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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.
 

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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
 

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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

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
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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

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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.
 

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

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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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