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Discussion Starter #1
Is it a bad idea to use only 2 frames of bees with a capped queen cell in a 5 frame nuc without using dummy frames? I haven't had time to build any and I have at least a dozen nice capped queen cells from my strongest colony I pulled the queen and a few frames of bees from and would like to maximize my chances of getting queens mated and new colonies started. I have ten 5 frame nuc's ready to go and was planning on giving each one 2 frames of bees, mixed brood and stores and a capped queen cell (they're on foundationless comb so I can cut them out). I could scramble and build 20 dummy frames I suppose but am wondering if it's necessary, or if I can just use empty frames on the outside. Thanks.

Hunter
 

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Is it a bad idea to use only 2 frames of bees with a capped queen cell in a 5 frame nuc without using dummy frames?.......
Hunter
Of course, it is not the best case.
You have 2 frames worth of bees trying to condition 5-frame box.

But - what is the hang up?
Who said there must be the dummy frames?
While convenient and this is what I routinely do myself, this is absolutely not a requirement.

Just fill up the empty cavity with cut-up cardboard pieces for now (and that can be a very long "for now").
Or fill the empty space with XPS blocks.
Heck, fill the space with 2x4 scraps.

These approaches will meet the actual desired goal - minimizing the volume that the bees must condition.
Minimizing the volume - this is what you are after.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have plenty of cardboard on hand so I'll probably use that. How tightly packed do you want it and does it need to be cut to contour the frame rests?
 

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I have plenty of cardboard on hand so I'll probably use that. How tightly packed do you want it and does it need to be cut to contour the frame rests?
No ideal fit is needed.
Just roughly fill the void.

What I have done is - I'd sandwich 5-10 layers of corrugated sheets cut from a box and wrap them together with some tape.
You can make 2-3 such sandwiches (each roughly equal to a frame in thickness) and insert them.
Then when needed, pull 1 cardboard sandwitch out and replace it by a frame; and so on ...
 

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And no - no need for contouring around the frame rest.
Save yourself this totally unneeded trouble.

No one requires for the things to hang in the hive.
Just make them be standing on the floor.
Make them a little tight if you wish, so you jam them in.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
How's this? Since I have plenty of frames I taped cut cardboard to them to save from having to cut so many pieces. I'll use one wall of the hive body and this homemade follower board and move it over and add frames as population builds.
 

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How's this? Since I have plenty of frames I taped cut cardboard to them to save from having to cut so many pieces. I'll use one wall of the hive body and this homemade follower board and move it over and add frames as population builds.
looks good
use a wall and you only need 10.
If you have it a frame of comb would work too. Even if full.

GG
 

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How's this? Since I have plenty of frames I taped cut cardboard to them to save from having to cut so many pieces. I'll use one wall of the hive body and this homemade follower board and move it over and add frames as population builds.
Here you go; should work just as well.
 

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tape in hive = risk
What risk? Give some context.

I use the tape right and left.
Lately am using aluminum tape as the bees don't chew on it (and since I got a bunch of it free).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks guys. Another question, how do you all feel about giving a couple of frames of bees from one colony a capped queen cell from a different colony?
 

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Thanks guys. Another question, how do you all feel about giving a couple of frames of bees from one colony a capped queen cell from a different colony?
I can not understand this question as written.
Give them more bees?
Sure, if you have some to spare and the 2-framers are low on bees.

I'd keep these mating nucs at 2 frames and no more - until the queen is confirmed mated.
If any spare bees, I'd give few shakes of bees right into the empty space you got in the nucs.
Be sure to shake in mostly young bees and they will stay put and join the rest.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sorry, I mean taking a couple of frames from a colony other than the one that raised the queens and putting them in a mating nuc with one of the queen cells. The reason being, I have more queen cells than I do a correlating number of frames of bees from the colony that made the queens. I'd like to try to get as many mated as I'm able to cut out.
 

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Thanks guys. Another question, how do you all feel about giving a couple of frames of bees from one colony a capped queen cell from a different colony?
In almost every mating yard done commercially the queen cell is not from the same hive, so not to worry about the scent or non nativeness of the QC, this is the normal mode for queen rearing, make cells from the breeder queen place in NUCs to hatch and mate.

GG
 

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Sorry, I mean taking a couple of frames from a colony other than the one that raised the queens and putting them in a mating nuc with one of the queen cells. The reason being, I have more queen cells than I do a correlating number of frames of bees from the colony that made the queens. I'd like to try to get as many mated as I'm able to cut out.
yes go for it
 
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