Nuc entrance position

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Wilco 

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Just getting ready to make a few more wooden 5 frame nuc boxes (National) with solid floors.

I'd been planning on using entrance discs on this batch but have been mulling it over and am torn between that and a standard style entrance, as I've used previously. My dilemma is that the entrance disc, whilst easier during the season, would be located higher than a standard entrance. Thus, for overwintering, a disc would (to my mind) make the nuc box much less thermally efficient and potentially impact cluster survival. Does anyone know of any research into comparing these or have any experience with using both approaches?

TIA.
 

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Just getting ready to make a few more wooden 5 frame nuc boxes (National) with solid floors.

I'd been planning on using entrance discs on this batch but have been mulling it over and am torn between that and a standard style entrance, as I've used previously. My dilemma is that the entrance disc, whilst easier during the season, would be located higher than a standard entrance. Thus, for overwintering, a disc would (to my mind) make the nuc box much less thermally efficient and potentially impact cluster survival. Does anyone know of any research into comparing these or have any experience with using both approaches?

TIA.
With an entrance disc the entrance hole can be almost at the bottom of the box. Plus it's a fairly small hole. So it would be at least as thermally efficient I would suspect
 

Wilco 

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With an entrance disc the entrance hole can be almost at the bottom of the box. Plus it's a fairly small hole. So it would be at least as thermally efficient I would suspect
My national nuc boxes have the bottom rail like on a standard national BB which interferes with putting the disc as low as I'd like- means there's about a 7cm difference (by eye) between with a separate floor and the entrance disc way. Please ignore the poor quality woodworking in the picture- I'm a bit of a novice at woodworking and haven't got proper jigs set up.
 

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B+. 

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My national nuc boxes have the bottom rail like on a standard national BB which interferes with putting the disc as low as I'd like- means there's about a 7cm difference (by eye) between with a separate floor and the entrance disc way. Please ignore the poor quality woodworking in the picture- I'm a bit of a novice at woodworking and haven't got proper jigs set up.
I have 100 Langstroth Paynes polynucs with the entrance you describe.
In my experience, the entrance disk isn't a problem - you can rotate it down to a single bee-space if you wish (useful if wasps/robber bees are a problem). By rotating the disk, you minimise draughts too - of course, there are other features -like built in queen excluder, ventilation when moving them, etc.
The only negative I can say is that the ones I bought don't seem to have a proper bee-space down the side of the frames - so, the bees like to propolise them in place.
 

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My national nuc boxes have the bottom rail like on a standard national BB which interferes with putting the disc as low as I'd like- means there's about a 7cm difference (by eye) between with a separate floor and the entrance disc way.
I think I understand what you mean about the bottom rail interfering with you putting the disc down near the floor, but why can't the entrance go on the other side of the box?
With a rail construction like a standard national you have two flat sides, and two sides with rails so can just use one of the flat sides as the front of the nuc with the entrance.
If I've misunderstood, my apologies!
 

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Honestly I'm sure that 7cm on the hole height makes little if any difference when it comes to thermal efficiency. Especially when compared to all the other factors that affect the thermal efficiency of a thin walled wooden box with crown board and lid etc. Regarding the entrance type, do what is most convenient for you and don't overthink it.
 

Wilco 

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I think I understand what you mean about the bottom rail interfering with you putting the disc down near the floor, but why can't the entrance go on the other side of the box?
With a rail construction like a standard national you have two flat sides, and two sides with rails so can just use one of the flat sides as the front of the nuc with the entrance.
If I've misunderstood, my apologies!
Messes with my head that it doesn't look 'right' when I put two nucs next to each other with a shared roof! :rolleyes:
 

Wilco 

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I have 100 Langstroth Paynes polynucs with the entrance you describe.
In my experience, the entrance disk isn't a problem - you can rotate it down to a single bee-space if you wish (useful if wasps/robber bees are a problem). By rotating the disk, you minimise draughts too - of course, there are other features -like built in queen excluder, ventilation when moving them, etc.
The only negative I can say is that the ones I bought don't seem to have a proper bee-space down the side of the frames - so, the bees like to propolise them in place.

Well that's a decent number of nucs... The built in QE is the main draw for me with the discs. Thank you.
 

B+. 

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Well that's a decent number of nucs... The built in QE is the main draw for me with the discs. Thank you.
I have "quite a few" colonies. ;)
If you want the QE for exclusion of stray queens/drones, they're ok. However, if you want them for queen confinement, they're not so good. I do a fair bit of instrumental insemination so I need to prevent virgin queens from flying to mate naturally. Their instinct is quite strong and they will be attracted to the light. In the process, they can get crushed against the bars, or even stuck in the grid itself. You might reverse it, and put the disk on the inside of the nuc - but you'd have to figure out a way of getting rid of any drones.
 

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Well that's a decent number of nucs... The built in QE is the main draw for me with the discs. Thank you.
It’s very easy to pin a piece of QX to the front
 

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It’s very easy to pin a piece of QX to the front
Yes, was wondering about that although based on B+'s latest comments I might just stick with my standard entrance block approach.
 

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I don’t think I have ever over-wintered a nuc on deep frames. It was one reason (of several) why I changed to extra deep frames early in my beekeeping.
 
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