6 frame nuc which can be divided into two

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Boston Bees 

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I think fundamentally it depends if you think you will want to run single box nucs (in which case BS is great) or double brood box nucs (or higher!) in which case Maisemore (or Abelo if you are rich) is probably the best option.
 

GuyNir 

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I think fundamentally it depends if you think you will want to run single box nucs (in which case BS is great) or double brood box nucs (or higher!) in which case Maisemore (or Abelo if you are rich) is probably the best option.
+ it’s main USP should be working better.
 

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I think I will be placing an order with Paynes for more polly nucs with the extension boxes as seem to be doing well for overwintering... and nicely move up to full colonies in the spring.
Definiteyl do not like top feeders of any make, all seem to neither take enough syrup ( which spills) or hold enough fondant.
Wish Paynes would make a "handle grip space" on the full brood extension... vaseline the meeting edges helps to prise the boxes apart with a flat hive tool.

Paynes should give me a 60+ loyalty card... remember driving down to Hassocks from Croydon in Grandad's bond mini 3 wheeler... with me on the way back holding onto a box of less than happy bees!

my thoughts
 

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I think I will be placing an order with Paynes for more polly nucs with the extension boxes as seem to be doing well for overwintering... and nicely move up to full colonies in the spring.
Definiteyl do not like top feeders of any make, all seem to neither take enough syrup ( which spills) or hold enough fondant.
Wish Paynes would make a "handle grip space" on the full brood extension... vaseline the meeting edges helps to prise the boxes apart with a flat hive tool.

Paynes should give me a 60+ loyalty card... remember driving down to Hassocks from Croydon in Grandad's bond mini 3 wheeler... with me on the way back holding onto a box of less than happy bees!

my thoughts
I can imagine the bees being a bit upset as those Bonds did used to bounce a bit 😊
 

mbc 

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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.
The bs nucs I have have had the middle dividers discarded and are now just like an expensive not quite so good maisemore nuc.
I have quite a few nucs of several of the types you mention, though no abelo or parks or the bee equipment ones, I now have settled on the maisemore design as my favourite despite my initial misgivings at the lack of top bee space, in practice it doesn't squash bees.
The Thorne nucs oddly are slightly too long and the bees build a bit of brace comb on the side bars, also they're less robust than the others.
The paynes are a close second and I have many but don't like the thin roof.
 

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I can imagine the bees being a bit upset as those Bonds did used to bounce a bit 😊
No reverse ( Grandad only had a motorcycle licence) and the first one had to be kick started!
I think that one died in a RTA and the next one was all singing all dancing with an Excelsior Tallisman twin stroker engine, starter motor and 12V lighting ( and a plate that could quickly be removed to put the beast in reverse!
Those pre varroa day of luxury!
Chons da
 

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the next one was all singing all dancing with an Excelsior Tallisman twin stroker engine, starter motor and 12V lighting
Oooooooooooh posh!
 

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If you have a 3 frame nuo in Spring, its build up is painfully slow. It can Make only one or half frame brood.

6 frame nuc is quite good. It can Make 4 brood frames. Its build up may be 10 fold compared to 3 frame nuc.
 

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If you have a 3 frame nuo in Spring, its build up is painfully slow.
I see your point Finman: that space is restricted at a time when it's needed.

A few of our 3fs that lost one half to wasps had the divider taken out two weeks ago and combs given to upgrade to 6f. They looked pretty full of bees.

Reckon the trick is to upgrade 3f nucs to 6 with comb early in spring before they have a chance to get cramped for space.
 

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I see your point Finman: that space is restricted at a time when it's needed.

A few of our 3fs that lost one half to wasps had the divider taken out two weeks ago and combs given to upgrade to 6f. They looked pretty full of bees.

Reckon the trick is to upgrade 3f nucs to 6 with comb early in spring before they have a chance to get cramped for space.
You do not understand the point. But you do what you do.

Space is not restricted. But a small gang cannot nurse and keep warm more brood than it can. The nuc needs more space when new bees energie. It takes over 4 weeks time.
You can get a real colony, if you have BIG hives, from where you can take emerging brood.

Summary: I would keep the bees in 6 frames.
 
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Tim.S 

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I concur with Finman - not worth taking 3's through winter get them into 5's or 6's before winter and they are almost guaranteed to get through and get a honey crop after. I have a fair few home made nucs and Paynes nucs which I use but am coming to loath, especially that feeder. Maybe Maisemore is in my future?
 

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I can see uses for a 3 frame nuc, but I personally don’t like it.
I mostly use the Maisemore 6 frame nucs, together with some Paynes ones converted to 8 frame.
 

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I can see uses for a 3 frame nuc, but I personally don’t like it.
Two routes: use 3f nucs in summer and expand to 6 by autumn, or make up late and over-winter as 3f nucs. Only way to find out if over-wintering is a useful route is to find out.

This morning Steve Donohoe's Walrus blog arrived with nuc recipes from Michael Palmer, Murray McGregor and Peter Little; they use two-three frames of brood to make up nucs in season, but in 5-6 frame boxes and give a mated queen. If using QCs a 3f box makes more use of the same resources.
 

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You mean, because you can use more of your queen cells, and tear down fewer of them? Or something else? Thanks
Uses less resource to get each mating done and makes use of more QCs. If there are more than one on a frame I let the bees decide, but the best QCs go alone.

Of course, a long hot day leads to a more rough and ready mixture but in summer it usually works. Usual caveats apply: don't make increase from bad temper, minor ailments such as chalkbrood, or excessive QC production.
 
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The comments on this thread do not say anything much about what is the best box...just that everyone's tastes and desires are different.

From our own point of view there is nothing wrong with the feeder part of a Paynes.....once the nuc is full they need a full hive anyway..not hack out the feed slot for a couple more frames. It is certainly simpler and safer to use than the moveable one they put in ther Langstroth unit.

A 3 frame nuc is virtually useless. If made with one frame of brood and it hatches and the young queen lays it is already overcrowded. Needless amounts of handling, and all multi unit in one box systems have complications that are more work than they are worth. Our ONE frame of nucs would need promotion in one to two weeks, when the new queen and the bees can still have a nervousness to their unity. As it was in three to four weeks even the six frames need promoting.

Not important which brand you like or buy...the bees will do fine. The failings mostly lie with the users trying to fit a square peg (their dearly held system) into a round hole (the gear available on the market). The result is that most UK makers try too hard to accommodate the whinging they get at trade fairs etc..resulting in over complex units. In fact almost all of them are fine used in the way they were designed. The exceptions to me are the ones with too many fiddly bits...just not needed.
 

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