Mary is currently preparing (40) winter nucs for the 2011-2012 winter. Beginning in late July she picked strong 3-frame hives from our (60) summer three-hive mating nucs and moved them to a two-hive winter nuc box. Each two-hive winter nuc is then paired with an adjoining two-hive winter nuc and set on cinder blocks or a pallet.
The winter nuc is essentially a regular deep which has an added center slide so there will be two adjoining 4-5 frames hives, which can provide heat for each other. In addition the deep’s traditional entrance has been reduced to two custom 1-inch entrances; each on opposite sides of the hive. Finally two 1-inch entrance/moisture release holes have been drilled near the top of the deep above each hive entrance; one on opposites sides.
Then we add ¾” adjoining inner covers which have a ¼” moisture release hole cut in their front. Above the inner covers we add an empty medium super. Each ¾” inner cover has a 3 inch wire-screen covered feeder hole – it is through these holes that we feed the winter nucs until the first frost. Then above the medium we add a ½ ” piece of plywood with front and back moisture release holes. Finally above that we add a ¾” beeswax dipped migratory top.
In November we add 1-inch pink insulation foam to each medium, loosely wrap the two paired hives with roofing paper and cut entrance and moisture holes in the roofing paper. Lastly we top off the whole structure with a ½” plywood-cinder-block topped over-hang.