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Author Topic: Mini mini foam nucs  (Read 2354 times)

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Mini mini foam nucs
« on: July 04, 2021, 01:16:06 pm »
A deal fell into my lap so I picked up about 10 of these foam mini nuc things to experiment.  Yesterday I cut a bunch of waxed plastic foundation frames to size to fit in them.
Question; with no comb and no brood or resources.  What would be your trick to keep the bees stuck to the box?  I heard these can have a problem with the bees and VQs absconding until the combs are established.  Id rather not waste ripe cells on them if they are just going to take off. If you have actual experience with these and the abscond issue, Id love to hear your thoughts and tips.
I will post some picts of what I actually got later.  In the meantime this webgrab is representative. Some of them came double deckers with queen excluders to. Neat.

The bees will spend the next 4 days in significant effort to undo and correct the wrongs that the beekeeper just did to them.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Mini mini foam nucs
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2021, 01:28:16 pm »
I have not used these but I did watch a video by Joe May which does. Actually he was showing how he loads these with bees and a queen cell.
What he does is attaches 6 of these small frames into a regular empty deep frame and places these into a regular deep box and the bees draw them out for him. I will gladly post the video if you are interested. 
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Mini mini foam nucs
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2021, 02:13:45 pm »
Since posting the question, I have found this which is well done and quite comprehensive on the subject. Not specific to these boxes, but the concepts should be applicable. 
http://michiganbees.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Mini-Nucs_20150130.pdf

To get some brood scent in I have opted to smear chunks of nice fat and juicy drone brood inside of each box and along a foundation frame in each. That will hold them for sure. Yum,Yum,Yum.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2021, 04:54:17 pm by TheHoneyPump »
The bees will spend the next 4 days in significant effort to undo and correct the wrongs that the beekeeper just did to them.

Offline Bob Wilson

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Re: Mini mini foam nucs
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2021, 11:36:08 pm »
HP. I saw a University of Guelph video where the research center show how they put a cut off piece of a pheromone tab in the mini nuc. He explains their process. They guy makes good videos.

Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: Mini mini foam nucs
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2021, 02:44:24 pm »
Okay...cool video.  But I thought beeks shouldn't knock frames so hard because it can hurt the larvae.  Gentle taps only to drop bees only.

These guys are working on educational grants so they maybe they don't care and can just build up again if "thousands of larvae were harmed in the making of this movie"....?

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: Mini mini foam nucs
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2021, 02:47:16 am »
The only larvae that could be harmed by shaking frames are queen cells.  Never shake cells. The rest of them go ahead and shake and knock with little2no effect, within reason of course. 
The bees will spend the next 4 days in significant effort to undo and correct the wrongs that the beekeeper just did to them.

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Mini mini foam nucs
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2021, 08:55:45 pm »
Done with the experiment.  After two cycles, two separate sets of cells. 
In simplest terms; these minis suck. I mean really suck.  Like SUCK A TON, bigger than big time. I am talking beyond Ever Given level of suck level.
Basis of the assessment: easily 75% of perfectly developed queens not emerged, lost, or found to have switched boxes and killed each other, combs completely honeybound within a few days (from bare foundation), overheat easily, constant loitering (unemployed) bees on the porches, require daily checks and adjustment attempts to stay remotely balanced.
NOT for me.  NOT for my genetics.  I shall leave these minis to folks who are happy with very poor2mediocre  results who think that small and cute and totally is Kool. I have a bunch for immediate sale.
As neat as and compact as they seam, save yourself from trying these.  Total gimmick and complete waste of time, resources, and money for anyone who means to be remotely successful with queen rearing.
I gave them a go for giggles.  All that I got out of them were frowns, grunts, huffs, and constant uncharacteristic spontaneous expletives.

.. ask me how I really feel about these..
« Last Edit: July 15, 2021, 08:53:23 am by Ben Framed »
The bees will spend the next 4 days in significant effort to undo and correct the wrongs that the beekeeper just did to them.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Mini mini foam nucs
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2021, 09:48:45 pm »
HoneyPump, I am sure you have a very good system you use for mating nucs. Being you are experimenting, have you tried two frame mini mating nucs which use regular deep frames? This system makes it easy to add or subtract frames as needed and gives you much more time in between maintenance. I feel sure I am not telling you something that you probably already know. What is you thought on these if you have tried them?
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Mini mini foam nucs
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2021, 10:09:44 pm »
Ben,  I may have introduced 2F nucs to this site ..
« Last Edit: July 14, 2021, 01:13:42 am by TheHoneyPump »
The bees will spend the next 4 days in significant effort to undo and correct the wrongs that the beekeeper just did to them.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Mini mini foam nucs
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2021, 10:33:56 pm »
Ben,  I introduced 2F nucs to this site ..

Mr HoneyPump I have learned volumes from you. In fact, I sometimes file some of your great teaching, making sure I add your name, giving you credit for each thing you have taught me as part of my continuing education so in years to come I can look back and say Mr C taught me this or that. lol    I simply did not remember your introduction to 2 frames here, I did not intend to oversight you on 2 framers. My apologies. In this particular case, I learned this from a queen raiser in Georgia from watching his videos. That is when I decided to build a few for myself. I build them the first season of my first bees. My style is different from his in that I built mine with removable tops and bottoms just as a regular nuc or 10 framer I build myself. His are build with stationary bottoms, attached to the box itself., both 2 framers and 5 framers.   
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Mini mini foam nucs
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2021, 10:53:51 pm »
I mentioned a couple advantages to the use of 2 framers as opposed to the report you issued of you small foam mini's. One disadvantage of the 2F that I use, and the reason I rarely use them, is a lack of a feeding portal in times of dearth. The top is simply to narrow for adding a jar sized hole on top. (my favorite way of feeding a 5 frame nuc if needed.) I suppose I could rethink the situation and add a smaller hole along with a smaller bottle, perhaps a small gatorade bottle in times of no flow along with a short supply of framed feed honey? The guy in Georgia does a lot of open feeding. I would like to hear your thoughts on this.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2021, 11:30:14 pm by Ben Framed »
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Mini mini foam nucs
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2021, 11:26:56 pm »
Mr HP, I have now found a topic where you described using multi queens for rapid growth.  A very good topic and discussion. In fact I see where I commented on this idea of multi queens. Looking back I see that you later described your use of 2F mating nuc in this very same topic. Good stuff! Thank as always.



If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Mini mini foam nucs
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2021, 07:21:17 pm »
If I inherited those, I'd find someone who wants to buy them...
http://bushfarms.com/beesqueenrearing.htm#matingnucs
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Mini mini foam nucs
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2021, 11:40:03 pm »
Quote
One disadvantage of the 2F that I use, and the reason I rarely use them, is a lack of a feeding portal in times of dearth. The top is simply to narrow for adding a jar sized hole on top. (my favorite way of feeding a 5 frame nuc if needed.)

I am reporting I overcame the feeding portal problem today (if in times of need) . Here is what I did. I measured the top of an empty, small gatorade bottle with a caliper. It measured 34.64mm. Using a 1 3/8" Bosch Forstner bit, I drilled this size hole in the top of one of the 2F tops. This bit left a smooth clean even hole. The gatorade top fit perfectly into the hole with the rim of the cap used as a stop, not allowing the top to simply slide all the way through which is just what the doctor ordered! I made the feed holes modeling from an old Man Lake jar feeder top by experimenting with different sizes of small drill bits until I found one that fit the feed holes of the bought tops perfectly. .6mm I am thinking. (You would do well to check this for yourself as my bits got mixed together). I drilled 4 of these mi-nute holes in each top. Then removed the clear plastic top cap liner which is inside of each of these tops. These drilled holes left a good clean feed hole. I could not use a hand drill for this purpose. I had to use the drill press because the chuck on the hand held dewalt would not chuck up on the very small bit, just too loose. It took the precision closing jaws of the drill press to get the job done. Problem solved..  Maybe this experience will be of help to some of you.   

Adding: I could have easily drilled several more holes in the caps if I had thought they were necessary. If I find more cap holes are necessary, I will add more.



                                                                                                                                                                                .
« Last Edit: July 15, 2021, 12:29:34 am by Ben Framed »
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: Mini mini foam nucs
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2021, 01:21:07 am »
I have never been concerned about feeding a 2F mating nuc. When the nuc is built, they have lots available. They get 1 frame with a palm sized patch of brood that is also loaded with resources, along with the adhering bees.  The 2nd frame is foundation. Thats it. By the time the ripe cell is emerged, mated, and she has laid up most of the original brood frame, they have usually drawn out most of the foundation frame. At that pint you pull her and drop another cell, or move them into a 5F nuc box with bees/brood boost and grow from there on.
The bees will spend the next 4 days in significant effort to undo and correct the wrongs that the beekeeper just did to them.

Offline cao

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Re: Mini mini foam nucs
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2021, 11:29:23 am »
I agree with HP.  I have never fed my nucs that I make up with a queen cell.  My nucs are usually 5 frame medium boxes.  One frame with queen cell, A couple frames of brood and resources, and a frame or two empty.  For good measure a couple shakes of nurse bees from some other frames.  I do also have some 3 frame deep nuc boxes that I use.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Mini mini foam nucs
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2021, 03:06:42 pm »
Thank you Mr HP and Cao. Thanks for always helping me. To explain, I was attempting to 'follow' the leader, of three successful queen producers, which are in similar climates as my own. From what I have learned from you Mr HP, your flows are a dream come true compared to my area. lol  I am open to the possibility that flow has nothing to do with it in set up as you describe?

I have noticed that the folks which use the foam minis that you tried place sugar syrup in these foam boxes. Joe May for one. (See Loading Mini Nucs)
Bob Binnie who has a 'similar' climate as me, (a couple states East and a little North), using feeders on his '5' frame mating nucs in Spring (see: Queen Mating Yard), Mr Binnie has a variety of methods in raising queens/nucs and uses the way accordingly as situation of his plan. To be fair Mr Binnie has another 'intensive' video explaining how he raises queens. (in August). At the end he and crew are placing cells into 5 frame mating nucs with holes for feeders on top. However he did not say whether he feeds then or not, nor did he show it, if he did I missed it. I have sent a message to him asking this very thing. He almost always answers me. I am confident he will again if he is not too busy, which is a possibility. 
David across from me in Chatsworth, Georgia., 'also a queen breeder', uses custom 2F with a 'complicated to me' custom feeders for mating nucs. Again maybe location and time of year is the reason or part of the reason for feeders? I confess, I do not know?. lol

If I were to consider using 2F this time of year, taking in account we are in a dearth period in my area and will be until September would be a concern as they may need a little help for one concern, or looking at it in another view, feeding may lead to robbing, even in a mating yard. I would add a frame of brood with honey bordering the edges, as you describe Mr HP, along with a frame of empty drawn comb. (I am short of foundation but have plenty of drawn comb frames and so far SHB are almost non existent this season).

I want to reiterate, I very much appreciate Your and Caos' VALUABLE input, help, and sound trusted words . Neither of you have ever steered me wrong. And to be absolutely clear, I am in no way attempting to pit one beekeepers methods against another beekeepers methods. As many have stated here there is always more than one way to do things in beekeeping. I am simply feeling my way along with information that I can find from you 'successful' beekeepers such as the above mentioned along with You and Cao. PLEASE both of you continue educating me! Hopefully I will sort these questions out for my needs for my area along my road of beekeeping.  :grin:
Thanks to both of you my beekeeping friends. :grin:
« Last Edit: July 15, 2021, 04:30:24 pm by Ben Framed »
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

Offline cao

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Re: Mini mini foam nucs
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2021, 11:36:32 pm »
I will explain that I am usually done making nucs by the end of may.  So there is a flow going and robbing is not a problem.  I have tried making some up as late as july, but I have not had good luck with queens coming back from mating flights.  The 20% or so that do make it back has to be fed continuously to build up enough to even have a chance to make it through the winter.  If you have the time to play around with your bees then go for it.  I have found that this time of year is harvesting honey and starting to get hives ready for winter(making sure queenright and have enough space for stores).   Too many hives makes fun turn into work this time of year(my sore back).

I don't want to keep anyone from experimenting with the way they keep bees.  I myself have just about every size box and every frame size including long hives and an observation hive(no bees in it this year though).   I learn more by doing.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Mini mini foam nucs
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2021, 07:44:33 am »
Thanks Cao.
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

Offline FloridaGardener

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Re: Mini mini foam nucs
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2021, 12:13:13 pm »
Are we all just kids playing with bugs...?