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has anybody tried using a three frame nuc. my theory is that you could make a bunch of little hives and let them grow. just take one frame of brood and some bees, put a queen and let them do the rest. am i right or is there another way to use them or should i not even worry about it?
 

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Ive only been keeping bees for four years but have tired what you propose or a variant of it. When I find a hive with swarm cells I remove the frames with swarm cells on them and put it into a nuc box with a frame of honey and if I have it to spare some capped brood. This ends up being two or three frames total in the nuc. There are usually a frame of nurse bees going in on the queen cell frame. As it turns out the queen or queens will hatch and hopefully mate. It's sorta of like a mating nuc idea. I have to feed all summer/fall and still they don't usually buildup because they just don't have the labor force to forage and run the hive.

It does provide an emergency queen for requeening or if you will add a frame of capped brood periodically and you have a good autumn flow then they can take off and build up. Mine did not survive the winter because of low population. I'm going to try combining this fall or just requeening using a newspaper combine and see how that goes.

You have to watch small hive beetles, wax moths and robbing...

Florida would offer a longer season to build and a warmer climate so you might have something going there.
 

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I tried this last week. I found it is a hard time of year to make splits close to your main yard. Both of the little splits I made were robbed out pretty quick. The other two regular Nucs I made are able to fight off the robbers. So think about moving your little Nucs when you make the split. JMHO
 

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Make the nuc entrances really small to help prevent robbing - 3/4" round hole or a slot 5/16 x 1" and be careful when feeding or opening hives not to set off robbing. Make other arrangements for ventilation.

It will also help if you confine the bees in the nucs for at least 24 hours (longer is better) so that it will retain more foragers.

I started some 3 frame med mating nucs about 10 days ago and you can see the guard bees running off robbers that get too close but so far no problems.
 
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