A blog originally for keeping track of my hobby of being a Beekeeper which has evolved to include Home Brewing and even more recently to follow me and my families approach to "The Good Life". Eventually I hope to include baking recipes and stories of our flock of chickens also reporting on the success and failure at the allotments.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Nuc Hive

A nucleus hive, or nuc for short, is a small hive used for rearing new Queens or overwintering small colonies. They are also useful when a hive is wanting to swarm; In the spring a full size hive can have a few frames removed and put into the nuc hive and this can reduce probability of swarming. Due to the reduced volume in a nuc hive the bees find it easier to keep warm and ventilated. Over the last week I have been brave and attempted, with some success, to build one from scratch. I am quite impressed with my handy work as I have limited tools and even less experience. In the future I will borrow some tools from friends and family as I would have created a better product with power tools (due to my sawing not been the straightest at times!).

I started off by looking on the internet for plans for a nuc and found a variety of them, mainly from American beekeepers. In the end I didn't follow any plan exact and just kind of made it up as I went along. The problem with the hive plans I looked at were that they seemed too long and the frames I have wouldn't have reached the edge of the nuc. The plans I was inspired by where from these links here  and  here. The second is a photo bucket account of someones step by step making of the nuc. The nuc I made is approx 2 inches less in length but most of the other measurements are the same. I had a bunch of frames at hand at all times to make sure my box was going to be the correct size. I also made a stand for the hive and plans can be found here. Again with the plans I changed the sizes slightly as the stand in the plans is for a full sized hive. The stand was fairly easy to make and I will make a couple of full sized ones for my other hives at some point soon.

I started off with a sheet of 18mm thick ply wood

A fair bit of sawing and nailing later

The entrance can be seen here and I have made a simple roof

The first coat of paint goes on

The stand is made and then wood preservative added

The finished nuc hive and stand all painted and ready for bees!

The nuc with 5 frames inside.