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Mating Hives, for breeding honey bees

Many Types can fulfill this role. Some use standard size brood frames and some use reduced size frames.
  • The 5 frame National Nuc is common in the UK and can be used for many purposes, but it can be wasteful of bees if used for mating purposes.

  • The 3 frame National Nuc is 150 mm wide and was once part of the British Standard 1300 for beehives. Three of them side by side have the same size and shape as a standard brood box.

  • Boxes that take half width National frames and bifold frames. are the most versatile and are strongly recommended.

  • Boxes that take one third width national frames and triplefold frames looked like a good idea to start with, but experience has taught me that the half width option is better.

  • My 5 x 3 Mating Hive is an oddity brought about by my particular mix of existing equipment. They work for me and are included for completeness, but are not recommended.

  • The L&RBKA Mating Nuc was designed by John Groocock and won 1st prize at the National Honey Show 2000.
The Apidea and Kirchhain Nuc are made from expanded polystyrene and require only a very small quantity of bees. Although I have none of these types myself, I used to own some wooden versions of the Kirchhain type and I have used Apidea nucs that belong to others... My conclusions are that they are viable mating nucs, but that I desire more space than these types provide for assessment of brood after mating. Albert Knight of BIBBA has come to the same conclusions and he has developed an adaptor board that will allow two Apidea hives to be used as a two storey single hive.

The Kirchhain nuc has been used a great deal in UK and Germany and the Kirchhain Adaptor Frames page details how the frames can be inserted into full sized hives to get the comb drawn or to have them filled with stores or brood.

these menu items will eventually become links to pages dealing with each type of nuc

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Originated... Spring 2001, Revised... 28 January 2003, Revised... 09 March 2003,

Coding Standard 2003 Issue 1