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LeaBees 

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Hi all,
Hopefully this is a non-contentious question. Coming into 1st proper season and am looking to add a nuc (poly or otherwise) to my kit collection ahead of the season. Which make would you recommend, taking into account I quite like the idea of clear crown boards with the ability to feed. Also are all nuc's designed the "cold way" ?

Thank you all!
 

ericbeaumont 

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Hopefully this is a non-contentious question.
Some hope :).

A poly nuc is pretty basic but be aware of the variables: a disc entrance is essential but absent from the otherwise good 5-frame Park box at £39.50. A top feeder is seen as more useful - BS, Maisemore and Abelo - and fewer parts of greater benefit by others - so Paynes scores because it has an internal feeder. Mind you, the internal feeder was such a nuisance for some that Paynes now produce a top Miller feeder. This anomaly reveals much about UK poly design: a fragmented work in progress.

There are a couple of boxes from Thorne of which I have no experience: the Everynuc at £57.60 and the Polynuc at £34. Abelo have a box at £42 which turns out to the Maisemore, but they also make their own neat box at £60.

Cost is relevant: Paynes box comes in at £33.80 in their sale and an extension box or super will double the volume at £19.13. Maisemore is £40.54 and BS £41.95; these two and the Abelo can be extended similarly.

Cost is also irrelevant because practical design will give greater long-term satisfaction and a box should last 30 years, give or take. A pricier box can be had more cheaply by buying in bulk: our BKA buy by the pallet and bring a BS box down to £34. If you drop and break a box, Gorilla glue will solve the problem.

Painting a box extends its life; masonry paint is usually recommended but gloss bonds better and lasts longer. Park and Abelo boxes arrive painted so save time and the cost of paint.

I prefer the BS box but also use Park, Maisemore and Paynes, acquired piecemeal on the journey of discovery; all work well, though it's a nuisance to have different models and I yearn to reduce to the BS eventually. Why the BS? Because it's well-designed, has feeder flexibility and can adapt from 3 to 6 frames as needed.

Whichever you choose, stick to one design and buy several.
 

Boston Bees 

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Maisemore if you want something reasonably priced (my choice). They offer brood and super extensions, a queen excluder, super insulated roof with space to feed fondant, the top feeder comes with the nuc, and even separate floors if you want to go down that route. The most comprehensive nuc offering on the market.

Abelo if you are flush with cash and fancy trying the latest tech spec

BS Honeybees if it is crucial to you to be able to split the nuc into 2 3-frame nucs (unlikely)

Paynes roofs too thin IMHO
 
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Apple 

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Maisemore if you want something reasonably priced (my choice). They offer brood and super extensions, a queen excluder, super insulated roof with space to feed fondant, the top feeder comes with the nuc, and even separate floors if you want to go down that route. The most comprehensive nuc offering on the market.

Abelo if you are flush with cash and fancy trying the latest tech spec

BS Honeybees if it is crucial to you to be able to split the nuc into 2 3-frame nucs (unlikely)

Paynes roofs too thin



Maisemore were £32 in their sale
Strap a 50mm block of Kingspan to the top... all the insulation the bees will ever need...
we have tried most of the others and come back to the Paynes every time!
 

Boston Bees 

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Strap a 50mm block of Kingspan to the top... all the insulation the bees will ever need...
or buy something that doesn't require it in the first place :)

I have two Paynes nucs, and will be getting rid of them to the first two nuc purchasers in the spring so I can have 100% Maisemore ....

I have two BS nucs too, and while they are fine, they aren't fully compatible with Maisemore kit, and don't have a space for fondant in the roof, so they are going too
 
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Boston Bees 

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Gonna try Abelo at some point though ... has anyone yet? (apart from you BMH :))
 

Curly green finger's 

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Same as jbm I like maisemore polys 6 frame nucs I've also got some wooden ones not sure what make they are.
But they are all mainly the cold way nucs I mean.

Maisemore have a feeder with a pirspecs window for observation.
Which I like.
My wooden ones have solid crownboards.
I've not been introduced to any other type of poly/wooden nuc as yet.

Good luck in your purchase. If you get a maisemore get an extension brood box and roof, feeder.
 

Newbeeneil 

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Hi Leabees,
What seemed such a benign uncontentous question got you just about every version of nuc you could imagine.
I make my own 5 frame cedar nucs but also have Maisemore and Paynes. TBH they all seem to have pros and cons and I would use Eric's well thought out missive to see what is on market.
The best way of deciding is to see them in use, either at a teaching apiary or with other beeks who I'm sure will show you why their chosen flavour is the best 😊.
Take your time to decide but not too long as it's too late when the girls are swarming!
 

Boston Bees 

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The silicone plug in the feeder floor is to allow bees to access fondant; the feeder holds about 2kg of fondant.
This is of course very true. Fair point. A good feature. But I like double and triple height nucs, and BS don't do an extender box. So sadly not for me
 

LeaBees 

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:oops::oops::oops::oops: Nothing like a good sampling of opinion!
Thank you all - got some pro's and con's to weigh up.
Much appreciated.
 

Swarm 

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There is an element of the feed losing the benefit of heat from the cluster with these poly top feeders.
 

Somerford 

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Hi Akin

I have Maisemores largely, now they have a deeper roof for fondant feeding in the winter they are almost perfect.

I have some Paynes ones too but find the roofs warp over time and you get the issue of little fiddly bits of plastic that get lost to block the feeder or they build a load of brace comb in there and you can guarantee thats where the queen is when you open them up !

As has been said, paint them - I go for a bespoke dark green colour mixed at B&Q - you're welcome to have a look at the colour if you're passing by.

Kr

S
 

Swarm 

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BS are top space and Maisemore, bottom. I prefer the BS feeder. Could probably slice the poly frame rails off a Maisemore extension?
 

Boston Bees 

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Although it's acknowledged (even on the BS website) that Maisemore extension boxes fit BS boxes, I've read that there's a beespace discrepancy.

I've not tried this combo yet; what is the truth of the problem, and how did you resolve it?
Yes. BS boxes are TBS and Maisemore are BBS. So you end up with too large a vertical gap between the frames, which the bees are likely to fill with comb (or, if they don't, it might inhibit a cluster moving up in winter I guess). I have given up trying to combine them.

Once solution is to cut the frame runners off the Maisemore brood extender, lowering the frames. But my principle is that if I have to butcher a bit of kit to make it work, I have bought the wrong bit of kit ..... and I don't like working without frame runners.
 

Angry_Mob 

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Prefer the BS myself, its more dense than the other thus feels more durable. The large gaping space in the revised Maisimore roof I see more of a drawback than benefit; the BS honey is a much more elegant solution in regards to feeding fondant.

I've butchered maisimore boxes brood extensions to fit my BS honey nucs, it would of course be preferable to buy a BS chamber but I think it's worth the effort; it allows me to use BS nuc which I think is probably the best on the market and retain the top bee space which means less squished bees and no stuck together frames when lifting.

116872098_2667647790126729_5165133804119306394_n.jpg

Plan is to phase out the Maisimore nucs (the fact I have two different height roofs is also annoying) and replace with BS so all my nucs are the same.



However if a clear crown board is an absolute must that really limits your options to those with side feeders so the paynes is probably the best choice for the OP.
 

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