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I would like to try starting late nucs to overwinter for the spring but instead of using deep 5 frame nuc boxes I would like to use 10 frame medium boxes. I know volume wise these are very similar but I would like to know others experiences and thoughts on this. Will this work or what issues/problems do you foresee?
 

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I winter 8 frame medium singles every year without problems. As a matter of fact they can be excellent producers the following spring. I do mt camp feeding on them BTW.
 

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My mentor here in IL winters 8 frame meds every winter and he even got some through this past winter where we hit -17 for several days
 

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Can't forget that the cold isn't what hurts the bees.. They can handle -20 F weather.. It's the wet and cold they can't deal with.. As for stores, if you keep a close eye on the boxes when the first warm weather starts, you'd be surprised at what the colonies can actually winter on.. It's spring brood up that takes the largest part of the honey in the hives. During that time the bees are out trying to find forage at times which uses up stores too.. I know people in GA that winters 5 frame NUC's as singles.. They just make sure if and when needed they can feed..
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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I have overwintered them in ten frame mediums, eight frame mediums, five frame mediums, double five frame mediums, double eight frame mediums etc. It's more a matter of matching the space and the food to the amount of bees and finding some way to keep the warm such as grouping them together, and some way of keeping them dry like a top vent that isn't too big...
 

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Can't forget that the cold isn't what hurts the bees.. They can handle -20 F weather.. It's the wet and cold they can't deal with.. As for stores, if you keep a close eye on the boxes when the first warm weather starts, you'd be surprised at what the colonies can actually winter on.. It's spring brood up that takes the largest part of the honey in the hives. During that time the bees are out trying to find forage at times which uses up stores too.. I know people in GA that winters 5 frame NUC's as singles.. They just make sure if and when needed they can feed..
The cold will kill them if the cluster isn't big enough for the conditions. So the harsher the conditions the larger the minimum size would be I imagine.
 

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It looks like if I get the nucs I want made will have to winter them in 5 frame deeps. Divided 10 frame deeps and mediums. The things I am considering are how they will be spaced. As in very little space, exposure to sun. wind cold spots just like you would consider when planning a garden. For example I notice that anything up against a south facing wall of any structure tends to be growing or blooming sooner than other things. It is warmer in those locations. So stacking nucs up against a south facing wall makes since to me. Shelter it from wind but leave it exposed to full sun. Keep them clustered and dry. Feed them and hope for the best.

Before then I have to get them made though. That is not going all that well so far. I can't seem to get queens mated here.
 
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