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Author Topic: Experimenting with 5 frame EVERYTHING!  (Read 1180 times)
cblewis
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Location: Millers Creek, NC


« on: May 22, 2010, 09:31:13 PM »

Hey everyone.  I'm new to the beekeeping world and a friend of mine who has been keeping for a few years is helping me get started.  We are actually experimenting with my hives by using deep 5 frames nuc boxes for everything.  Basically, its understood (so I'm told) that bees tend to build upward instead of outward.  The rationale is that if we use 5's and go up instead of 8's or 10's then they will increase in numbers and production faster.  Here's the kicker.........it seems to be working!

My friend, my dad and I came up with a bottom board for 2 nuc boxes that sit on the same board.  Each nuc is isolated from the other one with one hive facing one direction and the other hive facing the opposite direction.  The hives are sitting against each other and with the large bottom board they are very stable.  Its nice because you can pull the top off of one hive and just sit it on the other, it sorta creates a built in work space by having the second hive right there.

So we put the bees in about 3 weeks ago and immediately had to put another deep 5 frame on top of the original nuc box.  We looked today and have 3 good solid frames of capped brood in both the top and the bottom boxes.  The queens are working like crazy!  This week we are going to go ahead and split both hives off so we will go from 2 to 4 hives in about 3 1/2 weeks.  Another buddy of mine got his bees 2 weeks prior to me and he is just now putting supers on his....(he's wanting to produce honey this year and I'm looking to increase my hives).

At any rate........its an experiment and just thought I'd pass it along.  I'll try to get some pictures of our bottom board design on in a few days if anyone is interested.
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cam
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« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2010, 06:12:27 AM »

I'd like to see the photos, please post them.
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AllenF
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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2010, 08:14:13 AM »

Are the 2 side by side nucs touching each other?   Will that keep them from tipping when they get really high?  And the pics would be great.   I wonder how they will winter.
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fermentedhiker
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« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2010, 08:42:32 AM »

I don't see why it wouldn't work well, except the hives will be insanely tall and tippy without some work building a way to support them.  Get your ladder ready Smiley
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kathyp
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« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2010, 11:08:26 AM »

i would worry about winter here, but maybe it's not to bad where you are.  other than the height and winter questions, i don't see why it wouldn't work.  we all have seen hives in walls that are only 3 combs deep, but 8 feet long  grin
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indypartridge
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« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2010, 08:05:15 AM »

I agree with Kathy, it may work, but you'll be needing a lot more boxes (equipment costs) and height will become an issue. I run two deeps for brood with 3 or 4 honey supers, using 10-frame boxes. So my 4-foot stack (sitting on top of concrete blocks) would tower to about 7.5 feet using your method. Now if you're just looking for quick expansion and making splits, the only thing you'll need to worry about is overwintering, but I know a number of cold-weather beeks who overwinter nucs, so that shouldn't be too big of an issue in N.C.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2010, 03:32:39 AM »

The only issue (beyond the cost) I see is them blowing over in the wind... but I like eight frame for all the reasons you're doing all five.  But if you look at a cluster it's more the size of an eight frame than a five or ten frame...
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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