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Tips for overwintering 5 frame Nuc?

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dickbowyer 

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Does anyone have any tips for overwintering 5 frame Nuc?

Issues are:

Ply or cedar nuc box
Varroa treatment
Feeding
Insulation
Position
OMF/Ventilation
Entrance size/mouseguard

With 2 other hives, is it better to unite to 3 or run as 3+ nuc?
 

oliver90owner 

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Wow, Suggest you consult the books, but.....

Ply or cedar nuc box err, poly? Do the bees really care?
Varroa treatment same.
Feeding ..........Fondant?
Insulation.........Yes.
Position............Sheltered.
OMF/Ventilation.. I use 14 x 12s, so I don't have an issue with OMFs -all have them fitted as I get the opportunity to change or modify.
Entrance size/mouseguard...No difference

Regards, RAB
 

dickbowyer 

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Many thanks RAB

Having read 7 or so books, they contain very little information about overwintering Nucs. Sounds like you just treat them as a small hive although if you use 14 x 12s, you are getting nearly 50% more space over standard frames.
 
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Biggest problem I have experienced is starvation in the Spring. It is essential to check no later than March on their stores and feed as appropriate.
 

oliver90owner 

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dickbowyer,

Yep, BIG! Also most are 6 frame (certainly Modern Beekeeping ones and also the Dartington 'carry boxes', which are a tight fit). I can also fit a Dartington 'honeybox' on the 'carry boxes' as a 'super', so potentially loads of stores. Even the standard nuc, sourced from Th*rne several years ago and since modified to 14 x 12 with OMF, has it's own shallow box above, if required. I utilise them as bait hives, too.

I've never bothered with a lot of nucs over winter; I have always prefered strong, full colonies (and just the odd 'insurance' colony if too many bees to unite sensibly), but for reasons beyond my control (well not really) I may be looking at having several this winter. We shall see.

Regards, RAB
 

ENZO 

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I normally winter a couple of Nucs and do roughly what Rab recommended but I also find that they overwinter much much better if I heat the nucs using 15 watt reptile heater mats, I run a cable down the garden to power them. all they have to produce one jar of honey and the electricity is payed for.
My nucs have insulated roofs (with no vents) and mesh floors but this year I will be using a couple of Modern beekeeping poly nucs, converted to national frame size, these nucs hold six frames and look the business.

last year going into this year the Nucs I wintered were small but by spring they were overtaking the full size colonies, I only wintered them as I did not wish to waste the queens but they ended being honey producing colonies.

Hope this helps, Enzo.
 

Hebeegeebee 

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I've overwintered a couple, one was very small - not much bigger than a mini-nuc - and went in the shed from November to March with an exit tube. Zero stores when I checked in Spring, so fed and grew well that year.
The other was a 5 frame nuc, 3/4" plywood box, windy site. Not much stores this Spring but otherwise good. Was on a solid floor with 2" vent only. Entrance was 10mm x 50 mm slit. No special insulation. Apiguard in Autumn and well fed.


I have 4 to overwinter this year; currently on 3 or 4 frames of brood so a couple will go into 8 frame nucs.
 

oliver90owner 

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Hebeegeebee,

8 frame nucs

A good one might be nearly as many bees, as some out there that are housed as a full colony (late nucs and more food than brood!).

Regards, RAB
 

kazmcc 

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oliver90, have you thought of moving to Manchester? I could do with a teacher like you :) If I said please would you consider it? :p
 

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