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Building nucs -Bee Space question?

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cstroud 

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Hi,
I am making some nucs with ply for the summer, and have got a bit confused over 'bee space'.My existing full sized hives have bee space at the top above the frames and also plenty of space underneath the frames? The plans I am using from the internet (which have been referred to on this forum I believe), leave very little space below the frames (around 5mm)- is this because the plans have a round entrance in the front face (they don't need so much space under the frames?)

The nuc I have is the same with around 15mm underneath. My beekeeping book by ted hooper says that bee space should be at one end only, I guess the bees tend to make some drone cells if they have space underneath the frames? i'm not too bothered about that though

what do you think?
 
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For a nuc it doesn't really matter about space under the frames. It is the same with a normal hive where there is often a big gap between the floor and the first frames.

The bee space "at either end" is about supers etc where you are going to stack them on top of each other. You only want one bee space between each.

Unless you plan to make your nucs stackable (with a separate floor) the gap underneath doesn't matter much although I would have a minimum of 6mm, 5mm might need a race of limbo dancing bees.
 
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Midland Beek 

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There are two simple considerations when considering 'bee space' and nucs.

In a nuc, there must be a single bee space between the top of the top bars and the inner cover.

Underneath the frames, bee space is less critical. For sure, you need some space, like at least one bee space, however, most nucs have a similar space underneath the frames as you would find in a normal hive. Incorporate too big a space and you will get the bees build messy wild comb.
 

Hombre 

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Lean on bee space underneath the frames in a nuc and you will perhaps need to exercise a little more care putting frames back in if the box is full of bees.

In a nuc 15mm to 20mm space under the frames is, in my opinion, safer and more convenient than mere bee space of between 7mm and 10mm. :)
 

SixFooter 

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In a nuc, there must be a single bee space between the top of the top bars and the inner cover.
Why do you need a top bee space if there is a large gap at the bottom? Is it just so you can put a feeder on top?
 

oliver90owner 

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The bee space is the basic principle of the removable frame hive. Without it the frames are not easily removable for very long.

RAB
 

cstroud 

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thanks a lot everyone the responses are really helpful- I think I will opt for more than a single bee space underneath, to give me (and the bees inside) a bit more space when putting frames back-

i'm really chuffed- i'm going to get 5 nuc boxes out of my 8 by 4 sheet of ply- making the crownboards, and wood for the top of the roofs from other material, mesh floors and hopefully some kind of metal covering for the roof- perhaps the thin lead as seen on Pete TV!
great thanks again.
 

m100 

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Why do you need a top bee space if there is a large gap at the bottom? Is it just so you can put a feeder on top?
The reason I built my plywood nucs with bottom and top bee space is so that I can use a flat piece of ply as a crown board as putting a thin frame round the perimeter that didn't violate bee space over the frames would have been a PITA.
 

Hombre 

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It does simplify things in a nuc I feel and even with bees all over the top bars, they have space to get out of the way as you pop the crown board or a flat lid on. :)

I'm not a big guy and find it much easier to handle a 4ft by 8ft sheet of ply (especially 18mm) after a couple of cuts have been made for me. The cuts are free, but the premium has already been paid by buying the ply from the emporium with the facility. :)
 

Ontario Beekeeper 

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I build my nucs with lots of space on the bottom. When I do my hive inspections and find frames with swarm cells on the bottom I just drop them into the nuc boxes. I don't worry about the cell getting damaged on the bottom of the box because I've made them with lots of room.
 

Hombre 

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The anecdotal evidence is becoming more compelling. Thanks for that O'Bee'.

That would make a 14x12 nuc an imposingly tall structure. :grouphug:

Welcome to the forum.

Are your Langstroths, poly or wooden and do you run 1 or 100 colonies.

I'm a first winter beekeeper beekeeper with the colonies at the bottom of the garden. They seem to be doing OK despite the long winter, for the UK, this year. Being close allows me to keep an eye on things and saves me fretting. I had some good tutelage during 2009 and looking forward to the weather warming up a bit. I have two Deep Nationals and two 14x12 Nationals and will be moving to all 14x12 in the spring. Expansion is planned.
 
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mbc 

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I'm a fan of one beespace on top and an ince or two spare underneath-you'll want to shake extra bees into nucs sometimes and the extra space underneath saves bees from being crushed when putting the frames in
 

Ontario Beekeeper 

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Thanks for the welcome.

I try to keep about 300 colonies, it goes up and down.

All my boxes are wood. I can't comment on poly, I've never used it.
 

MuswellMetro 

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That would make a 14x12 nuc an imposingly tall structure.
i make my 14x12 Nuc 330 mm high...304mm+1mm standard frame size plus 10mm top bees space, plus 15mm space extra under frame
 
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oliver90owner 

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Why do you need a top bee space if there is a large gap at the bottom? Is it just so you can put a feeder on top?

One wonders how one might fit a feed into a bee space.

One might think the question arises because the poster knows not what a bee space is, or is for.

I thought Midland Bee stated the requirements very precisely. I answered your reply with some fairly precise details of the workings of a removable frame hive. Your response - grunt. A grunt as a reply deserves little more comment than 'go and find out', which is where I pointed you toward. I might be good that you understand binary.

RAB
 

Poly Hive 

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A top bee space is a very useful thing esp coupled with a crown board that has a bee space on one side, that can be turned over in Spring to give a decent 14 or 15 mm for feeding pollen patties.

I will have to look up and see what and where a 14 x 12 has a bee space as I think like most hives with the honourable exceptions of Langstroth and Smith it depends on who puts it together.


As for space in a nuc under the bottom bars then a definite yes from me. I like at least two inches.

PH
 

oliver90owner 

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Poly Hive,

There must/should be a bee space at the top. Whether it is on the underside of the coverboard or over between the box top and the frames, it matters not. Just got to be there. Any more and it will be filled. Any less and it will be filled. KISS. Langstroth at work 150 years on!

RAB
 

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