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Discussion Starter #1
This spring I will be driving down south to pick up about 30 nuc's. I am building nuc boxes for traveling and will install in full size hives when I get back.
Question is for a 26+ hour dive, with 30+ nuc's in the back of a pickup truck, what should I do for ventalation? I have the boxes built but haven't made the tops or bottoms yet. I have never traveled more than about 30min carrying bee's, so any extra info appreaciated.
 

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Use screened bottom boards and allow some space, an inch or so, between nucs. You shouldn't have any problems if there's good air flow over the stack. Also, screen the entrances with #8 mesh.
 

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The last nucs I travelled for were only 5 hours away. When I picked them up, the breeder warned me that the weather had been bad, and they were weak on stores, so he recommended feeding them as soon as I got them home. Which of course I did. Hived them that night.

My point is, you never know what you'll end up with. Not your fault, not the breeder's fault necessarily. The weather has a lot to do with it. So you might want to take some syrup and a sprayer, just in case. I don't know if there's any chance of losing bees to starvation in a 26 hour road trip... You might think also about screening the tops of the nucs, so you can spray syrup down into the nucs if needed. Take a plastic tarp for sun and/or rain? But don't completely cover and suffocate. I do tend to worry about the "unforseens".
good luck to you!
Steven
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Jeff,
Well, a few reasons, I placed my order/deposit before finding this site. I got a great price on MH nuc's which is what I was looking for. However even with all that if I could find about 20 more nuc's more local and at a good price, I probally would. I have a local fellow who is a 50+ year beek, who is gonna mentor me.

So I was considering SBB's for my NUC boxes, but my follow up question is do I have to have the top vented somehow for that to be useful?
Thanks
Brac
 

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I made screened inner covers for my Nucs when traveling or if using one to capture a swarm on a warm or hot day. If the weather is cool or rainy, I can place the regular covers over the screens. The screened covers are held in place by screws so they won't come dislodged accidentally. I have at times transported Nucs inside my Blazer and the screened covers help keep them cool. I don't keep the screens in place any longer than necessary.

In the back of a pickup, screened tops will let in too much wind. I believe screened bottoms and as mentioned, a little spacing between Nuc boxes should help keep them from over heating. Be sure to secure your load - don't let them shift or blow out if a semi passes and sucks one out. I've seen what I thought was a pretty heavy item get sucked out of the back of a vehicle when a truck passed by on a windy day.
 

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I would drill a 1" hole near the top of the back panel of the nuc, with 1/8 mesh or tighter screen over the hole, for allowing better air flow through the nuc. The bees will cluster if it gets too chilly, but too warm they do have problems with, and you will be travelling for an extended period of time.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I put a simple vented bottom board together, left a small porch to keep them spaced.
Any thoughts would be appreaciated, before I go into production.


 

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26 hours is a pretty long haul. We usually run about 16 hours but have had to make a couple of 5 am starts and ended up in weather in the 60's and 70's before we got home. Always scared me but suprisingly no losses.

We take wintered stock South and start our nucs in SC and load them on an open trailer with a bee net over them 300 at a time stacked in rows on top of each other. The only ones I've ever lost were in Styrafoam nucs due to overheating. We always try to travel at night for both the advantage of spring cooler weather but also because I don't like leaving field bees behind so load late in the afternoon.

We've used styrafoam, home made wooden nucs, cardboard MDA boxes and divided hive bodies. We tend to put an entrance hole near the bottom which can be closed with either a wheel or a piece of tile with a corner screw that can slip open and closed. We then drill several one inch holes in the back near the top (4 inches down) which is screened. They have worked well for us in temps up 75 degrees. My only issue with the hole in the top would be rain, which we haul through regularaly, soaking the cluster and ending up with a 35-40 degree night trip home. The size venting you have will be plenty large enough to allow heat escape even in warmer temps. If it gets above 75 or 80 you can always hose them down and they'll do the rest. You may want to make your entrance a round whole and 5 inches or so up from the bottom to allow use of one of the plastic nuc wheels. They have several sizes in the wheel for different purposes including a queen excluder, open and closed with ventilation. Sounds like you plan on growing so make them easier now. A quick close is a big help later on when you are moving higher numbers.

I would suggest keeping in mind that as the evening gets cooler load and drive as much of the evening/ night as possible, if you have a relief driver, and consider as you get farther north the temperatures will decrease. Take a look at your major rush hour cities you have to go through and weigh your trip timing and route with them. We avoid D/C and Baltimore at all cost because it's one big parking lot, sometimes for 60 miles. 95 is almost always overcroweded during spring break and Easter. Timing your trip a day or two one way to avoid peak travel days and avoiding cities at rush hour will be a big stress reducer.

At any rate have a safe trip and have fun. It's not just about a road trip, it's not just about bees, it's a road trip with bees!
 
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