Astro, thanks and I did watch that video. Very informative!I like them! Mostly because they take very little resources to get started and are easy to locate the queen. University of Guelph has a pretty good video on mini nucs. They are using the single mini boxes, but pretty much everything applies to the double mini boxes.
Pay particular attention to the setup part of the video. Also how they secure them.
Ruthie, I will watch the video later today!New River Honey Bees has started a youtube channel to show people how he uses them and makes his queens in WV. He recommends painting them 2 different colors, but then he is stacking them on a pallet, 5 units, so 10 sections. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0TnXH8zAn2FW9euLqXnMgg
I only have one of their boxes and much prefer it to the single mini mating nucs. I do plan to use the reflectex trick to make an "inner cover" for each section. I tried a piece of burlap last year that just didn't work quite right.
I lost most bees last year to drowning. This year I am using sugar bricks/pollen sub and they are doing well.Pointer #3
Use a piece of hardware cloth in the feeder to provide the bees a ladder.
I completely forgot about the piece of plastic for an inner cover. Thanks Ruth.
Thanks Pope. We too use the 5 frame nucs and often with 100% success rates. I thought I would try the mini's for less resources, less weight, and for the excitement of a new adventure!I am liking mine but found that the first round of bees without drawn comb are a bit difficult to start. Temp queen cut in half helped to hold the bees until a laying queen is present. I like to feed fondant instead of syrup. I use a layer of plastic under the lids to help keep the bees in their side and not glue the top down. I divided a standard box to hold the mini frames and allow me to keep resources available for early use. Keep a sharp eye on them. The bees will fill and leave if allowed to become too strong. I am moving all of mine back home from the outyards to easily manage.
That said, I am liking the 5 frame half width deeps that I built better. I used ideas from http://www.michiganbees.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Mini-Nucs_20150130.pdf
Thanks for the heads up on the wax moth!Don't let any wax moths get into one during the off season. Swiss cheesed feeders are hard to fix!
I used mine to hold a couple of spare queens last year. They will get strong quickly so you can't keep a queen in it long term. It would be nice to have an inner cover, especially over the feeders. I think I'll make one from feed sack material this year. The frame size is nice. They're the same depth as a medium so you can convert a medium box to hold them to "pre-grow" the frames. Of course by the time you spend an hour or two converting the super it would probably be money ahead to just by the growing box from Mann Lake. My first round of queens in it didn't go well. One cell didn't emerge and the bees tore down the other cell. Not the fault of the box, I'm just learning the queen rearing thing. I did buy five more while they were on sale a few weeks back and plan to put them into service on my next round of grafts
yup same thing happened to me...lid blew off during rain storm all dead.Pointer #1
Put a brick on top!
My first attempt was a failure when the lid blew off and the qc's and bees all died from the cold . Been waiting for better weather. Might be able to pull some more cells from the hive that swarmed today. Had lots of still uncapped qc's Thursday, so will give it another go.
You can let her lay up as much space as she has. You can't let that brood hatch without moving some out.
Thank you gentlemen! I will move the queens tomorrow and also place a brick on top of each mini nuc!yup same thing happened to me...lid blew off during rain storm all dead.
Thanks for answering!Are you requeening existing large hives with queens, queenless hives or nucs.
Was more asking than elaborating.
Thanks Salty Bee!Well you have the knowledge. Push in cage for mated queens in queenless colonies and cells in queenless nucs. If you do not mind the lost brood time, cell in the full hive is the least work.
If you have extra queens in your minis, gambling a little and just letting her run in makes sense..