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6 frame nuc which can be divided into two

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So my long winded titles shows that I'm not sure what these are called but I want to buy a 6 frame nuc with two entrances that can be divided into two 3 frames nucs. You'll know what I mean. Do you know who makes these?
 

pnkemp 

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I’ve used one, though not split into two, and it’s really well made.
 

ericbeaumont 

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I’ve used one, though not split into two, and it’s really well made.
I agree, but then all the poly nucs are well made.

Interesting to check out the idiosyncrasies of the competition: tweaks that seemed useful at the design stage but not so much down the road and in the field.

The Park 5-frame box was one of the first on the market years ago and it's only real drawback is the letterbox entrance. Closing a disc entrance is far easier, but the mould has been paid for... I forget who, but someone here filled the slots and fitted discs, but that stopped the use of the removable floor, useful for cleaning. Box arrives painted, which is an asset, and it can be converted from National to Lang easily.

Maisemore is a 6-frame box that can be extended by supers and brood boxes, and has a Miller top feeder.

Paynes 6-frame box has an internal feeder which is not ideal; Paynes realised that and now offer a Miller feeder as an optional extra, as well as supers and broods. The boxes can sometimes be bought cheaply in sales.

BS aimed to iron out the flaws of the above and also produce a flexible box: the twin entrances and divider enable 2-frame splits to be made, the most economical in resources.

Sometimes bees abscond from one half to the other (presumably smelling pheromone via the mesh floor), and sometimes they chew through at the top ends of the divider, but although I've had a few where one side fails, generally they work well. BS plan to improve the Correx divider with one that's more rigid.

The feeder plughole allows fondant to be fed to a 6-frame in winter. The Maisemore supers and broods fit the BS, though cutting off the Maisie runners is necessary to maintain beespace.

Thorne stock other designs but I've no experience of them, nor the new Abelo model and nor the well-priced Bee Equipment 6-frame, divisible and convertible into National & Lang. So far, I reckon the BS is the best of the lot (get your BKA to buy a pallet and the price drops to £34) but if you choose it stick to it (nothing more irritating than having three designs) and paint it outside and in the feeder. Masonry paint is recommended routinely, but Murray McGregor suggests gloss, which bonds to the poly and lasts longer.
 

Ian123 

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The bs poly nuc is the best around to date. I started off converting Sweinty Langstroth boxes to national long before there was any bs box. I saw some produced by park I think many years ago that had been made from kingspan and a real abomination. The only thing I would say is the bs boxes fail on the 2x3 frame Nucs but for certain there the best constructed boxes and a good price in comparison to others.
 

Boston Bees 

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Tried the BS nuc including the 2x3 setup. Nice solid box, but I ended up preferring Maisemore as it allows adding multiple boxes on top, and the new roof is more versatile. And these nucs are cheap and warm enough that if I want two 3 frame colonies I don't need to jam them in the same box, so I only used the correx divider once.

PS: OK, you can in theory put a Maisemore nuc brood box on a BS nuc, but you are mixing top and bottom bee space which gets messy
 
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Apple 

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Trialed half a dozen of the double entrance 6 framed BS Honey design.... not a great success
Will be used as dummied down single entrance nucs with a bung in the redundant entrance and allowed to expand to 6 frames as the colony grows.
Not a fan of the flimsy divider or top feeders... but the extra space allows a frame feeder to be used for syrup.
 

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Ian123 

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Hi the dividers to flimsy it gets glued into position when central or in the side slot. The rebates that accept the slider get bunged up to easily and not deep enough it’s just a faff. They are good boxes just dummy up as suggested above.
 

Apple 

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Hi the dividers to flimsy it gets glued into position when central or in the side slot. The rebates that accept the slider get bunged up to easily and not deep enough it’s just a faff. They are good boxes just dummy up as suggested above.
I tried cutting a piece of 2mm polycarbonate using the flimsy 2mm correx as a pattern
even tho a lot stiffer is difficult to slide into place, and even then did not fit into the feeder top,
The space with the grooves that is provided at the side also just gets propolised.
We have a number of the half frame sizes Abello double nucs.... they also now get used a single colonies.

Perhaps double nucs are just not a very good idea?
 

ericbeaumont 

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Perhaps double nucs are just not a very good idea?
I meant, is it only the divider which is the problem? Or are there other issues?
I've not found any other issues apart from the divider. OK, the feeder windows fall off and get lost occasionally, but that's solved with hi-vis tape or propolis.

When new the divider fits well but problems start when it's removed and then replaced later, by which time the grooves have filled and it sits proud here and there and the roof or feeder groove won't match the divider.

Problems not over! While in storage the dividers will have had the sun on them, been in the back of the van under heavy boxes and maybe chased by a dog. The job of teasing them straight again and cleaning the grooves is a right fiddle.

This is my solution: keep some as full boxes and some as twins, thereby deleting the faff of fitting and storing the dividers. Paint the two sorts different colours. If the divider is fitted from the start it works OK. Sometimes the top edge needs a hive tool along it to clear the propolis and allow it to fit the groove above. Vaseline in the groove helps, as we all know.

The absconding or failure of one half may be caused by conflicting or unbalanced queen pheromones drifting into the mesh floor slots. I'm going to try taping over one slot, or the front 2/3 of one slot and the back 2/3 of the other, and see if that solves the problem.

The value of 3-frame nucs lies with the economy of bees to use QCs: one of sealed brood and bees, one of stores and bees, one of comb or foundation. Really, it's a 2-frame nuc with room.

The value of poly twins lies with their thermal efficiency, though I suppose if you made 2-frame nucs in ply they would work as well in high season. However, unlike ply the poly nuc is light, can overwinter small nucs, closes quickly for transportation and will last a lifetime.

Worth persevering, I reckon.
 

Angry_Mob 

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I've cut some dividers using 3mm ply; haven't used them much yet but I'm hoping the rigidity will allow them to insert easier although as a general observation for it and the correx; they need to be put in perfectly straight, if any warping of the material and they catch fairly easily.

As for whether the BS nucs being worth it, I believe they are worth the slight premium over the Maisimore for a few reasons such as the poly is much more dense, (makes them easier to paint as well), top bee space, the 2 in one design and the feeder is a much better design than the Maisimore with the convenient plug. Plan to phase all my Maisimore kit out and replace with the BS nuc.
 

Little_bees 

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I've not found any other issues apart from the divider. OK, the feeder windows fall off and get lost occasionally, but that's solved with hi-vis tape or propolis.

When new the divider fits well but problems start when it's removed and then replaced later, by which time the grooves have filled and it sits proud here and there and the roof or feeder groove won't match the divider.

Problems not over! While in storage the dividers will have had the sun on them, been in the back of the van under heavy boxes and maybe chased by a dog. The job of teasing them straight again and cleaning the grooves is a right fiddle.

This is my solution: keep some as full boxes and some as twins, thereby deleting the faff of fitting and storing the dividers. Paint the two sorts different colours. If the divider is fitted from the start it works OK. Sometimes the top edge needs a hive tool along it to clear the propolis and allow it to fit the groove above. Vaseline in the groove helps, as we all know.

The absconding or failure of one half may be caused by conflicting or unbalanced queen pheromones drifting into the mesh floor slots. I'm going to try taping over one slot, or the front 2/3 of one slot and the back 2/3 of the other, and see if that solves the problem.

The value of 3-frame nucs lies with the economy of bees to use QCs: one of sealed brood and bees, one of stores and bees, one of comb or foundation. Really, it's a 2-frame nuc with room.

The value of poly twins lies with their thermal efficiency, though I suppose if you made 2-frame nucs in ply they would work as well in high season. However, unlike ply the poly nuc is light, can overwinter small nucs, closes quickly for transportation and will last a lifetime.

Worth persevering, I reckon.
Thanks for all this. Really useful.
 

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