Help please! I am getting a 5 frame nuc in a National nuc box for my brand new, and only, Flow Hive. The local supplier advised I purchase from Thornes a uniting board. Can anyone explain how this works and what additional frames/equipment I may need. There doesn’t seem to be anywhere in Devon or Cornwall who has nucs on langstroth frames so seems I have no choice but to go with this.
I’m sure as soon as I reply others will also reply as well. I always learn by being corrected or at least acknowledging I am somewhat on the same page is partly why I like replying to some of these. It also helps me understand maybe what I have learned.
In saying that a"uniting board" do you have 2 colonies you’re trying to make it into one? That would be the only reason I would think you would need something like this. I’ve understood that simple newspaper between the 2 colonies would work. Naturally one colony is Queen Less. Or both may be Queen less and the Queen is placed in a cage in one of the 2 colonies until such time they chew through the paper when likely they will unite as one.
Is this what you’re talking about joining 2 hives?
No I don’t have any other bees or hives, this is my first! The nuc is being supplied in a national brood box (on loan from the nuc supplier).
The not understanding why you would need anything other than your bottom brood box and your NUC. Just as a reminder because some have posted questions. You do not put your top flow frame box on until such time your brood box is overflowing with bees. Meaning virtually every frame is built out and honey, larvae, eggs and pollen are being stored.
Another option is cut the comb out of the nuc frames, and attach it into your Langstroth frames using rubber bands. I suggest you get help from a beekeeper who knows how to do this though, there are some tricks to it which can save you some heartache on your first attempt. Plus, it may not be all that easy if the nuc is on wired foundation - still possible, but not easy.
Thanks for suggestions. ! will ask my nuc supplier to help as Dawn suggests.
Another question - bought the wired wax foundation today to fit into brood frame, watched a video or two on you tube but can’t fathom how to fit the foundation! The Flow Hive frames supplied don’t gave the “cleat” which you are supposed to remove and refix on top of ends of wires of foundation. The frames just have two identical grooved tops and bottoms. Advice please!
Well, you have many choices, some trickier than others. One is to buy more frames - they are pretty cheap, under $1.50 per frame in the US, even for good quality frames. You could also use a Stanley knife (or a chisel if you are handy with one) and some muscle power to cut one side of the top bar down to the groove, so that it detaches a strip of wood. You can then nail this back as a cleat or wedge once the foundation is in place.
I don’t know what style of wiring you have. In the US, most foundation is vertically wired when you buy it pre-wired. At one end, the wires stick out beyond the wax and are bent into an L-shape. Normally you would trap those wire extensions behind the wedge at the top of the frame. If you don’t have a wedge, I would just trap 3 or 4 or them with a short nail, wrapping them around under the nail head just before you hammer the last part home. Make sure the nail goes into the underside of the frame top bar, and position the wax as close the centre of the frame as you can before you nail it. It will be fiddly, but it can be done that way.
In the UK, foundation wiring used to be a kind of continuous diagonal zig-zag. If that is the case, you can just drive some nails into the top bar so that they go through the loop of the diagonal wiring as it turns at the top of the foundation.
What about making an adapter to let the national box sit on top of the Langstroth brood box? Let them fill out some new comb on the fresh frames, then when they are done with that put a queen excluder between the two boxes until there is no more brood in the nuc. Then you can cull these frames out of the hive and shake the bees back into the main box and you’re all set. This will probably take a couple of months to complete but you don’t have to cut comb out or try to adapt the national frames to a langstroth.
Thank you Dawn. After reading your reply I decided to buy new frames, cost was reasonable as you said, and wired wax foundation now fitted, looking good! Really appreciated your advice.
Thank you so much for the info - I’d asked several people for help on this and was beginning to wonder if I’d ever get my head around the problem! You have explained it perfectly and offered the very best solution, will definitely take your advice. Can’t wait now for my nuc to arrive.
Need advice again please re uniting a national nuc with my langstroth hive. Supplier of my nuc has kindly put the bees from the nuc into a national brood box for me and I have bought a uniting board. And I collect it tomorrow! She suggests I put the bees in the national below my empty langstroth box but you suggested the other way around. Does it make any difference? What do you think?
My reasoning was two fold. First a nuc is much smaller then a langstroth brood box so if you went the other way it’d be extremely top heavy. Second heat raises so it’d be easier to keep the brood nest warm if the main part of the hive is on top.
Yours are in a full national box now so that changes the top heavy aspect and will probably be a larger colony now so they could probably handle the temperature issue better. Putting boxes above or below is kind of personal preference unless it’s a small weak colony then you should go underneath.