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how do guys up north go about making up double nucs for winter. time,how strong do you make them. mated queens or cells, and the pros and cons thanks david
 

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David,

My nucs for winter are 5 frames wide and two boxes high with a queen raised in August or September. They are also on medium frames. I wrap the boxes in a 1 inch layer of foam insulation on the outside and have a feeder inside a box over the inner cover. We have a small fall flow but still 10 frames for me works out ok. By spring they are building and ready to go into a 10 frame box. I sometimes put another 5 frame on top before moving them to 10 frame boxes.

Andy
 

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David,

My nucs for winter are 5 frames wide and two boxes high with a queen raised in August or September. They are also on medium frames. I wrap the boxes in a 1 inch layer of foam insulation on the outside and have a feeder inside a box over the inner cover. We have a small fall flow but still 10 frames for me works out ok. By spring they are building and ready to go into a 10 frame box. I sometimes put another 5 frame on top before moving them to 10 frame boxes.

Andy
I wonder if I could do this as late as the end of august. I made a Ten frame nuc with a queen cell that was not mated and laying utill August third this last summer. It built up ok and I think it will be ok in spring.

Also, I have wondered if you could put two five frame nuc colonies next to each other and put a piece of newspaper over them, than a queen excluder and then a ten frame box on top and have a two queen nuc colony. Any thought anyone?
 

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I created double nucs this past summer from a workshop that I took with Mike Palmer.

Our double nucs were made in ten fram boxes with a divider down the middle. This setup allows four frames on each side with two entrances on opposite sides.

Each nuc was started with 2 frames of capped brood and eggs, 1 frame of honey and 1 frame of foundation. The nucs were started using mated queens. After about 4hrs of being queenless we introduced the queens to the nucs using a queen cage with candy. The queens were released and accepted within 3 days.

The nucs were stared in mid July. The concern with starting nucs this early in the season, is swarming due to over crowding. To avoid managing the nucs and pulling frames of brood and swaping for empty frames, we added another split HB on top. This makes the nuc a double deep, with each nuc having eight frames (4 on the bottom and 4 on the top).

In prep for winter, we checked each hive in the fall and made sure the top four frames were full of capped honey, along with two frames of capped honey in the bottom HB. The double deep was placed on a hive stand and wrapped with felt paper with 2' rigid insulation on top above the inner cover.

We've had temps well below zero this winter and they have done quite well without being placed on top of another hive.

The nucs are going strong right now. We're looking forward to a strong spring build up.
 

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Keep in mind ga beeman that doing late season splits in our area has issues that the northern folks don't. Small hive beetles are at their peak in late summer. Removing bees from your strong hives may leave them weakened enough for the beetles to get a better foothold. Also, the nucs you start must be very strong....right from the start, to keep the shb at bay. Proceed with caution.
 

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Keep in mind ga beeman that doing late season splits in our area has issues that the northern folks don't. Small hive beetles are at their peak in late summer. Removing bees from your strong hives may leave them weakened enough for the beetles to get a better foothold. Also, the nucs you start must be very strong....right from the start, to keep the shb at bay. Proceed with caution.
I agree. Things are different in Georgia. Using the plan I've adopted for wintering nucs in Vermont, might not be appropriate for Georgia..at least not entirely.

One problem we face here in the North is finding a source of early queens/bees. Wintering nucs provides both. If timed right, queens can be wintered in small cavities...conserving bee and equipment resources. Think wintering queens not wintering bees/colonies.

I'm not nuking strong colonies in my operation. I only make nucs out of non-productive colonies...healthy but non-productive. This is in July when the main honey flow is about half done. Rather than spending time and money...management and requeening...to bring these colonies up for next year, I use the bee/brood resources in a wiser management scheme. Strong colonies are managed for honey production.

That all said, I think you could take advantage of the idea. Your timing would be different. You might make the nucs earlier in the season, expand them into full sized hive bodies, and winter as singles. They'd be ready now with the best queens raised last summer.

When nuking one of these non-producers, you start each nuc with a minimum of brood and bees...not a maximum as you would with spring splits. Here, I use 1 1/2 frames of brood and just enough bees to take care of it and accept a laying queen. I imagind it would be the same for you in Georgia. Just start early before it gets too hot, the flow ends, and the SHB get to be too much of a problem. SHB is something we don't have problems with and the warning is appropriate. You would have to tell me how to procede in dealing with them.

Remember, when you get these queens through the winter...whatever that meant to you...they're tested queens. You can observe their performance in a smaller hive with less equipment resources involved. You can use the best in your production colonies. The rest can be broken up into the next year's nucs
 

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ga.beeman,
CK from NY makes two story nucs in NY. He hauls them south, to SC. Last spring, April 1 if I remember correctly, I helped him split these nucs. We split the brood up into 3 or 4 five frame nuc boxes (w/out bottoms), finding the queen while we did that, placing excluders cut to size between each box.

We went back the next day, took the queenless boxes and put them on BBs, put tops on them and took them to another yard where a queen cell was installed. As the season went by we put mated queens in instead of cells.

For overwintering purposes, these two story 5 frame nucs were on warehouse pallets, 10 to a pallet. They were covered w/ a quilt made from rolled insulation sealed inside black plastic.
 

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ga.beeman,
CK from NY makes two story nucs in NY. He hauls them south, to SC. Last spring, April 1 if I remember correctly, I helped him split these nucs. We split the brood up into 3 or 4 five frame nuc boxes (w/out bottoms), finding the queen while we did that, placing excluders cut to size between each box.

We went back the next day, took the queenless boxes and put them on BBs, put tops on them and took them to another yard where a queen cell was installed. As the season went by we put mated queens in instead of cells.

For overwintering purposes, these two story 5 frame nucs were on warehouse pallets, 10 to a pallet. They were covered w/ a quilt made from rolled insulation sealed inside black plastic.
You dont happen to have any pics you can post do you?
 

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No. I didn't take any and I don't know how to do that anyhoo. Sorry.

Can I tell you about them so you could imagine what they look like? What do you want to see in the pix?
 

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Can I tell you about them so you could imagine what they look like? What do you want to see in the pix?
Hi Mark,...these were deep frame nucs, right? When overwintered 10 to a pallet & covered with a quilt.....what measures were taken to provide ventilation for each one? Upper & lower entrances cut through the quilt? Were they all facing south for solar benefit?
Thanks.
 

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LOL!
Im mostly interested in the following, what it looked like and how it functioned.

"Im mostly For overwintering purposes, these two story 5 frame nucs were on warehouse pallets, 10 to a pallet. They were covered w/ a quilt made from rolled insulation sealed inside black plastic. in what this looked like and how it functioned."

Digital cameras are cheap now days buddy. You obviously have a computer. It is not to difficult to learn how to save these pics to your computer and upload one to picasa or something for others to view. You must have someone in the family who can show you how to do it. It is easy and fun once you take the time to learn it.
 

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ga.beeman,
CK from NY makes two story nucs in NY. He hauls them south, to SC.

For overwintering purposes, these two story 5 frame nucs were on warehouse pallets, 10 to a pallet. They were covered w/ a quilt made from rolled insulation sealed inside black plastic.
In SC he did this? Seems like they would not need this type of insulation there. We do not even do that here in VA.
 

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I

I imagine it would be the same for you in Georgia. Just start early before it gets too hot, the flow ends, and the SHB get to be too much of a problem.
I imagine it is too freaking hot by early July, and the flow is almost over, but it seems to work to make them up in this time frame anyway- at least in Virginia.

No experience with SHB yet. (knock on wood)

Challenging to keep them nuc size. I would estimate we need to take out 1-2 brood frames of single deeps between the time you make them up and Sept.
 

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Hi Mark,...these were deep frame nucs, right? When overwintered 10 to a pallet & covered with a quilt.....what measures were taken to provide ventilation for each one? Upper & lower entrances cut through the quilt? Were they all facing south for solar benefit?
Thanks.
Yes, deep frame nucs. No particular ventilation measures taken. Five nucs faced one way and the other five faced the other. None were intentionally faced south.
 

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LOL!
Im mostly interested in the following, what it looked like and how it functioned.

"Im mostly For overwintering purposes, these two story 5 frame nucs were on warehouse pallets, 10 to a pallet. They were covered w/ a quilt made from rolled insulation sealed inside black plastic. in what this looked like and how it functioned."

Digital cameras are cheap now days buddy. You obviously have a computer. It is not to difficult to learn how to save these pics to your computer and upload one to picasa or something for others to view. You must have someone in the family who can show you how to do it. It is easy and fun once you take the time to learn it.
I'm sure that you are right. Just something I haven't gotten round to. :) Maybe you could send me some digital pics illustrating how to take digital pics and getting them into the computer and down the internet line. :) That's just me being a smart aleck. Please don't.

Technicality perhaps, but I don't have a computer, even though i have access to them in libraries in towns near by.
 
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