I measured mine and there is just a whisker over 3/4 of an inch clearance to the bottom. With a good sized swarm cell this could be a problem I suppose, but then hey, none of us ever let our hives get to the point they throw swarms, right?
I'm going to try to make up a number of these nucs this winter, and I have a question about setting up feeders for them. I frequently see pics of nucs (like the one from Zookeep in this thread) with holes cut in the cover and an inverted jar stuck in there. This may be a dumb question, but how does the jar sit on the lid? Is the hole big enough for the lid in its entirety, and the jar rests on the top frames below? Is the hole smaller, and the jar lid actually rests on the cover? Is the hole screened?
Thanks for the tips, and any other ideas on alternate feeding strategies.
think Im gonna make another 15 to 20 this weekend, rather have too many then not enough Im at 6 hives and 4 nucs so if anything pops up now I dont even have room
(pokes self with electric cattle prod) get to work you slacker (talking to self).
cut the parts today for another 15 nucs, Sunday Ill put them all together and start painting, hope every1 is having a great weekend, wife and I polished off 2 bottles of my apple raisin mead lastnight, O man Im hurtin :drinks:
I just made up one of these as a trial, before cutting out and assembling a bunch for the coming year. I followed the pattern precisely using 15/32" 4-ply from Lowes.
It looks great and fits my frames from Walter T. Kelley just fine. I tried a Brushy Mt. frame in it though, and it barely fit in. Brushy endbars are a little thicker and spaced a little further than Kelley's. Also, turns out my "15/32" plywood is more like 9/16" thick. I'll just add a little to the length so the interior dimensions match my hive boxes and I should be good to go.
Upon looking at it now, it seems like a tight box with an awfully tiny entrance and no ventilation. I may try to get my hands on some #8 cloth, and give them screened bottoms, or at least some ventilation holes under the handle (maybe screen those to prevent robbing these little guys).
Pretty nice design for <$4 per nuc. I may make up some mediums, as well as some bottomless versions for stacking.
ps- My woodworking skills have been pretty much nil up to this point, so I'm pretty happy to be able to put together some nice little nucs. No table saw, but spending 5 minutes to make a circular saw guide worked out just fine. Also, my new brad nailer is my new best friend.
I was thinking the same thing Dan, I was using tiny shims to prop up the lids on hot days on these nucs. I was thinking about drilling a hole on the back end of the nuc just under the handle and screening it. Let them decide if it's too hot or not.
going to put screens on the bottom of this bunch, just got done with them today, how many squares per square inch in number 8 hardcloth? down here for some reason they dont have it marked as number 8 and so on.
I put together a couple of these so far, and I've run into a couple problems. As I said before, my "15/16" plywood from Lowes is actually more like 19/32", and therein lies the problem.
When I made the nucs following the pattern to a "T", the interior length was too short for some of my frames. Brushy frames just barely squeezed in. I adjusted the length of the side pieces for the next nuc so that the interior length was about 18 3/8" (pretty close to my factory equipment), and the frames fit. The new problem is that the "rabbets" for the frames rests are so deep that there is way too much play for the frames to shift end-to-end (in my opinion*).
My question is: Is it just a fluke that I got this overly thick plywood? It's 4-ply, by the way, but it was labeled as 15/16".
If that's typical at the store, perhaps I could just use 3/8" ply specifically for the end pieces. My other solution would be to make sure that nothing but Kelley frames ever went in one of these, but I think that's near impossible for me.
* I suppose the frames could be carefully positioned just right, but that seems like too much fussing required when I could possibly just adjust the design. Besides, with this much play, I think traveling with these nucs would be out of the question.
Last year I had to press into duty some deeps I had gotten given to me that haden't been used in God knows how long. I scorched them and sanded them all down and gave em a good coat of paint but when I went to put a frame in them I realized they were slightly too "long". If i moved the frames end to end, there was enough room that the side bars would overlap, thereby decreasing the space between the frames, and if enough of them did it (think transporting) a space would open up enough that a frame could actually fall out. :shock:
All I did was rip a thin piece of wood and glued it to both ends along the rabbet so the ends of the top bars were tighter. Be sure to do this on both ends thereby keeping your beespace equal between the side bars and your box.
It ain't pretty but the bees don't care and these were only pressed into service in an emergency.
P.S. - they are still out there doing service beyond the call of duty!
Thanks Perry, that problem is exactly what I'm talking about. That same solution crossed my mind, and I was thinking perhaps thin paint stirrers were up to the job (I can't tell you how often I use those, and they're free!). I should easily be able to fix the ones I have, and do my future boxes the right way.
Thanks also Zookeep; that's really great to hear. If it's a standard that "5/8 inch plywood" is actually 19/32", then that's what I got. Whether it was mislabeled or I grabbed from the wrong pile, I'm happy to know that the "right" thing is out there.
I figured with the way everyone raves about these plans, I must have gone wrong somewhere (no surprise).
ps- Zookeep: Are/Were you actually a Zookeeper? I worked as a "keeper" in the Mammal Dept. at the Baltimore Zoo a few years back.
dan worries.. :roll:
I suppose the frames could be carefully positioned just right, but that seems like too much fussing required when I could possibly just adjust the design. Besides, with this much play, I think traveling with these nucs would be out of the question.
i myself would rather have a bit too much space than too little. on some boxes with too much space I buy plastic perforated corner bead (used for drywall) and glue this into the end rabbet of the box. this adds just a smidge <highly technical term) to the inside dimension of the box.
Anyway, I finally got a sheet of 15/32" that was actually 15/32", and the plans worked out great. I made some medium-size nucs also; they're cute, but I expect to make some more "bottomless" for stacking 5-on-5.
I noticed at the hardware store there is 3/8" plywood available. I may get a sheet of that and cut it up just to use for the front and back pieces (just to get the "correct" rabbet depth). I know that loses the elegance of getting 4 nucs from just one sheet, but if I make enough it will be efficient use.