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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was tooling around ebay and found a 5 frame nuc that H & L Bee farm was selling as a 5 frame garden hive. I would be concerned about swarming, but i know many people use nucs in their operations. I have TBH's but was thinking that a 5 frame hive set up would be one way to play around with Lang set ups. Does any one out there use a 5 frame set up as standard. In their listing they name off some advantages to the 5 frame such as lighter supers and smaller volume to heat with the winter cluster. What disadvantages other than swarming should i look for if i were to try something like this?

Thanks
 

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5 frame is way to small if you are considering it a full time colony. They are used for a temp. colony when making splits, catching swarms, and overwintering queens in small colonies.
 

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I guess it would all depend on your reasons for using a 5 frame hive. If all you want is a small hive/colony to play around with for education and enjoyment, with minimum expense, that might be the route to go.

But the bees will outgrow the limitations of the small hive. Plus you won't get much honey crop, and as you've observed, it would have a tendency to swarm. And if you get somewhat serious about that little hive, the next thing you know you've got a two or three-tier brood next, plus surplus honey supers. The taller it gets, the greater the tendency to tip over.

Then again, you can always use it as a nuc/swarm control device for your other equipment, as/if you expand the number of colonies in your other equipment. Just some random thoughts...
Good luck!
Steven
 

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That is way to expensive for a NUC. It would be $55.49 each. Find a beekeeping school nearby or a dealer and get what you want there. These are just NUCS, Garden hives have a sloped roof covered with copper. At least the ones I have seen do.
 

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Last May I made up a bunch of 5 frame nucs. Granted I made them up with a lot of brood, but after 2 weeks they were 10 frame singles. I can't imagine trying to keep a 5 frame nuc in May-July here unless it was 10 boxes tall.
 

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Brushy mountain sells a great English Garden hive - 8 frame - either deep and medium, whatever you prefer.
They're great.

I have several all medium and I winter them four or five high, depending on the colony. 4 high for the most part.

I highly recommend, just make sure you get the bottom SBB - Brushy will do that no problem.

Solid 5 frame nucs will last about a month in strong flow- then it is time to split or expand into larger equipment.

Best,
-E.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks for your replies, never having dealt with lang equipment, i was unsure about a couple things. I do know that most people run double deep brood chambers then honey supers, so this 5 frame would essentially have to be 4 boxes deep to be a "normal" lang sized hive, with out honey supers. Would, under intensive management, this colony produce a surplus? By intensive I mean limiting to 2 deep set up (10 frames) and splitting into other hives and ordering a queen for the new split?:scratch: I could see where someone could build up the number of hives, but would the surplus even be there? i would assume splitting the hive would not allow the field force to get very high numbers.

paul h- i know that is just a nuc. There is a really nice cyprus garden hive in the brushy mtn catalog, with copper top and sloped roof, it looks really great, but is quite pricey.
 

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4 high x 5 across would be a tipping problem for sure, plus "supers" would make you lose sleep at night if there was any wind.
Better to come down into 8 or 10 frame equipment.
If you are just dabbling with Langstroth, I'd definitely go with 8 frame.

-E.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thanks maine

I read the backyard beekeeper and he suggests moving to all medium 8 frame equipment. I have the dimentions to build 5 frame nucs, but what is the outside and inside, and height dimentions of an 8 frame medium, as i would like to build 1 hive this winter for this coming spring. Also is there any advantage to starting the bees in the nuc from a package and moving them into an 8 frame medium, or just putting the package right into the 8 frame.
 

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Unless you are talking about a 5 frame medium nuc, there isn't much total size difference between a 5 frame deep nuc and an 8 frame medium box.
 

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i say let them swarm. if you have no intrest in getting a full lang set up than who says you cant just let them swarm. bees in the wild do it all the time. do you live in the city where your swarms would be trouble for someone? or better yet why not just let them get full and shake them into your tbh to boost the forager numbers? if you want a little hive just to play with than i say do it. i have a 3 frame mini nuc as my play hive. it has 3 combs that are 5''x5''. i am not condoning letting some bees just die. but havent we all experimented just for the sake to learn for our selfs?
 

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Keeping five frame hives is just more labor intensive...been doing it for 4-5 years as a standard. It works well, they make as much honey as a full size hive if managed properly, plus they will also give you some splits. Tipping in high winds is certainly a problem if you pile too many boxes on. I have run 6 high without any real problems.

Other than tipping over, I haven't had any real problems with them...and I certainly enjoy the reduction in weight over 10 frame equipment. They also winter slightly better than 10 frame hives do...:)

Disadvantages other than tipping is the increased number of boxes needed to stay ahead of them during a good flow..
 

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Do you guys think that two five frame nuc bodies stacked would winter a small colony well? I'm thinking of making summer splits as needed to raise their own queens and build up to overwinter so I can have extra hives incase of winter losses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Keeping five frame hives is just more labor intensive...QUOTE]

i run 20 frame top bars which make for a small hive, and are very labor intensive, but i dont have any difficulty at this point with it, my 20 frame tbh's are about 2 deeps in volume, and i must pull 1 or 2 bars of honey every week or two, so 5 frame nucs i dont see as a problem from a labor stand point, as it would only be my 3rd hive
 
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