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I made several 5-frame deep nucs early spring here in mid-MD. Taken from overwintered colonies, they all made their own queens, are now in double 5-frame deep nucs and are very strong. I have used them as resource hives - taking a couple frames of brood from each these past couple months, but they continue to grow. My goal is to over winter them as double nucs. So, today I moved one of them into a 6x6 space in a double deep - adding a 6th frame of comb top and bottom to give them more room. I then flanked the 6 frames with double-deep height follower boards and double deep height 2" foam insulation. I am not sure if this was a good idea, as in order to separate the boxes, I need to withdraw the two extra tall follower boards as well as the two extra tall panels of insulation before I do. But if I had made separate follower boards and insulation panels (4 or each) for both top and bottom, would that not have defeated the purpose of the follower boards and insulation given the resultant gaps that there would be for both in between the two boxes? I am a little confused about that part. Can you give me some advice on using double deeps with follower boards and insulation board to house two-story nucs for the winter? Pics attached. Thanks!
 

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follower boards should only be the height of one box. If this was September then what you did is right.
As its July and a lot more time left get those followers out of there, add the rest of the frames, and get ready to put on a super. Kept in that configuration they will most likely swarm in a few weeks.
 

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follower boards should only be the height of one box. If this was September then what you did is right.
As its July and a lot more time left get those followers out of there, add the rest of the frames, and get ready to put on a super. Kept in that configuration they will most likely swarm in a few weeks.
While I agree - I would do the follower boards one box high only (for the beekeeper convenience) - otherwise I like this setup.
Nothing wrong with it and this is what I do and have been ranting about.

You simply remove the foam from one side OR both (not critical anyway - this is summer); shift the follower board(s); add 1-2 more frames.
Just empty air pockets work well - extra bees spill into them over night - helps with ventilation/cooling/prevents swarming pressure.
At the same time the nest itself is compressed and well maintained.
 

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I made several 5-frame deep nucs early spring here in mid-MD. ........ Can you give me some advice on using double deeps with follower boards and insulation board to house two-story nucs for the winter? Pics attached. Thanks!
I say this is near perfect to my taste.
This setup allows for very good nuc growth/wintering/easy incremental mods to it.
I see only benefits and no drawbacks.
Having separate follower boards/insulation blocks for EACH box will make YOUR life much simpler.
Consider that mod.

Otherwise - gimme that!
 

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While I agree - I would do the follower boards one box high only (for the beekeeper convenience) - otherwise I like this setup.
Nothing wrong with it and this is what I do and have been ranting about.

You simply remove the foam from one side OR both (not critical anyway - this is summer); shift the follower board(s); add 1-2 more frames.
Just empty air pockets work well - extra bees spill into them over night - helps with ventilation/cooling/prevents swarming pressure.
At the same time the nest itself is compressed and well maintained.
My only concern was that when I tried the follower board/foam board this first time, I found 6 of the 10 frames full of capped brood! Scared me. So many bees already there. And now with 6 frames capped both sides! So after reconsideration, I put this two-story nuc into a two-story deep. Filled the five empty slots with wax foundation for them to draw. Would have used drawn comb if I had it. Think they will draw that wax foundation? Still have nectar coming in here in mid-MD.
 

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Think they will draw that wax foundation? Still have nectar coming in here in mid-MD.
Why not?
Try it and you will see.
It is either now or never.
For sure, they are trying to grow - a good problem to have.

One good thing with the two-tier - you may observe that they will build the upper-tier better/quicker than the lower tier.
Well, you simply switch few frames then up/down in targeted fashion.
 

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Why not?
Try it and you will see.
It is either now or never.
For sure, they are trying to grow - a good problem to have.

One good thing with the two-tier - you may observe that they will build the upper-tier better/quicker than the lower tier.
Well, you simply switch few frames then up/down in targeted fashion.
OK. I understand. I have moved two 5x5 into two double deeps, keeping upper box frames from the 5x5 in the upper box of the double deep. And vice versa for the bottom frames. The third and last 5x5, though, is probably the strongest, and I want to try moving all 10 frames into a single deep, placing honey to the outside, then pollen, then brood in the center. Then I plan on putting a second deep with ten frames of foundation. I will move one frame of foundation to the bottom box, replacing a frame of brood which I will move up to the middle of the top box in order to spike it to encourage faster growth in the top box. Is there an advantage to doing it this way as opposed to moving five frames from the 5x5 nuc into the top box and five into the bottom box? Regardless, it looks like because of the strength of these three 5x5s that I am getting away from the idea of wintering over nucs. Looks like I will be wintering over 10x10s instead. Perhaps a better plan next year would be to start my nucs in June rather than the beginning of April. Then wintering over in a 5-over-5 in 10-frame deeps with follower boards and foam insulation boards would probably better a better plan. What do you think?
 

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......Perhaps a better plan next year would be to start my nucs in June rather than the beginning of April. Then wintering over in a 5-over-5 in 10-frame deeps with follower boards and foam insulation boards would probably better a better plan. What do you think?
Well - a new start created in April will go into winter as a full-blown hive (because it should if nothing wrong with it) - this is NOT a nuc anymore - so you winter a full-blown hive accordingly.

A start created in July - will indeed go into a winter as a nuc - then you set it up to winter as a nuc.

All it is.
 

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Well - a new start created in April will go into winter as a full-blown hive (because it should if nothing wrong with it) - this is NOT a nuc anymore - so you winter a full-blown hive accordingly.

A start created in July - will indeed go into a winter as a nuc - then you set it up to winter as a nuc.

All it is.
Yes, that is what I figured. Thanks for confirming the difference. All nucs are not the same!
 

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I am with Greg on this. An April nuc should be in double deep hive bodies by end of August if not sooner. I am just now starting the nucs I intend to overwinter.
 

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They may not draw out the frames. We are still in clover (thankfully!) but I just got out of my hives and new wax seems to almost have stopped. I'm not too far north of you. For me, usually by August they are done drawing frames and cannot be coaxed into it.

If you find they won't draw it out you could always go back to the 5x5 and have some frames left for spring splits. My hive have always wintered best on a 5x5 arrangement.
 

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Not familiar with the technique you're trying but go with an industry-standard full-sized hive if they're still growing and get rid of the insulation. You'll thank yourself later. If they're not growing I can't imagine a healthy, low mite count double nuc wouldn't make it through the winter fine in your location without the insulation.
 

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I ran into the problem the OP is describing - starting nucs too early, so you have to keep robbing them of brood! I am aiming for no more than 3-4 frames of brood (including eggs) in a 4 x 4, or 5-6 frames of brood in a 4x4x4. Gotta remember that 1 frame of brood becomes 2 frames of bees... a lot to juggle! I don't run deeps; too heavy. I have dadant deeps or the double nucs (a deep split with a permanent divider, into a 5 frame side and 4 frame side; 4 frame nuc boxes above each partition). I will rob brood from the double nucs to give to the dadant deeps. The brood will go into 4 frame nuc boxes above the honey supers (those are above a QE). Talk about a boost!!! Something to think about if you start nucs too early (oops) and need to rob brood to keep the amount of bees to something that will fit the hive - boost honey producing hives.
 
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