Hi all. Has anyone tried using a standard 8 frame langstroth brood box as a nuc? I was thinking of just building two ( solid ) blanking frames to reduce its size.
I’m in S.E. Qld. I use 8 or 10 frame supers as nuc boxes. I still use a hive mat over the reduced number of frames. I’ll add an empty frame in the gap to support the mat. I’ll also reduce the entrance to maybe a couple of inches.
I wouldn’t use a solid blanking frame because sometimes the bees build out faster than we anticipate. Worse case scenario is the bees build a slab of comb from under the mat next the outside frame we left. With a blanking frame, the bees can’t do that.
Hi Jeff. I’m in south west Australia so a lot cooler than you. I think I need to make blanking frames to reduce the area the bees need to heat.
Hi James, fair enough. Climate plays a big part in most of our strategies.
The idea of the blanking frame is to reduce the brood box to the size of a nuc. But it’s easy to expand as the bees require more space
I agree James, that’s a good idea. I have a few nuc boxes, but only because they were given to me. I like your idea because you can use the super for other things besides a nuc box.
Haha and also because I’m cheap. And have a spare brood box already
It is no different to a follower board in a top bar. I’ve made one up for an 8 frame box I use to cart my beekeeping tools around in, including 4 frames. I’ve put a nuc disc on an entrance on one side so that I can occasionally do splits, catch swarms, etc. if I’m not fully prepared. Just remember to take it up into the roof cavity if using a migratory lid.
Yeah great idea Adam. I will remember to take it all the way to the roof o
Hi again James, you wouldn’t believe it. I had to go outside to check on a few colonies making new queens. The first one I checked & the only one had this, what I was talking about.
You can also see the odd beetle crawling around.
Not only does climate play a part in whether you use a follower board or not. Also the time of season & whether there is a honey flow on or not.
As it turned out, this colony was queen positive. It’s going into a flow2 on the weekend.
Jeff. How quickly had they built those combs?
I am close to @JeffH and we can do spits in what we call mid Winter. Our climate would be warmer than yours. I don’t bother with nucs, I make up a brood box of mixed bees and brood to have them make a new queen and the colony is soon building in numbers in an 8 frame box. They build up so quickly they would out grow a nuc in a month, so I don’t see a benefit on beginning then in a nuc box.
Peter-what do you reckon about Sydney’s climate for using an 8 frame box as a nuc?
How many frames of brood etc do you put in the 8 frame in SE Qld?
Do you use foundation and place say 3 or 4 frames with foundation in with the balance brood frames with some honey?
It depends on where you are in Sydney, west of Blacktown can have cold winter nights, I was at Richmond and I wouldn’t do splits there after April. So give you my 2 bobs worth if the climate is right for doing a split and your location had plenty of nectar and pollen available I would do spits into an 8 frame brood box and add a honey super when the bees tell you that they need it. East of Blacktown I would certainly give it a go. It is so easy to take each 2nd frame across the donor hive and still have 2 very viable hives at the end, admittedly one is queen-less but you have what is need to produce your own queen.
I split up here with a frame containing eggs, 2 with capped brood and the bees on those frames as I lift them from the donor hive, a frame of honey capped and one of uncapped honey and its bees then on the outside I fill in with 3 frames of wired and bees wax foundation. That is the 8 frames taken care of.
after 10 days I look for Queen cells and don’t destroy any and leave that to nature.
Bees hate a half empty hive, unless it is full of frames they hate it and fill in with home made comb to fill in the gap, that then becomes an issue for you and wasted bee working time.
I hadn’t looked at that colony for a couple of weeks. Last time I looked, it had plenty of room in empty drawn combs.
Yesterday afternoon a bloke picked up a colony from me. He was full of questions which got me thinking about your situation. I told him that I only do splits to prevent swarming. Also I would mostly do splits with a good weather outlook. That was in relation to what the split consisted of, resources wise.
That’s something for you to think about: The time of season & the reason for you to do the split. Also what the split consists of. For example: If the split consists of 2 frames full of sealed brood, you need room for the sudden buildup of population.
I have decided to add a couple of frames to a super. But as it’s starting to cool I decided to try this
It’s a blanking board So I can just add two frames to a super And if they fill them then I can expand it. I am a little concerned they won’t be able to keep more than 2 frames warm enough
Hi James, the only frames the bees will want to keep warm is frames containing brood. So as you are saying you intend to add the frames to the super and you have a QX fitted those frames will be only used for honey storage.