Has anyone tried using top bar nucs? Is there any reason not to use them? One of the beginner guides I was reading suggested having only nucs for the first year and learning to split them when they got too strong. I want to make my beginning equipment (got a pile of wood I'd like to get cleaned up) but I think that making my own frames is beyond my skill/equipment level. That means buying them or making top bars. Spring/summer plans are in the air as I may be moving, and I don't really want to try moving a four or five foot long hive, but langs do require full frames as far as I know. Because of the possibility of moving, I'm open to enticing swarms to move in, but I don't want to spend a few hundred on buying bees that may or may not be getting shipped up north while I'm on my way elsewhere, and I'd rather start with feral mutt bees anyway. I know I may have no luck this year with catching bees, but I'll feel better about it knowing that I at least got some more woodworking experience out of it instead of a hundred bucks sitting out empty in the yard.
To keep a nuc weak enough that it won't swarm will require a fair number of splits over the summer, no? And hence a fair number of frames. Long and top bar hives don't seem to have a 1 to 1 ratio to langs, as far as I can tell, framewise. EX: A five 8-frame medium hive equals two and a half deeps, so 25 frames, which would take up about three and a quarter feet in a long hive, but four to five feet is recommend. Is this equivalency true or am I missing something, and how would it effect how often a top bar nuc needed to split compared to framed nucs?
Long post is long...
Thanks for reading.