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Author Topic: 5 frame nuc box  (Read 1719 times)
Royall
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« on: November 08, 2013, 02:25:30 PM »

I've been enjoying building all the wooden ware for myself and my Beek. I haven't had to buy anything but the pine and paint so far. One thing I haven't made yet are 5 frame nucs. I see several plans out there but not to fond of building out of plywood as many are. The plywood just isn't durable enough here on the eastside of the big island. Just too much rain and humidity. What I would like to get is just the "inside" measurements (height, width, and depth) of a nuc. I can go from there.

PS..... I've got frame plans that show the top bar to be 1 1/16" and plans that show 1 1/8".... Is this a critical measurement? If so what size should I build to?
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D Coates
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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2013, 02:43:45 PM »

Make one and take the measurements.  You can then try the one you took measurements off of to see how they do in the island environment.  They shouldn't be in full shade anyway and you can make them out of rot resistant chip siding too if it's that much of a concern.  I've got ones that are going on their 6th year here.  That's a cost of less than one dollar per year of use.  Even at double that price it's at least worth trying.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2013, 05:18:11 PM by D Coates » Logged

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OldMech
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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2013, 06:10:14 PM »

Just subtract the width of 5 frames.. DONT divide the box width.. just the frames..
   I also like making my nuc's from pine instead of plywood. I use a traditional base, but use the migratory style cover instead of an inner and telescoping.. I like them to sit snugly side by side....   Danghang it...    thats it.. I am making the wife stop by wally world tonight so I can replace my camera.. I can get some pictures and measurements... though Like I said...  all your doing is taking OUT 5 frames if you normally use a ten frame box...  from memory.... I THINK the width is supposed to be 9 3/4 Huh inside dimension Sidewall to sidewall???  I think an 8 frame is 12 and a ten frame is 14 1/2.... but with my memory you dont want to trust that without measuring...
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JWChesnut
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2013, 06:58:02 PM »

I use an inside dimension of 7 3/8" for the 5 frame.

I use inexpensive 1-by for the front and back, but use plywood sides.  This allows you to screw the sides into solid wood on the joint. 

I have built boxes with "hardyboard" cement panels  for the sides, which might address the plywood delamination issue.

I build the boxes with "migratory" style tops which also serve a bottoms when flipped over.   The only entrance is a drilled hole in the front.  I cut the frame rest rabbet a little deep so there is some bee space at the top without an inner cover.  Two boxes can be place side-by-side on a plain bottom board (slight overhang and shim the center) and covered with a regular migratory top.
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OldMech
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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2013, 01:29:06 AM »

Yep... 9 3/4 would give over an inch spare to either side.  JW is closer on his measurement.

   i tried nuc;s with a 1 inch hole, but I really missed being able to stuff a feeder in the front. I also liked being able to reduce the entrances, or open them up if I stacked another box or two on top of the nuc..
   A lot of folks say the boardman feeders induce robbing, but I have found that when they are used with a reducer, forcing entrance on the opposite side of the feeder that robbing has not been an issue...  though I try not to use them during times of dearth or in the fall. I normally open feed well away from the hives, but a nuc struggling to get going seems to benefit from their own private supply.

   I have considered plywood for the sides and may one day give it a try, but usually the only ply I have is 1/2 inch and that seems a bit thin to me. if I manage to procure some 3/4 I may try it and see how they hold up.

   Went to a beekeepers meeting tonight, and afterwords directed the wife to the infamous WalMart, and returned home with a new camera.. If I can ever figure out how to make it take a picture I will be able to add visual stimulation with colorful mind enhancing pictures to my seemingly unending dialog... MUAHAHAHA
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capt44
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2013, 09:55:36 AM »

I also build a 5 frame nuc with the measurements of  19 7/8" long x 9" wide x 10 1/2 inches deep.
For an entrance I drill a 1 1/4 inch hole 1/2" off the bottom.
I use pine boards.
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Richard Vardaman (capt44)
JWChesnut
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« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2013, 11:13:43 AM »

Cut a 2 3/4" hole in the top cover and use a mason jar/drip hole lid  as the feeder -- just like a boardman but nicely protected in the hive.  I put the jar hole off center and toward the back, as then the inevitable drips don't cause the core brood area to mold.   No SHB in my neck of the woods, so can't speak to this issue.

1/2" "Exterior CDX" Ply works fine for the sides and lids of nucs, doesn't really bow in or out much, and the solid wood end pieces keep it from warping much. The migratory lid design I use is a 2x2 block at front and back, and that keeps the top and bottoms stiff.  Slight tendency to bow upwards in the center addressed by strapping unit together.
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Royall
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« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2013, 11:54:02 AM »

Thanks to all for posting their ideas and thoughts on the nucs. Just need to go out in the shop now and see what bits and pieces I have laying around and start building. Have a little more painting to finish first though. May just about be time to add to the brood box of the first hive I got 4 weeks ago, so will be ready just in case. Will be checking it tomorrow. Yeah, getting a little excited to see what the girls have done in that length of time!

I am glad that I don't have to worry about winterizing here. I guess it slows down a bit during our very mild winters (lows maybe 58*) but don't have to feed the girls. Still gets up to the mid to upper 70's during the day time.
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Sundog
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« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2013, 11:59:21 AM »

I have a sketch of a five-frame nuc that I made that worked out fine.  You (or anyone) can PM me and I will send you a PDF.

 cool
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marktrl
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« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2013, 07:09:29 PM »



PS..... I've got frame plans that show the top bar to be 1 1/16" and plans that show 1 1/8".... Is this a critical measurement? If so what size should I build to?

Top bar width isn't critical. I make mine 1" to get better use of material.
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Royall
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« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2013, 07:31:17 PM »


[/quote]Top bar width isn't critical. I make mine 1" to get better use of material.
[/quote]

Hmmmmm never thought of that! I guess then the important dimension then is the over all width (1 3/8") of the end components? It would seem to the novice that the bees should be able to get between the top bar so they can go from one side to the other?
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OldMech
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« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2013, 08:44:24 PM »

 The side plates are what give you the correct spacing.
   I also use 1 inch top bars, but have seen them as small as 1/2 inch. The bees will decide how wide they want the comb, the bar only gives them an anchor point..






    My frames start to finish...    starter cut from a piece of 2x8 or 2x10..   when trimming this piece I use the excess material to make my bottom bar from, then shave the ends on the table saw to fit the side plates/frames and cut them at a 45 deg angle. Youd want to leave them flat and cut a groove in them for foundation... but I am sure you knew that...

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39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.
Royall
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« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2013, 02:09:25 PM »

OldMech..... Do you cut an angle on the end of the top bar ends where the frame rests in the box? Just leave them flat? It looks like they are flat in the photo. I find that making that part of the top bar a bit time consuming. I've been doing it on my disc sander.
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OldMech
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« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2013, 04:25:53 PM »

I leave them flat.. the angles are nice to start.. but I have found that once they have been propolis'd down a few times the angles no longer make any difference.
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39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.
dirt road
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« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2013, 08:39:48 PM »

OldMech,

Glad to see that new camera is working Nice photos!
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OldMech
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« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2013, 09:57:50 PM »

Nice little camera.. simple enough even for me to figure out Smiley       going to start and split several hives this spring.. hope to document the progress of the comb and buildup..  is it march yet?
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39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.
T Beek
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« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2013, 08:29:36 AM »

For NUCs I just use a standard medium super fitted with one or two adjustable follower boards on the sides to restrict size.

Placed on a regular stand and bottom board, its now ready to grow......  Eventually, depending on the intended use of the NUC I'll remove the followers, or not if I want to keep the colony small.
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