How to Modify Deep 10's to hold Winter Nucs?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Adam Foster Collins, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. Adam Foster Collins

    Adam Foster Collins New Member

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    I have four deep, 10 frame supers that I am thinking about modifying to house 8 4 or 5 frame nucs for wintering next year. It's my first foray into wintering nucs.

    How would you advise me to set them up? Should I put in division board feeders? Should I create some kind of shim/feeder box to stack in between them? Top entrances on opposing sides?

    How would you turn the 4 deeps into 4 double nucs that could stack for winter?

    Thanks,

    Adam
     
  2. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Your question is a good one--but I really wonder if up north (in the Tundra division) wintering nucs is a viable option.
    In principle, what you would want is to set things up in a way that the nucs could benefit from "shared" heat. I would think of a thin, but sturdy partition (plastic) down the middle of the deep, completely separating it into 2 even halves of five frames. I don't think there should be any problem having the entrances for each nuc on the same side, but at the distant walls of the box.
    But, I repeat, check with other beeks up north to find out what experience they have with wintering nucs.
    My gut feeling is one of skepticism about the advisability.
     

  3. Adam Foster Collins

    Adam Foster Collins New Member

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    efmesch,

    A wise consideration on climate. You are right to question it.

    But we are in zone 6A (-5 to -10F minimum temps) here, similar to states quite a ways south. States like Vermont are much colder than we are. And I know there are some well-known proponents of wintering nucs there, such as Kirk Webster and Mick Palmer. My father also lives there, as did I once. Their winters are much more severe than ours. We are on the ocean here, and get the effects of the Gulf Stream on our weather. We don't get very hot, and generally speaking, we don't get very cold. It is rare to see our temps get to 0F here, where Vermont will get -20F pretty regularly.

    There are also at least a few beekeepers that winter nucs here, and I have visited one to see his set up. I just wanted to get forum input to get a wider sense of how I might approach modifying the boxes I have. You see, I am going with all 8 frame gear and top bar hives. I got the four deep boxes from someone and figured I'd just use them for nucs.

    Adam
     
  4. Bsweet

    Bsweet Member

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    Adam, first let me say that I have not done this myself . I have read where you can use a division board feeder(sealed off)to seperate the box, or you can router out a datto for a solid board/wall to split the box. Which ever you use you will need to mod the top and bottom boards as well. What I have done is to use a follower board in a deep 10 and just moved it over and added a frame(s) as needed until they had 8/9 frames drawn/filled and then pulled the follower board and super as needed. This was for a spring nuc/split and not to overwinter. Jim
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    an Adam snip..
    I would think of a thin, but sturdy partition (plastic) down the middle

    tecumseh:
    a follower board??? not certain the spelling is exactly correct.

    not in the context you are suggesting but I have in the past taken very old boxes and split them with foil backed foam board. it needs to have foam (<correction... should have been foil) on both sides and not be marred in any manner.... ie the bees will chew up the foam itself but the foil prevents them from doing this. small repairs can be made with foil tape that is often used by ac/heat folks. the real plus is all you need is a utility knife and a good straight edge to make these.
     
  6. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I put two 5-frame nucs into one 10-frame deep as an experiment to see if either survived the winter. I made the two nucs in the summertime, letting them raise their queens, and kept them to a 5-frame size by occasionally pulling out a frame of brood and replacing it with an empty frame for them to work on.
    In the Fall I put this plastic divider in:
    http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/Plastic-Hive-Divider-or-Nuc-Maker/productinfo/460/ (had to fuss around a bit to make sure there were no spots where the bees could get to each other, but it worked pretty well). The divider was thin enough that I could still fit it plus the 10 frames all into the deep. I did not feed anything, rather just making sure each nuc had a frame of its own honey at each end. Solid plain bottom board, no top entrance, 2" foam board insulation over the inner cover, and a tarpaper wrap around the sides. One front entrance for each half, located at the opposite ends of the landing board.

    So far, both sides are still alive. One is busier than the other. Only a few weeks of winter left, we'll see what happens.
    You can see it starting at about 1 min 15 seconds into this January video:
    http://youtu.be/Hr07c8DhCdc
     
  7. Robo

    Robo New Member

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  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip..
    coroplast

    tecumseh:
    boy there is a new one on this old dog. or as we say here in the south... whats dat?
     
  9. Robo

    Robo New Member

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    Corrugated cardboard made out of plastic. At lot of the roadside election signs and one day only sale signs are made out of it.