Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am beginning to plan for winter, I have read a lot about overwintering nucs. I searched on this forum "overwintering nucs Palmer". A couple of things that I could not find that I would appreciate help with. I plan to use 10 frame 9 5/8" boxes with a division board feeder. I live in northern Minnesota by Lake Superior. Does a division board feeder make sense when temps get well below zero for a few weeks a winter and 0-20 degrees often. If it does make sense, how do I make them. I have seen pictures of the outside, but what does the inside look like, what kind of wood and how do you waterproof (wax?). Also, I plan to put dry sugar on top of the nucs. Mountain Man method?

Also, with temps this low, will it work, is it worth trying? I see that Ontario BeeKeepers overwinter on nucs, but I also read that Michael Bush had loss of nucs at 10 below. I will have regular 2 brood box hives to place the nucs over. I have 8 hives and plan to overwinter 8 nucs over 4 hives.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
In central Ohio I overwintered a nuc in the garage and this year I plan to overwinter about 3 nucs this year. I love nucs for the winter; however, I caution you to feed them with hard homemade candy. If you need a recipe let me know. I will try to convince my lovely wife to allow me to increase from one to three nucs in the garage this winter.

I am going to split again soon once nectar flow is complete. Pife
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
792 Posts
You should be making up your nucs now.
they need a good amount of time to get the "team" together.

I don't winter with a division feeder, I winter in two separate 5 frame nuc boxes with a special bottom board.
If you've got the wood shop to make the feeder, then you've got it to make the bottom board (and you don't have to worry about leaky feeder or queens in the feeder).

Get your nucs set now, good healthy brood and new queens. You've got a couple of months before you need to worry about packing them.

8 nucs on 4 hives sounds perfect as long as you aren't stressing out your apiary to pull that much brood.
here's links to a couple of photos of my overwintered nucs:

http://overlandhoney.com/queens-and-nucs/

here they are in standard equipment divided by only masonite - no feeder:
http://s76.photobucket.com/albums/j37/Maine_Beekeeper/overwinter nucs/

This is the way I like to do it - with two nuc boxes and the divided screen board. the photos should be pretty clear
http://s76.photobucket.com/albums/j37/Maine_Beekeeper/nuc overwinter setup/

Best to you and your bees,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Hello Erin,

Thank you for the pictures of your overwintering nuc setup - it is very clear what you are doing.

I have a question about your setup with the nucs on top of SBB's on full hives. Do you ever have to worry about feeding the underneath hives? How would you do that given there are nucs on top?

Thanks - Steven
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies. Pife, I have a candy board recipe, thanks. I am curious how you overwinter in your garage, please give me a few more details, heated garage, nuc enclosed?
Maine Beekeeper, nice photos, thanks. The bottom boards are very nice. Do you winter over a production hive, or are you stacking nucs? Also, I have read that moisture from the lower hive can cause problems for the nucs. I am curious of your thoughts and experience. Also, how cold does it get in your area?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
792 Posts
I winter the nucs on production hives.
I used to worry about the hives below having enough food so I moved to wintering hives that would have nucs above in 2 deeps PLUS one medium. Fantastic. Nobody starves below and I don't have to worry.

Now I winter all of my colonies in two deeps plus a medium. (or one deep plus 3 mediums or 4 mediums.) That way I don't have to worry about feed on the colonies below or even if they don't have nucs stacked. You are right, I inspect when I stack the nucs in late fall (Thanksgiving weekend) and I wont see them again except from the outside until I unstack the nucs in April so it is important to make sure they have enough feed for any kind of winter they might encounter.

Best,
-E.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
Hey Erin, thanks for the pictures and the explanations. I noticed in some pictures you stack a deep (probably divided) nuc on the hive with just an inner cover between, and in others you have an inner cover on the hive and a bottom board below the nucs. Do you see any difference between the two wintering configurations? Especially with a more substantial bottom board do you think enough heat from the hive below rises through that to reach the nuc above? I am debating whether to sit my split deep nuc box with their bottom board on top of the inner cover of a production hive, or if I should replace the bottom board with an inner cover, so that the hive below has its own inner cover and the nuc above has an inner cover as a floor sot o speak. Which configuration do you think would provide the most benefit?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
I wait until it gets cold about early December. I like it below 40F so that bees don't come out in the garage. I simply put the nuc in the unheated garage near the garage door and hope it stays cold enough so that when my wife goes to the car there are not bees in the garage. It worked last winter for us. If it is going to warm up during the day I take the nuc outside. This only happens a handful of times.

I just made a split yesterday and probably will do another this weekend. I gave a nuc to my son in law and it has been the most successful queen ever for him. He split about 10 days ago and if he has queen cells we are going to make a trip to his house and pick up a couple cells. I want those wonderful genetics.

My plan is to stack about 3 nucs in the garage this winter. In my mind, it's not any more work or issues to have 3 than it is to have one.

I think the nuc in the garage works because it keeps the darn frigid wind off the nuc and it stays a reasonable temp for the cluster to keep warm.

I had five hives going into last winter including the nuc and two died. My goal is to have 10 this winter. I believe in feeding, feeding and more feeding of candy in the winter, especially when those little rascals move up a hive body and won't go back down.

Best of luck, Pife
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
I overwinter five frame nucs in a weatherproof insulated box. Inside the box is a thermostat that turns on a 100 watt light bulb at 35 degrees and shuts off at 45 degrees. Moisture or high humidity kills bees in the winter so I don’t feed syrup but feed just plain granulated sugar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,514 Posts
I overwintered 6 5-frame nucs last year outside and lost one. The one that died appeared to have nosema. I'll be trying to do the same with about 10 this year. I use plywood or chipboard to make my nucs with absolutely no insulation value. I do have screened bottoms on those nucs as well to allow any moisture to get out ASAP. All I did was to feed was create a 2 inch shim that fits between the nuc body and lid. I then put a piece of newspaper in there and poured granular sugar on top.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,514 Posts
D. Coates,
The Mountain Camp methods works!
How many pounds of dry granulated sugar did you feed the nucs and what kind of sugar/
Ernie
Honestly I don't know. I put a sheet of newpaper in the shim and it made a cup of sorts. I filled it as full as I could and walked away. I estimate it was around 4 pounds of standard granular sugar I got from Costco. The double deeps had between 6 and 8 pounds. I'll do a little more topping off of the hives with syrup this year before winter sets in. The Mountain Camp method is supposed to be for emergency feeding but I found I was having to "refill" them as they started getting into it pretty early in the winter. It turned out okay but I spent more time checking the sugar levels on the hives than I should considering it's winter.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top