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JasonK

Over wintering nucs

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I’d like to hear people’s experience and suggestions for over-wintering nucs. I am finishing off queen rearing now before last honey harvest / varroa treatments, and I’d like to be ready to set them up nicely for over-wintering.

 

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13 minutes ago, JasonK said:

I’d like to hear people’s experience and suggestions for over-wintering nucs. I am finishing off queen rearing now before last honey harvest / varroa treatments, and I’d like to be ready to set them up nicely for over-wintering.

 

Young, healthy, well mated queens. No viruses, no varroa. Warm and dry. Lots of fat young bees. Lots of food. Be prepared to supplement feed stating end of July or early August and keep on feeding right up until the first flow. Deal to wasps. Make sure the colonies are secure against stock damage, out of the way of flood prone areas.

and a little bit of luck you have bees to make more honey next season. 

Edited by dansar
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2 minutes ago, dansar said:

and a little bit of luck you have bees to make more honey next season. 

 

In terms of the boxes.. I was thinking to use normal fd boxes with a division in the middle (2x4 frames) and place them above hive mat on top of my normal honey production colonies. 

 

My other idea is make up some nuc boxes from plywood, or just use a row of corflute boxes. 

 

Any suggestions, experience on this? 

 

Thanks 

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4 minutes ago, JasonK said:

 

In terms of the boxes.. I was thinking to use normal fd boxes with a division in the middle (2x4 frames) and place them above hive mat on top of my normal honey production colonies. 

 

My other idea is make up some nuc boxes from plywood, or just use a row of corflute boxes. 

 

Any suggestions, experience on this? 

 

Thanks 

All of those work. How will you feed the production hives if needed with the nucs on top? I have a good number of 10 frame boxes with a division for 2x5 frame nucs. Separate cover for each nuc and use jar feeders with a super sitting over them. It works well and reduces the amount of equipment needed to raise nucleus colonies. I also have 3x3 frame boxes, these require moving out to bigger boxes sooner but are also a very good way to rear queens and make more colonies.

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2 minutes ago, dansar said:

 also a very good way to rear queens and make more colonies.

 

Yeah I have a couple of 3x3 frame mating boxes which I’ll be using for the first this time this week when my cells are ready. 

 

Is your division made up from the hive mat hardwood material? > did you cut grooves into the box for the board to slide into, or is there an easier way to create the division?

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@dansar 

where are your two entrances for these 2x5 nucs? In a custom floor or?..

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1 hour ago, JasonK said:

 

Yeah I have a couple of 3x3 frame mating boxes which I’ll be using for the first this time this week when my cells are ready. 

 

Is your division made up from the hive mat hardwood material? > did you cut grooves into the box for the board to slide into, or is there an easier way to create the division?

 

I made one from some thin ply as I don’t want more gear and would rather use existing equipment. I cut a piece to fit exactly into the box where the frames sit. Then I cut in rebates to make it fit down inside the box. The hardest part is getting the height right as the rails in the floor aren’t all exact and the middle of hive mats tends to sag a little. It took a few shaves with the skill saw to get it right, but now I have a template. It’s way better than any nuc I’d have got. It’s snug but not tight.

I only want to use division boards for single nucs so I dont need to make mats, lids, feeders etc.

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7 hours ago, cBank said:

 

I only want to use division boards for single nucs so I dont need to make mats, lids, feeders etc.

 

Nice info. I couldn’t trouble you for a pic of the division? 

I don’t quite understand what you mean about division for single nucs, if it’s only one nuc then why divide the box?

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I’ll see if I can get it out (it’s not ideal for opening at the moment). The bees don’t cover a lot of frames and it’s a small nuc - I understand that you shouldn’t give them vastly more space than they need, though maybe that doesn’t matter at this time of year. It could easily be used to have 2 nucs in one box.

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12 hours ago, JasonK said:

 

Yeah I have a couple of 3x3 frame mating boxes which I’ll be using for the first this time this week when my cells are ready. 

 

Is your division made up from the hive mat hardwood material? > did you cut grooves into the box for the board to slide into, or is there an easier way to create the division?

 

12 hours ago, JasonK said:

@dansar 

where are your two entrances for these 2x5 nucs? In a custom floor or?..

 

Here you go.

 

A5F6ADCC-C4F2-4906-A280-A97A81F1F201.thumb.jpeg.ed38b6bae1d11b8ad6d91ab65aa44cf7.jpeg9BC85D24-A51E-41DD-A940-4DDAE0BE5640.thumb.jpeg.7cbb24e62db83a70d2f204bd6ed9a376.jpeg7ACFEBBC-C284-45CA-9C87-6EDDFC0214E7.thumb.jpeg.4c4eacec7647a3386087a128c1ae7263.jpeg74F99770-D6DA-474B-A34A-F3508912482F.thumb.jpeg.945d75a5c51bcee157589bc53ef7eb97.jpeg990C39B9-40C9-4358-B44B-3A65FD5FC436.thumb.jpeg.aed43fceeb8dd42854cf8acf597fd80e.jpegEBAA6A1B-3D7A-4F29-A5AA-AFAD4B4FF744.thumb.jpeg.c446150efaa6899a704c7292055cf709.jpeg8F0AE71B-A2A3-402D-8F7B-4CC024FBB322.thumb.jpeg.c5aee82eb355563f77336abd039dd9fb.jpeg6291A66C-E89B-4DF8-9D84-5993A9A0794E.thumb.jpeg.eadf60ba1b613e4da3f29be7c58a3466.jpegAEA71CA1-8112-4441-90E2-91C2C976D661.thumb.jpeg.5b4668555996f7dff5161e6d8ca7d708.jpeg1B6DE962-9458-46D4-88B4-7BC4726486C7.thumb.jpeg.a3c4392175fbd6739a050370a8773f4b.jpeg

 

DC08A326-BCC7-4EBC-B4B2-43EE81E0ABE6.jpeg

2A042860-9ADD-4D31-82FA-FA4DAE5A34EF.jpeg

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Boy, it certainly looks like you know how to make your life complicated  :ph34r:

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@dansar

 

some fine work gone into those boxes! 

I don’t have all the machines etc though. I wonder can I use a simpler division board which doesn’t require cutting a channel in the box.. maybe some of that hardboard fixed to a top bar of a frame, cut pretty snug to fit a box? 

 

 

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1 hour ago, JasonK said:

@dansar

 

some fine work gone into those boxes! 

I don’t have all the machines etc though. I wonder can I use a simpler division board which doesn’t require cutting a channel in the box.. maybe some of that hardboard fixed to a top bar of a frame, cut pretty snug to fit a box? 

 

 

yep, knock yourself out. A better board to use is the aluminium composite sign board

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1 minute ago, dansar said:

yep, knock yourself out. A better board to use is the aluminium composite sign board

 

What might you suggest for placing over the top of the frames to avoid Bees going over the top? > if I’m to use the idea of fixing a division board to a top bar frame > then I should eliminate any space above the top of the frames? 

 

Thanks for the input :) 

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canvas cloth

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2 hours ago, JasonK said:

@dansar

 

some fine work gone into those boxes! 

I don’t have all the machines etc though. I wonder can I use a simpler division board which doesn’t require cutting a channel in the box.. maybe some of that hardboard fixed to a top bar of a frame, cut pretty snug to fit a box? 

 

 

 

A little embarrassing showing this hack after dansar’s masterpiece.

72172B5B-21C3-4EA3-98F8-25F73DC127BE.jpeg

72251F7D-0615-445E-8CCD-C4FA023C98BD.jpeg

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1 minute ago, cBank said:

 

A little embarrassing showing this hack after dansar’s masterpiece.

72172B5B-21C3-4EA3-98F8-25F73DC127BE.jpeg

72251F7D-0615-445E-8CCD-C4FA023C98BD.jpeg

Nah that’s exactly what I’m looking for! Thanks. I’m going to try this. Can you give some tips to help achieve best results from your experience 

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I made it too wide and too tall then cut it down to avoid leaving gaps for bees to get through. The one you see is a template I made of a fractionally better one. It’s a tight fit but that’s what I wanted.

it meant gut be easier to cut a frame in 2 long ways the put a rectangular board between each half? However that would mean you lost space for a frame - I can still fit 10 in the box with the divider in place.

 

Im going to try making something a bit more dansar like over winter, as that thing is beautiful.

 

edit: don’t forget to allow extra space top and bottom - you’re allowing for the floor riser and the hive mat.

Edited by cBank
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@cBank did you cut using a jigsaw? Have you over wintered using these yet? A friend of mine says he would be concerned about transferral of pheromones using this method but I don’t know if that’s of any real concern? 

Thanks for sharing 

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No, I haven’t overwintered with this. I would think this more likely to transmit pheromones than the excellent ones from @dansar but not leaps and bounds different. Someone more experienced might have an idea?

 

I cut most with a skill saw but did do the fiddly last bit with a jigsaw. It would have been ok with a skill saw only if I’d stopped short and finished with a hand saw.

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On 1/28/2018 at 11:04 PM, cBank said:

 

I made one from some thin ply as I don’t want more gear and would rather use existing equipment. I cut a piece to fit exactly into the box where the frames sit. Then I cut in rebates to make it fit down inside the box. The hardest part is getting the height right as the rails in the floor aren’t all exact and the middle of hive mats tends to sag a little. It took a few shaves with the skill saw to get it right, but now I have a template. It’s way better than any nuc I’d have got. It’s snug but not tight.

I only want to use division boards for single nucs so I dont need to make mats, lids, feeders etc.

This is a great way to winter small Nucs but can be a real headache in the spring when it is time to separate them.

The best system is a small 12v vacuum cleaner running off your car battery.

These work well but the vacuum must be left running while the bees are in it

You should also have 3 hive mats and the partitions should protrude above the top of the box and between the mats

Take this info from someone who has been through all this before

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1 hour ago, Philbee said:

This is a great way to winter small Nucs but can be a real headache in the spring when it is time to separate them.

The best system is a small 12v vacuum cleaner running off your car battery.

These work well but the vacuum must be left running while the bees are in it

You should also have 3 hive mats and the partitions should protrude above the top of the box and between the mats

Take this info from someone who has been through all this before

Absolutely do what @Philbee has advised. The division board should be up higher and the hive mat side rest against the divider. This makes managing “spill over” so much easier than you see in my hive boxes. Doubles or even triples can be problematic when the queen decided to stay in the box rather than the frames?

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So I ended up losing 5 of the six, 3-frame mating nucs that I placed my queen cells into. Lots of dead bees and not a drop of honey left. Won’t be using those this time of year again, maybe spring time is ok for mini mating nucs, or maybe I did it wrong. The other 5 nucs I made up were normal strong nucs and they seem to have survived ok and still have stores. 

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8 hours ago, JasonK said:

So I ended up losing 5 of the six, 3-frame mating nucs that I placed my queen cells into. Lots of dead bees and not a drop of honey left. Won’t be using those this time of year again, maybe spring time is ok for mini mating nucs, or maybe I did it wrong. The other 5 nucs I made up were normal strong nucs and they seem to have survived ok and still have stores. 

Yes.  The danger of robbing with small NUC's is very high at this time of the year.  Maybe your cells did not work.

 

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Just now, Trevor Gillbanks said:

Yes.  The danger of robbing with small NUC's is very high at this time of the year.  Maybe your cells did not work.

 

Cells hatched in all but the small nucs. No bees or honey left in smaller nucs. I think it was a bad case of robbing 

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