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Discussion Starter #1
So I am going to try to play some with the half frame mating nucs. Just for the experience and they seem like they will tie up less resources for a newbie.

Have ac ouple of the nucs constructed, have frames, and everything ready. Only thing is no comb for the frames. I am playing with Lauri's plastic frame idea as well as have some pieces I removed from a cut out that are cut to fit those frame.

My question is how many frames of filled out comb do you need to keep the bees there. Will one frame of comb with capped brood be enough to keep the nurse bees there and have the other frames of just plastic or starter strips to be filled out as the queen emerges and mates?
 

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I found Velbert's posting in an earlier thread very interesting. Goes the other route, shook swarm and QC to get them started. Mini Nuc thread. Did you catch that one?
 

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I make grow boxes for half frames. Mine hold 15 frames.
I use them to catch swarms. I stock all my matting nucs from swarms I catch.
A good size swarm will fill all 15 frames with comb and brood in a week or two. Then I split up the combs into about 5 mating nucs giving 3 newly drawn combs with brood to each matting nuc.
This is by far the easiest way I found to stock my half comb mating nucs due to the fact that I have alot of swarms in my area.

But to answer your question. You really dont need any comb to get started but one or two does help. Just shake a bunch of young nurse bees in, give them a queen cell and feed them. By the time the queen mates they should have some comb started.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
DeepSouth - Guess that means I need to capture a swarm.

SaltyBee - I look that thread up, guess I missed it.

Thanks guys
 
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