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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!

I recently purchased a bunch of the Mann Lake's Double Mini Nucs.

Wondering, how's your success with Mann Lake's Double Mini Nucs?

Last, have you any pointers?

Thanks!

Mann Lake Double Mini Nucs 1.jpg Mann Lake Double Mini Nucs 2.jpg
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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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.
 

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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.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=240&v=rL3HRd1n53g

Pay particular attention to the setup part of the video. Also how they secure them.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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
 

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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
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you everyone for your replies!

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.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=240&v=rL3HRd1n53g

Pay particular attention to the setup part of the video. Also how they secure them.
Astro, thanks and I did watch that video. Very informative!

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.
Ruthie, I will watch the video later today!

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.
I lost most bees last year to drowning. This year I am using sugar bricks/pollen sub and they are doing well.

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 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!

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
Thanks for the heads up on the wax moth!

Special note:

Most of our queen emerged and mated. If I am hearing you clearly we do not have long to move them?
 

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You can let her lay up as much space as she has. You can't let that brood hatch without moving some out.
 

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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.
yup same thing happened to me...lid blew off during rain storm all dead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You can let her lay up as much space as she has. You can't let that brood hatch without moving some out.
yup same thing happened to me...lid blew off during rain storm all dead.
Thank you gentlemen! I will move the queens tomorrow and also place a brick on top of each mini nuc!

PS What is the best way to introduce a newly mated queen to a colony?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Kind of depends upon the situation and how much the queen and your time is worth to you
Saltybee,

Can you please elaborate?

I have read many articles on releasing mated queens. Some are very positive, others are not so positive! And the methods vary of course!
 

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Are you requeening existing large hives with queens, queenless hives or nucs.

Was more asking than elaborating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Are you requeening existing large hives with queens, queenless hives or nucs.

Was more asking than elaborating.
Thanks for answering!

Well, I found 3 colonies with no queens yesterday, so I would like to requeen them. Next, I would like to install mated queens in queenless nucs. Finally, I just finished completing a massive queen cell building colony [the largest I have ever made]. I plan on grafting from my two best queens in about 10 days. 30 days later, I would like to begin the process of requeening every colony we have. I hope to harvest 100 queens every 5 days for about a 4-6 week period. Some of the queens will be sold, some of the queen cells will be given away as gifts, some of the queen cells will be sold, etc.
 

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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..
Congratulations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
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..
Congratulations.
Thanks Salty Bee!

We tried that method where you place a newly mated queen bee in a cage, then install in a queenless colony. Then, we smeared the cage with honey [hope it helped the queen have some food to eat]. Next, we waited 48 hours, then released the queen from the cage. The honeybees appeared super happy and kept kissing/feeding her. So I think it worked! Will check these colonies in 2 weeks to see if it worked or not...
 
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