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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In a video I saw you and your crew tearing down mating nucs and combining them for overwintering.

1. do you still overwinter them this way?

2. What is your success rate at overwintering these combines?

Thanks Michael for your willingness to share your experience and methods!
 

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Not sure what you saw...

I've wintered the 4-way mating nucs in a number of configurations. As 4-ways, one story, with four combs each. Or by moving the feeders to the sidewall...As two ways, one story, with eight combs each. As two ways with 16, two story, or 24, three story, combs each.

This year they're all two way, two story. We do the combining on the last catch. One 4-way is made a 2-way and called top. Another is made a 2-way but all queens are caught and it's a bottom. So each circle of eight 4-ways winds up as four doubles. Once all 16 circles are finished for the season, they're moved to the wintering yards....when we can get to it.

Wintering...You can winter the 4-ways. Might get 50% loss or a good deal more. 2-way doubles seems about right. Maybe a 20% loss. some years almost none. 2-way triples limits the number of queens I'm wintering. Loss varies of course. I've had near 100% winter. I've had near 100% not. As long as I have greater than 50%, I can build them up in the spring and have enough brood to re-stock all the 4-ways by the time the first cells are ready.
 

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Not sure what you saw...

I've wintered the 4-way mating nucs in a number of configurations. As 4-ways, one story, with four combs each. Or by moving the feeders to the sidewall...As two ways, one story, with eight combs each. As two ways with 16, two story, or 24, three story, combs each.

This year they're all two way, two story. We do the combining on the last catch. One 4-way is made a 2-way and called top. Another is made a 2-way but all queens are caught and it's a bottom. So each circle of eight 4-ways winds up as four doubles. Once all 16 circles are finished for the season, they're moved to the wintering yards....when we can get to it.

Wintering...You can winter the 4-ways. Might get 50% loss or a good deal more. 2-way doubles seems about right. Maybe a 20% loss. some years almost none. 2-way triples limits the number of queens I'm wintering. Loss varies of course. I've had near 100% winter. I've had near 100% not. As long as I have greater than 50%, I can build them up in the spring and have enough brood to re-stock all the 4-ways by the time the first cells are ready.
The "each" above is each queen?
 

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# of combs in “each” nuc
Hit me with a brick until I get it please.

Double single stack, one queen each side, double two stack one queen each side, double 3 stack one queen each side?

Quads; single stack four queens, double stack four queens, 3 stack four queens?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you Michael, kinda what I expected. A good use for the bees and extra queens and it leaves some queens available for spring nucs and requeenings. Seems better than leaving them empty all fall/winter and subject to moth damage as well. Gives me another reason to use 4 way mating nucs which kinda make sense to me anyway. Univ. of Guelph seems to prefer them to standalone singles.

This is video I'm refering to
 
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