting into a nuc box to overwinter. Also, by then she'll be contributing to the population--if you put 2 shakes of bees into a nuc by themselves, they'll be drafty and probably cold and completely unable to protect that large a space.

Also, because each mini costs me about $6 to make, compared to about $20 for a nuc with frames and foundation. If half my queens make it back after mating, that's fewer bees I have to worry about recombining, and fewer boxes I have sitting around.

I'm sure there's a lot of other reasons--those are mine! Plus, they're cute...





First night in there--queen cell stuck in corner of frame.


Day 3 of pulling foundation. I think they'll be good by the time the queen is ready to start laying in a week or so.
 

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Main reason is to raise queens with fewer resources. The small the nuc, the fewer bees needed to populate it to raise queens.

Though this is only valid to a point. There is a threshold where the nuc may raise a queen, but under 300 bees (according to one study) results in less sperm stored by the queen, probably due to the small cluster not being able to maintain brood temperature adequately.

Personally I use 5 frame nucs. It gives plenty of space for the queen to lay so she can be evaluated at least for her pattern before shipping, takes standard frames, and I combine them in the fall to hedge my losses in winter (especially when using no or minimal treatments). And they basically are self sustaining all season long. Even then they get crowded most summers and need to be thinned out or split.

I've got a couple of mini mating nucs and hate them. I'd call it a micro mating nuc because it has 3 frames, each may be 1/5th of a shallow frame (or less). It looks like those that Mann Lake sells now (from the link above) are significantly bigger than that using 3 half size medium frames. I haven't tried them, but they have got to be better than the tiny ones I have.

You can also use queen condo's, castles or whatever other name they go by. Basically it's just a 10 frame box divided into 2, 3 or 4 sections with an entrance for each section on a different side. Many I've seen take normal frames, and at least one I've seen takes half frames.

-Tim
 
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