Welcome, Guest

Author Topic: Keeping bees in 5 frame nuc.  (Read 749 times)

Offline Flydown

  • New Bee
  • *
  • Posts: 37
  • Gender: Male
Keeping bees in 5 frame nuc.
« on: May 31, 2018, 08:31:52 am »
I don't know if people wanted a separate thread on this to prevent of my thread or if they thought the discussion would get more attention. Either way, let's here about keeping bees in a 5 frame nuc instead of 10 or 8 frame boxes.
"Not everything that can be counted, counts. Not everything that counts, can be counted."
Albert Einstein

Enjoy your blessings.
Lenord Vaughan

Offline Acebird

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 5198
  • Gender: Male
  • Practicing non intervention beekeeping
Re: Keeping bees in 5 frame nuc.
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2018, 08:47:21 am »
Most nucs are created in a 5 frame box.  Some in a four.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Online sawdstmakr

  • Global Moderator
  • Galactic Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 9765
  • Gender: Male
Re: Keeping bees in 5 frame nuc.
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2018, 10:11:39 am »
If you are going to use 5 frame boxes, have a stable platform, and have at least 2 supers. Being a small area, bees can build up quickly and run out of room. You will also probably need to remove frames of brood to keep them from swarming.
Jim

Offline Beeboy01

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 483
  • Gender: Male
  • Oh Look A Honey Bee !!!
Re: Keeping bees in 5 frame nuc.
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2018, 10:47:22 am »
Not much different from an eight frame medium hive which works. Been thinking about trying a five frame nuc hive for honey production, I have a couple of beat up shallow boxes I'm thinking about cutting down into five frame honey supers.  Don't know how well it would work but it would be a cute little hive.;)

Offline moebees

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 193
  • Gender: Male
Re: Keeping bees in 5 frame nuc.
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2018, 03:00:32 pm »
My hives are all 6 frame polystyrene.
Bee-keeping is like raising Martians  - Isabella Rosselini

Online Ben Framed

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1188
Re: Keeping bees in 5 frame nuc.
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2018, 12:32:50 am »
Sounds interesting thoughts folks. I'm wondering about the maintenance schedule and would like to hear from someone who actually keeps bees this way or has tried.  One thing that I would be concerned about would be stabilization. I am wondering with strong winds will there be a problem? Being narrow as they are how well will they hold up with out tipping over? 

Offline Hops Brewster

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 558
  • Gender: Male
Re: Keeping bees in 5 frame nuc.
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2018, 10:44:32 am »
5 frame nucs tend to build up quickly.  You need to keep a close eye on them so that they don't swarm or abscond from over crowding.  OTH, the quick buildup is what makes them such a good resource for drawn comb, making queens and more nucs.   An apiary can increase thehive count pretty rapidly when you have several nucs that need to be split every couple weeks.
Winter is coming.

I can't say I hate the government, but I am proudly distrustful of them.

Offline moebees

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 193
  • Gender: Male
Re: Keeping bees in 5 frame nuc.
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2018, 12:21:31 pm »
Sounds interesting thoughts folks. I'm wondering about the maintenance schedule and would like to hear from someone who actually keeps bees this way or has tried.  One thing that I would be concerned about would be stabilization. I am wondering with strong winds will there be a problem? Being narrow as they are how well will they hold up with out tipping over?

Some of my hives are in about as windy a place as you will find.  Illinois prairie.  I had one Lyson hive blow over.  The Lyson are not as stable as the Paradise boxes and have not had any of them blow over.  The one that blew over was because I added two supers early because I was paranoid about swarming.  So the stack was 4 high with not much weight and ov course polystyrene is lighter than wood.  So one needs to be a little more careful than 10 or 8 frame but it isn't a big problem if you are careful.  I have them on individual hive stands and ratchet strapped around the stand.  In winter they are 2 or 3 boxes high and I put an extra weight on top in addition to the ratchet strap.
Bee-keeping is like raising Martians  - Isabella Rosselini

Offline moebees

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 193
  • Gender: Male
Re: Keeping bees in 5 frame nuc.
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2018, 12:24:12 pm »
5 frame nucs tend to build up quickly.  You need to keep a close eye on them so that they don't swarm or abscond from over crowding.  OTH, the quick buildup is what makes them such a good resource for drawn comb, making queens and more nucs.   An apiary can increase thehive count pretty rapidly when you have several nucs that need to be split every couple weeks.

I don't find they build up any faster.  My are 6 frame and I manage them like 10 frame deeps.  Two boxes is like having a single 12 frame deep so that is my brood chamber.  Each 6 frame deep super is like adding a medium super.  The nice thing is I can lift them without killing myself.
Bee-keeping is like raising Martians  - Isabella Rosselini

Online Ben Framed

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1188
Re: Keeping bees in 5 frame nuc.
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2018, 03:14:00 pm »
5 frame nucs tend to build up quickly.  You need to keep a close eye on them so that they don't swarm or abscond from over crowding.  OTH, the quick buildup is what makes them such a good resource for drawn comb, making queens and more nucs.   An apiary can increase thehive count pretty rapidly when you have several nucs that need to be split every couple weeks.

I don't find they build up any faster.  My are 6 frame and I manage them like 10 frame deeps.  Two boxes is like having a single 12 frame deep so that is my brood chamber.  Each 6 frame deep super is like adding a medium super.  The nice thing is I can lift them without killing myself.

The quick build up is where my interest lyes.  This  is a little disappointing to here. I was hoping to hear just the opposite. 😁  Well at least they are easier on the back when working them .

Online Ben Framed

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1188
Re: Keeping bees in 5 frame nuc.
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2018, 03:32:29 pm »
@ moe
Being this topic is a spin off topic from single brood box. I was looking at the picture of the hive that beepro had put together with the 5 frame nuc. I was thinking that in most hollow trees there is probably no more room than his set up. But I was also wondering about the wind possibly being a problem. I was going to ask him about this. Thanks Moe for you reply about this matter. For the fast build up and the quick honey stores the extra work in maintaining such a hive might be worth the extra work, even when having to use anchor straps in the process. But if you don't notice any more build up with this set up than with a 10 frame, I don't see the advantage of going this rout except the easier on the back bonus. 😁 Thanks for sharing your experience..

Offline moebees

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 193
  • Gender: Male
Re: Keeping bees in 5 frame nuc.
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2018, 04:26:21 pm »
@ moe
Being this topic is a spin off topic from single brood box. I was looking at the picture of the hive that beepro had put together with the 5 frame nuc. I was thinking that in most hollow trees there is probably no more room than his set up. But I was also wondering about the wind possibly being a problem. I was going to ask him about this. Thanks Moe for you reply about this matter. For the fast build up and the quick honey stores the extra work in maintaining such a hive might be worth the extra work, even when having to use anchor straps in the process. But if you don't notice any more build up with this set up than with a 10 frame, I don't see the advantage of going this rout except the easier on the back bonus. 😁 Thanks for sharing your experience..

I think there are other advantages too.  They just haven't come out in this discussion. To me it is a more flexible and consistent operation.  All my boxes are the same size and all my frames are the same size.  The Paradise boxes (they have a new name I cannot remember) have a divider groove in the middle and an entrance on both ends so you can put a divider in and have 3 frame mating nucs.  So my mating nucs, nucs, and full hives all use the same box and frames.  Everything is interchangeable.  By using two boxes like a single 10 frame brood box I have more flexibility too.  If I have a week hive that needs to be cut down I don't have to go from a 10 frame to a nuc.  I just remove the second box.  When I start a package or a swarm I start it in a single box and as it builds up I just add more boxes.  No need to start with a nuc and transfer or start in a 10 frame that may be too big.

And I could be wrong about the build up.  Since returning to beekeeping I have only used this system. The last time I used 10 frame equipment was 40 years ago. So maybe my memory ain't so good.  :grin:

I really see almost no downsides to this system and lots of upsides. 
Bee-keeping is like raising Martians  - Isabella Rosselini

Online Ben Framed

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1188
Re: Keeping bees in 5 frame nuc.
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2018, 04:35:10 pm »
@ moe
Being this topic is a spin off topic from single brood box. I was looking at the picture of the hive that beepro had put together with the 5 frame nuc. I was thinking that in most hollow trees there is probably no more room than his set up. But I was also wondering about the wind possibly being a problem. I was going to ask him about this. Thanks Moe for you reply about this matter. For the fast build up and the quick honey stores the extra work in maintaining such a hive might be worth the extra work, even when having to use anchor straps in the process. But if you don't notice any more build up with this set up than with a 10 frame, I don't see the advantage of going this rout except the easier on the back bonus. 😁 Thanks for sharing your experience..

I think there are other advantages too.  They just haven't come out in this discussion. To me it is a more flexible and consistent operation.  All my boxes are the same size and all my frames are the same size.  The Paradise boxes (they have a new name I cannot remember) have a divider groove in the middle and an entrance on both ends so you can put a divider in and have 3 frame mating nucs.  So my mating nucs, nucs, and full hives all use the same box and frames.  Everything is interchangeable.  By using two boxes like a single 10 frame brood box I have more flexibility too.  If I have a week hive that needs to be cut down I don't have to go from a 10 frame to a nuc.  I just remove the second box.  When I start a package or a swarm I start it in a single box and as it builds up I just add more boxes.  No need to start with a nuc and transfer or start in a 10 frame that may be too big.

And I could be wrong about the build up.  Since returning to beekeeping I have only used this system. The last time I used 10 frame equipment was 40 years ago. So maybe my memory ain't so good.  :grin:

I really see almost no downsides to this system and lots of upsides.

Thanks Moe for the good information and clearing the air even futher. The points that you just made are good points.

Offline cao

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1056
  • Gender: Male
Re: Keeping bees in 5 frame nuc.
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2018, 08:07:58 pm »
I've got 5 frame, 8 frame, and 10 frame boxes in deep, medium and shallow.  I usually make splits in 5 frame boxes and will add a second or third box when needed.  Eventually they will be transferred to larger boxes.  Some I will try to overwinter in stacks at least 3 high.  There are advantages and disadvantages to all the different sizes. 
Advantages of 5 frame boxes(IMO):  Lighter, easier to find and isolate queen, Buildup depends of original strength of nuc or split.
Disadvantages of 5 frame boxes(IMO):  More boxes needed per frames, Large hive gets pretty tall very fast(unless split), Harder to overwinter successfully.

Offline sc-bee

  • Super Bee
  • *****
  • Posts: 2951
Re: Keeping bees in 5 frame nuc.
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2018, 03:15:59 pm »
I have been following but no comment till now:
I have been waiting for someone to comment on the 4x4 njuc set-up Palmer uses. Palmer attributes the system as the core foundation of success of his whole operation. He was shown the system by Kirk Webster and Palmer has not looked back since seeing the system. He runs a yard of 600 4x4 nucs alone. No it is not keeping in just 5 frame nucs but it shows how valuable the system can be. I will not go into details of the system as it is easy to find multiple presentation by Palmer on the 4x4 system.

My experience with 5 frame boxes here on the warm East Coast. They absolute build up quicker if you start with 5 frames and then add the next five. They build comb much quicker as they are confined to a smaller space. And yes watch them close or they will find the trees quicker also. My limit is three boxes of fives but I hear folks mention five? At three or above I find they are quick to want to enter swarm mode. As far as winter I can winter two five deeps stacked with no issue at all. I plan to crowd some next year during flow to try some comb. The bees in the tight space usually stay away from having drones.

At three high I have had no tip overs but I will go today and all will be on the ground :wink: To avoid that Palmer puts his on a standard ten frame bottom divided into two four frames. He then stacks a fours on top of that (each side) and sometimes a third four. Having them together on the wide base gives stability but most importantly warmth in the winter. Larger hives of course make more honey. Palmer uses them to recover his bee losses and also uses them to supplement before the flow as BEE BOMBS.

This has been a little off the track of keeping in just 5 frames but I think it shows it absolutely can be done. Keep them two strong and the third box is usually nice deep frames of honey. Extract that top box and add another and repeat. They may not make as much but the handling will surely be easier on someone with back issues and as said above everything will fit.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2018, 09:28:53 am by sc-bee »
John 3:16

Online Ben Framed

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1188
Re: Keeping bees in 5 frame nuc.
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2018, 03:32:48 pm »
@ sc-bee
Good information !! I will check Michale Palmers method out!! Fun to learn good things!! Bee pro mentioned Michael Palmers name on his new post "using 5 frames as a complete hive to collect honey" Under the title Ralid Beeyard Growth. He is experimenting with this very idea. Very interesting wrighting by beepro I might add. 

Offline sc-bee

  • Super Bee
  • *****
  • Posts: 2951
Re: Keeping bees in 5 frame nuc.
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2018, 03:39:33 pm »
@ sc-bee
Good information !! I will check Michale Palmers method out!! Fun to learn good things!! Bee pro mentioned Michael Palmers name on his new post "using 5 frames as a complete hive to collect honey" Under the title Ralid Beeyard Growth. He is experimenting with this very idea. Very interesting wrighting by beepro I might add.

I will have to look for the post... although Pamler first saw the system with Webster... Palmer has main streamed it over the last 5 or so years
John 3:16

Offline moebees

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 193
  • Gender: Male
Re: Keeping bees in 5 frame nuc.
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2018, 04:24:01 pm »
The Palmer/webster (and neither of them invented it) is a system for overwintering nucs.  Not a system to replace 10 frame hives.
Bee-keeping is like raising Martians  - Isabella Rosselini

Offline MikeyN.C.

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 373
  • Gender: Male
Re: Keeping bees in 5 frame nuc.
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2018, 04:26:28 pm »
Flydown,
Post on requeening by waveeater( mating nucs) will give some info on the palmerized 10f with 2 ,4frames on top

Online Ben Framed

  • Queen Bee
  • ****
  • Posts: 1188
Re: Keeping bees in 5 frame nuc.
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2018, 05:08:59 pm »
The Palmer/webster (and neither of them invented it) is a system for overwintering nucs.  Not a system to replace 10 frame hives.

Moe. I think you are right about the Nuc boxes being a 5 frame situtation and are primarily used for that purpose. But I havnt heard or read much on 5 frames boxes being used as another way of building a complete hive.  I'm sure it's nothing new or a method that has just come around, but I am interested in the concept. Not to say I will switch to this method or not but I do enjoy "seeing" different Ideas that work .There are so many ways of doing things.  Some folks say one way, while others say another way is best. Different ways and ideas are very interesting to me. I am sure that there are pros and cons to  each method.  In my opinion it is good to share these ideas and give us new guys and gals different prospectives to contemplate.  Their is a fellow in, I'm thinking Virigina, that prefers a 7 frame box. He explains his reasoning behind his theory and is his outlook is very interesting also. I am thinking his name is Ralph Jones.