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Well my wife talked me into moving a five frame nuc to her bountiful flower garden. My wife has worked hard at researching, preparing and planting bee friendly plants. It seems that the flight path the bees take when leaving the apiary, don't take them near the flower garden.

So I figured lets give it a try and moved them in the dark of night. last night. Well as my Wife described to me in her phone description, the bees emerged from their hive and realized they were now in Utopia. All the flowers are covered with bees.

It was a win, win for everybody. The bees have an extremely short flight distance from filet mignon and my wife is overjoyed that her efforts are paying off.

My challenge now is to find a more attractive five frame hive that uses deep frames. I have a Brushy Mtn Bee five frame box, that is basically a langstroth hive, but instead of 10 frames, it has five. I would love to find a great looking, copper top, five frame.

Does anybody know of a source. I did see the 8 frame medium hive that is offered by Brushy Mtn, but that is a little larger then the space we have.
 

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if you dont have room for 5 more frames, you dont have room for bees.
 

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What do you plan on doing when the bees outgrow that 5 framer? Look for garden hives from Dadant, Brushy mountain, Mann Lake.
 

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Some peope call what you are looking for a Garden Hive. They are 5 framers, albeit i see no point. More maintenance IMHO because you have yo add more boxes on the top. My dad is Part of the Appalachain Quilt trail so what I did for him was to create a 3 frame medium box, then take a piece of plywood and cut it to fit inside the hive so that if he is not 3 deep, he can add this board and make it 1 or two or whatever just by pulling the frames. Anyway, here is what i made him. This joker is 8x8 ft on his barn, so his hive will look good next to it!!
 

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Winters are cold in CT. You will do well to have a hive of at least 8 frames and at least 3 (better 4) medium supers deep to go into winter and expect them to survive on their food stores. If I were you I'd order the Brushy Mtn 8 frame hive and 4-5 medium supers with all the frames you'll need to fill them. It has a lovely copper roof, too. :)
 

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I have some deep, and some med 5 frame boxes that could be stacked on what you have, but a 5 frame gets tippy very quickly, like was said you really will only be able to keep the bees in a 5 frame nuc for a short time, they outgrow them very quickly.
 

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On beekeepingforums.com there is a Thread about painting vs staining beehives. One post has a photo of three hives on a guys front porch. They are stained. They are the most beautiful hives I have ever seen. Like fine furniture. And they are just new wooden hives. Oh, yeah, I better say what kind. Langstroth type equipment. Ah, the modern age.
 

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You can maintain your 5 frame hive as a nuc right up through the winter. THere is no hard and fast 8 frame rule. The only "rules" I know of is to provide enough bees to cluster and enough food to sustain them. If beekeepers here in Maine or Northern Vermont can overwinter 5 frame nucs, you can do it too in CT. Keep an eye on it and pull any frames of excess honey and brood over the summer so as to go into winter with a big cluster and 4 "honkin' walls of honey" as Maine Beekeeper says. (She taught an overwintering nuc workshop last week.) Keep it from swarming. Put any excess brood frames in any weak hive you might have or a strong one to help with the late flow, but make sure the nuc builds up to its maximum going into winter. Save frames of honey to give back to the nuc when needed in the fall. Winter the nuc on top of a strong hive to utilize some of the warmth.

Keeping a nuc or two going also gives you an immediate source for an extra queen should it be necessary. You should be able to find lots of info on overwintering nucs on this forum and elsewhere. (Michalel Palmer will be discussing this at the 2010 Northeast Treatment Free Beekeeping Conference in a month from now.

It is a bit of work but unless you're doing this as a business, so what? Enjoy it if you find working with bees enjoyable. Maintaining a nuc gives you a reason to keep messing with the bees on those days when you have a hankerin' to but no earthly reason to go bother a producing hive. I've got three nucs going right now and plan on splitting some hives in late July for more nucs. More nucs, more fun. (And more hives in the spring, I hope.)

Can't help you with a source for decorative top, just encouragement.

Wayne
 

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I've seen the boxes that come with the 8-frame Brushy Mt. Garden Hive and they aren't great IMO. I would buy select, finger-jointed boxes and a "Garden Hive" top separately.

I'm trying to keep a 5-frame hive "small" in my neighbors backyard... It was started on May 8th and I have removed 5 frames of brood so far. I have 3 mediums stacked up right now, and I would like it to pass the winter like that but I think it will be a challenge.

My neighbors wanted bees, but "just a small hive".

It may be possible to keep a hive small, but I don't think it will be attractive.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks to all who have offered support on this post.

My goal is to have bees in the Wife's garden. I am aware of the challenges of working a Nuc. I have six other hives in various levels of strength that I can use to support the garden Nuc. I do enjoy working the bees and being nosy as Wayne related, so having a Nuc that requires more work then a full hive is more of a joy then a job.
I had not planned on overwintering the Nuc, so that is not much of a concern. I will simply merge the Nuc back into one of the weaker colonies.

I will most likely fabricate my own Copper roof for the Nuc. I just wanted to add to the garden's appearance, and an element like a copper roof would look great. For that matter, I may select some attractive looking wood and stain it.

Can Cedar be used for hive bodies?
 

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yes it can. Go to lowes.com and type in copper flashing.....that is if you dont have a place you know of
 

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Bill,
I thought that nuc was going to be your only hive, since you said an 8 frame hive was too big for the space you have. It's a whole 'nother ball game if you already have six other hives and also don't plan on overwintering the nuc. Sounds like pure joy as a project! A decorative copper roof should be fun to build I'd think. I'd love to see a photo of the final nuc in the flower garden. :)
 

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If you have carpenter skils, you can have any size hive you want....Im almost absolutely certain that the fella who invented the 8 frame said something like, "this thing is to big and heavy, im building something smaller"!! So...if yoiu want a 6 frame hive, build it, as long as it fits the frames you want and you maintain the proper bee space!
 

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I just built a 19 frame deep long hive.

Why 19 frames, you ask? Ever heard the expression, measure twice, cut once? It's good advice.

Wayne
...weird, I own the exact same hive... as a result of my first attempt at a long hive.

Anyways, as a woman who's prone to do girly things on occasion for the sake of decorating a hive, there's a ton of options once you start out with just the plain wooden hive. Heck, you can paint or stain, or even use Outdoor Modge-Podge to decopage pictures or print outs of paintings on your hives. For a garden hive, it's a cute look... my 5 year old has a bee picture decopaged onto his hive that he picked out off the internet. Not very macho but heck, women often times like that kinda stuff. Then slap that copper roof on, and she'll have a attractive hive that's 100% one of a kind.
 
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