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don't know the full story but if you will feed heavy in the fall and let them store a lot for wintering.
and you need to feed where they can get it fast like a hive top feeder or a division board feed or sever jars on top bars with a empty hull around them so they will have more than they can use for brooding if you feed 1 jar at a time it just act as mild flow and they will just brood more.

And if you feed several times during winter they will keep raising brood.
 

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4. I then set the blade of my jointer (purchased it to make these frames) to that it takes out a 1/8th inch bite I then set a stop block and run the 2X4 over it to make the passage in the lower portion of the end bar.
Just a couple observations from another frame maker.

I make them like you but for the end pieces I use 2x12 or 2x10 to reduce handling and you can turn them sideways to run them across the jointer cross-grain. You get a little tear out on the end of the block but not bad enough to ruin a piece. Also have to watch that your jointer doesn't get clogged. I then double and reverse 2 of these blocks and then use a bandsaw like a meat slicer, cutting 2 end pieces on each pass:



As far as top bars which are the most time consuming about the only really good time saving measure I've found beyond what you all are already doing is setting up a fence and dadoing 5 at a time on the table saw for each pass, which is all I can grip with the sliding miter. If you have radial arm saw with a dado stack, a good fence and dust collection setup you can do 10 - 20 bars at a time for each step.


Don
 

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Lots of bees in a little box... They look good... I agree, don't think they'll make it to April, unless you give them some boxes to work on.. = )
 

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I would be moving that to a 10 frame box with a medium over it. That or taking form it to add to struggling hives somewhere else. As of now I have two hives that are weak on population. I will be inspecting my 10 nucs this afternoon. if any are even close to this strong they will be used for what I have them for. boosting and supporting production colonies. I suspect I have at least a few of these.
 

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the problem I have with the shamrock quad mating nuc is all the bees go to one side too and also if I have more then one queen in it. they get balled by the workers. next year I'm going to modify it.
 

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Discussion Starter #108 (Edited)
I'm overwintering about 80 of these nucs this year. When MP mentioned last year he had 200 overwintering, I got mating nuc envy! Ha! I tried to build more, but 80 was the most I could increase in one year.
Heres the new and improved design with one gallon interior feeder



That little block pulls right out so you can clean the feeder if necessary. A couple dabs of Clear silicone fills in the gaps and forms a fitted gasket.



I staple the bottom right onto the hive body-so I fir it out



I drill a few drain holes in the bottom after it's painted.



Let the box's set a while, then check for shrinkage before use. If gaps have opened up, I fill with silicone.



Come spring, I remove one queen to place in a new nuc or needy overwintered hive that's lost it's queen during winter, then just set 5 frames of bees & feed from a donor hive on top the remaining queen and colony on the mini frames. With a short intro period with a screened inner cover between them, I let them combine with the overwintered queen. Works like a charm.(I give them NO queenless period-don't give them a chance to start any queen cells)
Heres what they look like after 30 days from combining:



Sometimes those really tiny overwintered colonies are not big enough to support the queen & brood rearing early spring. The method above really gives them what they need to take off. I treat these tiny overwintered colonies (4 half sized deep frames) as just queen castles, but they've overwintered very well for me and all those late summer mated queens are beyond handy in February/March.
 

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Discussion Starter #109 (Edited)
In resonse to questions:
I don't have any trouble with bees crossing over when I remove the single/divided screened inner cover. I ether blow on them or give them a puff if they are highly populated to drive them down a bit. I pry up the inner cover, give it a small whack to dislodge the bees- over their own area of course, then if I need to I just turn it on it's side to straddle the divider. The only time I do this is when I am introducing virgin queens. They can quickly run over the divider so you have to be careful in that case.





But I have constructed individual inner covers. They work well and are a good way to use up scrap shorts.



Additional box's using standard equipment-cut down & assembled.



I try to overwinter the mating nucs above as a single/divided deep with a fortified sugar block above the colonies. But I do have box's ready for supering at times. These standard deeps, cut down to 9 7/8" x 16 1/4" and assembled are also great for 10 -half sized deep frame mating nucs without the divided feature.



Someone drew this up for me. The measurements are not quite right, but it still may be helpful. I used 3/8" plywood for the divider to allow the most room for frames. You'd have to modify sightly to allow for the dimentions of you own gear.

 

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Discussion Starter #110
Heres a pic of the parts. If you need more photos PM me and I'll send them to you step by step construction.

 

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This jig I made up to do 1/2 Deep Frames.

Pic 1 is of the side arm supports that hold 24 end bars on each side of square jig/hollow box.

Pic 2 is of another flat board where you lay 24 ends of top bar all level and run glue line across them. This is later done with bottom bars also. A little excess glue runs down edges is good as you take a model paint brush and swip the edges before putting into end bars.

Pic 3 shows the top bars laying across square jig and cannot go lower then level with end bars.

Pic 4 is of holding screws in end of jigs square box. These are unscrewed and jig is flipped 180* and now you glue bottom bars and put in.

As one can imagine with frames in jig you can air staple the top and bottom bars onto the end bars as fast as you dare to go and get them in straight.

Pic 5 is of bottom bars being assembled.

Pic 6 you toe nail in end bars to the top bars on both side of jig.

Pic 7 I unscrew single side arm support and slide 10 frames at a time off real quickly.

Less then 20 min to do 24 frames including inserting cut plastic foundation.

I cut top bars on chop saw 50 at a time in 1/2.
Then I got table saw set up with 1" day to and at depth cut out square end of top bar for frame rest depth 10+ at a swipe.
On another table saw I turn 15 top bars on edge and cut in notch for end bar and flip over and do other side.
I do the bottom bars the same and whack out 20 to a swipe across the side putting in slight notch to fit bottom of end bar.
Set table say up and cut plastic foundation 10 sheets cut to width at a swipe.

Whip out 1000 in a few days by yourself.
 

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My deeps I have a center bar that is removable. I put these on other hives to draw out and can reuse deep with full length frames later if need be?
 

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This is a great thread. Thank you, NH Beekeeper for adding to it and getting it up where I saw it. As I look at your images, I don't 'get' how pic 4 corresponds with what you say about the holding screws and flipping the jig's square box. Screws are where?? Are their heads the three black circles? If I were to summarize what I learned from the pictures and descriptions, you used some 3/4" by whatever length you had, ripped to the right widths to make the square jig's central component and then mounted some rails on it at the right height to fit your end bars snugly. Can you show a few more pictures to illustrate the bottom of the jig and how you do the 180* flip? It looks like you took some care in how you fabricated that and I'd like to understand that a bit better.
 

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Yes everything is cobbled together with older boards that were scrap. Some we sawed/ran on planer for exact thickness. Took me about 10 minutes of thinking to come up with this idea last winter while building other bee stuff in friends garage. Finally just got to posting pic of build. Just whipped out a set of frames last night so I got new pics on iPhone to post.

Here are a few more pics of jig. Probably what I should have mentioned is that the square jig/not really square but exact dimensions to 1/2 deep frame. Is supported by another board underneath. Hopefully pics will somewhat explain.

Pic 1 is of square jig slid back like 4" which the square frame jig I have a tounge sticking out to support that end up at correct height as well as block at far end of "bottom plank" that supports square jig in air.

Pic 2 shows square jig turned 90* on bottom support board. You can see 3 screw holes in square cribbing on bottom support board.

Pic 3 shows what the bottom board is like and how I made it up to get the length and correct height for the end bars so that top bar and bottom bar can be nailed together and kept square.
 

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Thank you for those additional pictures. The "square" jig is held up off the bottom support board by the small rack at the end with the screws and by a little slat at the other end at the height that will permit you to have the top or bottom bars under the "square" jig for when you've flipped it 180* and are gluing and nailing the bottom or top bars.
How is the side rail attached at the far end of the jig? Just want to make sure the frames will come off once they're glued & nailed.
 

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Front side of square jig where the 3 screws are on tounge of jig is where the end bar rails are double screwed/permenant held in place and far end of rail is just a single screw. When you first put in the end bars do the far end one first and screw in rail just so it is snug and not fall out/now all that are in line are snug.

Then rails are about 2/3 to 3/4 up the height of the end bars on each side. This holds things snug so after you are done with the top bars and flip 180* on its back the 1/2 assembled frames stay in place.

Little tack hammer seats top bars into end bars to make them flush with jig. Pic 3 in first set shows about 5 that need to be seated into end bars.
 

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Thank you for those additional pictures. The "square" jig is held up off the bottom support board by the small rack at the end with the screws and by a little slat at the other end at the height that will permit you to have the top or bottom bars under the "square" jig for when you've flipped it 180* and are gluing and nailing the bottom or top bars.
How is the side rail attached at the far end of the jig? Just want to make sure the frames will come off once they're glued & nailed.
Pic #7 shows the single screw that is turned out to allow frames to slide out of jig when all assembled. Pull them off and then insert plastic foundation.
 
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