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Discussion Starter #1
There have been a few threads on closely housed nucs.
I found it all a bit perplexing especially when considering over wintering, feeding and swarm prevention.
I just watched a couple of Michael Palmer's lectures on the sustainable apiary. They were great...informative,entertaining and such a such a treat to listen to a speaker who never says "you know", um etc:)

I still have very basic questions about nuc management.

Why does one use a divided deep below and individual nuc supers above? What are the dimensions of the nuc supers and the thickness of the lower deep divider? How does one keep bees from creeping across the frame rest and how does one get a tight fit for the inner covers?

It was mentioned that although there is a central divider and above 2 central walls that the side by nucs have a cluster that acts as one. Could one use a #8 screen (? Single or double) for the central divider to better distribute heat for over wintering?

I believe the lecture implied separating the nuc supers to aid ease of handling or inspections...why have the lower one a divided deep rather than simply pushing 2 5 over 5 nucs close together?

Thanks for any insight. It seems to make sense over wintering nucs yet I am not certain I have enough knowledge or experience to do so.

Thanks.
 

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As I understand it from watching his lecture, the two nucleus colonies are raised in a single deep separated by a divider board in order to create what is essentially a single winter cluster. It's a way to maintain temperature in addition to being a more efficient use of existing equipment.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I wondered about that yet he winters with 2 separate supers above rather than another divided deep. It is also why I wondered if one could use a screen divider to better use the heat from each half..or if that screen would have to be double so the bees could not be in direct contact.
 

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why have the lower one a divided deep rather than simply pushing 2 5 over 5 nucs close together?
I don't know why, 5 over 5 independent nucs is what I use. It's not like the cluster/brood stays in the bottom.

I know a guy who overwinters hundreds, maybe thousands, of 5 over 5 nucs ten to a pallet and turns many of those into 3 or 4 or sometimes 5 single story nucs come spring.

Michael's system works well for him. Other, slightly different, such methods work well also.
 

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It is probably because separate colonies develop at different speeds. that way he can super one and leave one a single. plus if you watch his hive inspection video he checks by lifting the super and checking from underneath rather than pull frames.
 

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>> I still have very basic questions about nuc management.

>>Why does one use a divided deep below and individual nuc supers above? What are the dimensions of the nuc supers and the thickness of the lower deep divider? How does one keep bees from creeping across the frame rest and how does one get a tight fit for the inner covers?

So each nuc can be inspected without disturbing the other. So each nuc super can be hefted to estimate feed weight. So queens can't cross from one nuc to the other…under the divider when the top box is lifted off.

Nuc supers are 8 1/8 wide by 19 1/8 long. Divider is 3/4" pine. The divider is rabbeted into the end walls as deep as the frame rest so they can't use the frame rest as a tunnel. The inner covers meet at the middle of the divider. The bees propolize any cracks. Of courts your equipment has to be built correctly so there's no wobble.

>>It was mentioned that although there is a central divider and above 2 central walls that the side by nucs have a cluster that acts as one. Could one use a #8 screen (? Single or double) for the central divider to better distribute heat for over wintering?

I wouldn't bother. How would you make a hardware divider bee proof?

>>I believe the lecture implied separating the nuc supers to aid ease of handling or inspections...why have the lower one a divided deep rather than simply pushing 2 5 over 5 nucs close together?

Why not? As I said, use what you have or have access to.
 

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I don't get excited about a whole lot anymore but after watching Michael's video I am excited about starting nuc colonies. I guess I finally had a lightbulb moment when I watched the video. Now I understand the use of tiny mating nucs. You don't use up as many bees while the queen is hatching and mating! I guess my limited knowledge base is finally getting to the point where I now understand more of the things that I have read and watched. After the honey flow, I'm going nuc crazy. I'm gonna make as many as I can.

I do wonder at what point in the year the drone population will be low enough that virgin queens won't find a suitable source of drones to become properly mated. I would appreciate any comments on that.
 

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>Why does one use a divided deep below and individual nuc supers above?

If you tried a divided box on top of a divided box you would quickly see that when you pull the top box off bees are spilling between the two sides and balling the queens.

>Thanks for any insight. It seems to make sense over wintering nucs yet I am not certain I have enough knowledge or experience to do so.

Gather all the information you can and then try it.
 

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why have the lower one a divided deep rather than simply pushing 2 5 over 5 nucs close together?
If I understood that video correctly, the base of his compartments is a dual purpose setup. The compartments are populated with half size frames, and a two sided feeder. For summer operation, it's used as a 4 way mating nuc. When winter comes around, feeder is moved to the end, leaving 8 of the half size frames in a single section, which becomes the bottom of a 2 story wintering nuc. Seems like a smart re-purposing of the equipment at hand. As an added bonus in his situation, those nucs put up a bunch of brood into the top parts early in the season, which he later harvests to populate cell builders. Win-Win-Win if you already have a truckload of 4 way bottoms, and half size frames to populate them all. But, I'm not so sure it makes nearly as much sense, if you aren't already heavily invested in maximizing queen production from that equipment.

I'm using 5 over 5 stacks, because I already have standard deep frames, and if I'm going to have bees drawing out more frames, I'd prefer to get more deeps. For me, the 4 way summer use of the bottom isn't something I have a use for, so the two way bottoms dont have the strong appeal they would have if I had a truckload of 4 way bottoms, with half size frames. As far as pushing them together, I haven't done it, and it hasn't been a problem so far. Climate here is very similar to yours, which is vastly different from what most folks are referring to as 'winter' here on beesource. Our idea of winter is 6 months of drizzle, interspersed with torrential downpour once in a while, and a couple times it'll turn into a dump of snow, which washes away a few days later. It's a totally different beast than the folks with hives buried in snow have to deal with. If it was a lot colder here, I'd probably think about pushing them together, but it's not, and I've got away with it now for 2 years running, so not really concerned about it anymore.
 

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After the honey flow, I'm going nuc crazy. I'm gonna make as many as I can.
That's a noble goal, but be careful. You still need a flow for the nucs to build up on. Do they have anything after the main flow in AL? Also, I've seen some go hog wild making nucs before they have learned the timing for their area, and lost the whole bunch.
 

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That's a noble goal, but be careful. You still need a flow for the nucs to build up on. Do they have anything after the main flow in AL? Also, I've seen some go hog wild making nucs before they have learned the timing for their area, and lost the whole bunch.
Thanks for the reply Michael. We do have a summer dearth, so I guess I better proceed with caution. Can queens be made in the fall? We have a pretty reliable and quite prolific Goldenrod bloom. Are there enough drones in the fall to properly mate queens?
 

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I don't know Al so you'll have to ask someone else about drones. But, I would make the nucs while the flow is still on so there are sufficient drones and enough flow for the nucs to grow. Then they'll get ready for winter on the fall flow. Just my guess.
 

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Thanks for the reply Michael. We do have a summer dearth, so I guess I better proceed with caution. Can queens be made in the fall? We have a pretty reliable and quite prolific Goldenrod bloom. Are there enough drones in the fall to properly mate queens?
Im in Louisiana and I make most of my nucs after the main flow. We have just enough of a trickle flow to keep them alive until the fall flow which they take off on and overwinter with no problem.
Your further north than me but I successfully make queens through the entire fall flow. Wouldn't think it would be much of a deference for you.
 

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Thanks for the responses. One of the guys that I got my bees from stops making queen cells in late June, so I guess I'll follow his lead.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
>> I still have very basic questions about nuc management.

>>Why does one use a divided deep below and individual nuc supers above? What are the dimensions of the nuc supers and the thickness of the lower deep divider? How does one keep bees from creeping across the frame rest and how does one get a tight fit for the inner covers?

So each nuc can be inspected without disturbing the other. So each nuc super can be hefted to estimate feed weight. So queens can't cross from one nuc to the other…under the divider when the top box is lifted off.

Nuc supers are 8 1/8 wide by 19 1/8 long. Divider is 3/4" pine. The divider is rabbeted into the end walls as deep as the frame rest so they can't use the frame rest as a tunnel. The inner covers meet at the middle of the divider. The bees propolize any cracks. Of courts your equipment has to be built correctly so there's no wobble.

>>It was mentioned that although there is a central divider and above 2 central walls that the side by nucs have a cluster that acts as one. Could one use a #8 screen (? Single or double) for the central divider to better distribute heat for over wintering?

I wouldn't bother. How would you make a hardware divider bee proof?

>>I believe the lecture implied separating the nuc supers to aid ease of handling or inspections...why have the lower one a divided deep rather than simply pushing 2 5 over 5 nucs close together?

Why not? As I said, use what you have or have access to.
Thank you for replying.
My question about using #8 screen...stapled in the centre of the divider was because I wondered if they cluster side by side it would help conserve heat in the winter.
I am now convinced that having nucs on hand is given. I have to courage up and make them and figure out how to best to attempt over wintering. I will also have take the plunge and raise some Queens:)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
If I understood that video correctly, the base of his compartments is a dual purpose setup. The compartments are populated with half size frames, and a two sided feeder. For summer operation, it's used as a 4 way mating nuc. When winter comes around, feeder is moved to the end, leaving 8 of the half size frames in a single section, which becomes the bottom of a 2 story wintering nuc. Seems like a smart re-purposing of the equipment at hand. As an added bonus in his situation, those nucs put up a bunch of brood into the top parts early in the season, which he later harvests to populate cell builders. Win-Win-Win if you already have a truckload of 4 way bottoms, and half size frames to populate them all. But, I'm not so sure it makes nearly as much sense, if you aren't already heavily invested in maximizing queen production from that equipment.

I'm using 5 over 5 stacks, because I already have standard deep frames, and if I'm going to have bees drawing out more frames, I'd prefer to get more deeps. For me, the 4 way summer use of the bottom isn't something I have a use for, so the two way bottoms dont have the strong appeal they would have if I had a truckload of 4 way bottoms, with half size frames. As far as pushing them together, I haven't done it, and it hasn't been a problem so far. Climate here is very similar to yours, which is vastly different from what most folks are referring to as 'winter' here on beesource. Our idea of winter is 6 months of drizzle, interspersed with torrential downpour once in a while, and a couple times it'll turn into a dump of snow, which washes away a few days later. It's a totally different beast than the folks with hives buried in snow have to deal with. If it was a lot colder here, I'd probably think about pushing them together, but it's not, and I've got away with it now for 2 years running, so not really concerned about it anymore.
My understanding of the set is a bit different.
I saw 2 videos...one had stacked nucs with frames of the normal length that could be swapped into full sized hives. The other lecture on Queen raising described mini nucs with short frames...full season 4 separate groups per box and slower times 2 groups.

How are the feeders made that allow for separated bees living across the feeder divider to eat without mixing? Are there plans on line?
 
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