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Discussion Starter #1
I have a double deep five frame colony that has made it through the winter well. The colony is starting to get crowded so I believe it's time to put them in a full 10 frame configuration. My questions is how should I configure the frames? Should I put all ten frames in a single deep box with all brood moved together or should I put them in two deep boxes with the same 5 over 5 frame configuration they have today. If I do the latter the outside frames will just be foundation.

Thanks for your input.
 

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Either way will work. Just make sure you keep brood together if you decide to put all ten frames in a single box. Shift the pollen and honey toward the outer spots.
 

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My questions is how should I configure the frames? Should I put all ten frames in a single deep box with all brood moved together or should I put them in two deep boxes with the same 5 over 5 frame configuration they have today. If I do the latter the outside frames will just be foundation.
What's the alternative? To put all 10 frames in the bottom box and put a box of foundation on top?

That's a good way to prompt them to swarm. The strong nuc needs expansion room…comb space right now. Often, the bees don't recognize overhead foundation as room for expansion and they swarm. If my 5 over 5 nuc had 6 brood combs and 4 of feed/pollen, I would put 3 brood and 2 feed/pollen in the bottom box, with foundation added at the sides, and in the top box I would put 3 brood, 2 feed/pollen and fill with foundation. Now the bees have foundation against drawn comb…which the bees don't want and they draw foundation…which they expand onto more easily.
 

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If my 5 over 5 nuc had 6 brood combs and 4 of feed/pollen, I would put 3 brood and 2 feed/pollen in the bottom box, with foundation added at the sides, and in the top box I would put 3 brood, 2 feed/pollen and fill with foundation.
My assumption (which may not be correct) is that there would be more brood in the top box so evening them up to me sounds like a soft reversal. Your thoughts were my thoughts. They are running out of space so he can't just put 10 frames in a single box.
 

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Your thoughts were my thoughts. They are running out of space so he can't just put 10 frames in a single box.
Well, he could if he were adding comb above them. They'll go right up onto it. Some resist moving up onto foundation and swarm. With the foundation in contact with them they draw it out right off because it's right next to them.
 

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Well, he could if he were adding comb above them. They'll go right up onto it.
Yes, of course. There wasn't any talk of drawn comb so I didn't think it was available. I would still mix in some foundation so the wax makers had something to do and also the time to build comb is when a nuc is expanding.
 

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Collinsville is 32 deg now and will be 23 overnight tonight with sleet and snow later in the week. I don't think that installing them now is a good time at all.
 

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When I put a 5 framer in a 10 frame box I put the 5 nuc frames on one side and the 5 foudations all together rather than split on either side of the nuc. It seams once they start drawing out the foundation in one direction they will keep going, but if split they often refuse to go back to the other side and draw that out.

Johnny
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Michael,

Thank you for responding. This was my first year overwintering a nuc. I was surprised at how well it did and I'll do more next year. This was a split I made about August 1 and it's done very well. Nucs are a handy new tool and I made a lot more of them over the winter.

I do have some drawn comb so I will make a double deep hive with brood, pollen, and honey 5 down and 5 up like you mention with drawn comb on both sides. This will carry them for a good while I believe.

Bluegrass, thanks for your cautions also. I'm putting together my plan for the weekend and the high temperature then and over most of the next week will be in the 60's. The bees are bringing in pollen aplenty and brood rearing has ramped up in the last two weeks. The timing is right for my area to go ahead and make these changes.
 
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