Honeyflow.com | FAQ's |

Using Old Honey Supers as Nucs. Yes or No?

I have far more supers than I will now need. Without a flow super I would need to be ready with 4 supers per hive as the season goes on. Taking honey in May and August. May because we have rapeseed and better to take it early before it chrystalises. Also I have been running brood on a box and a half.

Next year that’s starting March I intend splitting as soon as I find conditions in and out of hive are right. I am going to run some hives with brood box only. But expect to be intervening very regularly.

The supers all have drawn wax foundation. At the time they need moving up to a full brood box I can place it under or above a brood box. Then after a few weeks make sure Queen is in brood box and add the Qx. I have all the floors and other hive items.

My question is If I use my old honey supers as nucs would that work. Am I making life just too difficult. Am I penny pinching. What is it I am missing as I think this through. It all sounds like a good fit and very logical but is it.

I have read previous forum topics and know that some of you quite sensibly use brood boxes instead of nucs as I will and do.

I am stood by, eagerly awaiting your thoughts and hopefully a whole bank of tips and advice.

1 Like

I have some nuc boxes that I made many years ago that I haven’t used. When I do a split the colony goes straight into an 8 frame brood box and in my mild climate it works here.
I use any box and frames that are available that are clean of SHB and wax moth which are the two major issues here in Australia. The bees seem to more readily accept gear that has been previously used in preference to new gear. When I need to add new frames and foundation I checkerboard them into a box.
I hope that answers your question Tony, Cheers

1 Like

It could have been my post you were reading. Nothing has changed. I still use brood boxes to put nucs into. I am in a sub-tropical climate though. If you do something similar in your climate, you might want to consider using a follower board.


By checkerboard you mean just alternate new undrawn foundation next to frames you are keeping. You don’t move them to the side until brood less and just stores then withdraw.

You don’t see any issues using honey supers which I have quite a number I will not use now for honey. I use the term super in it’s traditional form being the shallow frame for collecting honey.

It is an old post of yours. I have just replied to Peter and noted that is the traditional shallow frame honey supers I have in abundance that I thought to use for the early months of splits then add a deep framed brood box at the right time.

IC, yeah well in that case, you’d have to use shallow frames. In the past I had some 1/2 depth supers. I have joined 2 of those together to make one full depth super. Good luck with what you decide to do.

personally- I think it would be more hassle than it is worth. It will create so much extra work trying to turn the colonies into proper full depth ones (unless you run your hives with all shallow frames as Michael Bush does I think?(. I’d Either do as Jeff says and make two shallows into one deep- or see if anyone wants to swap equipment with you maybe? Or sell the shallows and buy some nucs… or make nucs from scrap- there are some nice plans out there for simple nuc boxes made out of old plywood or pallets.

I’d also use those shallows to make foundationless cut honeycomb anytime there is a really big flow on :wink:

1 Like

Semaphore I got the message. Thank you. I can create 75mm deep ekes to turn a super into a brood box. I think that’s the answer. Then I can avoid buying nucs which is good. I will instantly have many more brood chambers taking standard depth brood frames.

I have informed my son in law he needs to re acquaint himself with dovetailing.

Checker boarding is when you introduce a new frame of foundation, then a frame of comb that is drawn out, then next another frame with new foundation till you have filled out the box. Just changing out a single old frame isn’t checker boarding.
Fitting a frame into the brood box that has been previously used for honey stores is not a problem, even if it is a stickie, the bees will clean up every trace of honey. But normally a new frame of foundation will first be used in the brood box then later be used above the QX for honey stores.

A super is any depth of box that is above the QX as a simple explanation. If you are not using a QX then a super is any box of frames that is above the boxes used for brood.