My first shot at a new design I got off the web. Here are the pictures and measurements of the nuc, which is a 5-frame deep frame configuration.
It is unclear from the pics what thickness of plywood he is using, so I bought a 2 x 4 foot panel of 1/4 inch at Lowes for about $8. Using the measurements given in the plans, this panel was very efficient with minimal waste, meaning that a standard 4 by 8 plywood sheet would yield four of these nucs and drive the price per nuc down.
Here is what I came up with:
This nuc is looking a little ratty, but I think next time I can build it a bit more quickly, and more neatly. In this case I got a functional and rugged nuc, certainly stronger than a waxed cardboard nuc. It took me about an hour to lay out the pieces, cut, and assemble. I was using a circular saw. if I had a table saw it would be easier, faster, more accurate.
I will, however, change the plywood I use. With this nuc I went cheap and bought the 1/4 inch stock. It was difficult to work with, forced the use of nails rather than screws (my preference) and the measurements from the web were for thicker stock and thus required some modification for my thinner panel. I will try, next time, the 15/32 inch stock. This panel was running $10 for the same size.
- Little waste;
- Simple construction;
- 5 frame deep.
- I suck with a circular saw;
- I suck with nails;
- I think thicker plywood will solve the problem;
- Still more expensive then cardboard nuc.
I then grabbed my saw for try number 2. This is a 6-frame medium nuc that has a stacking capability and is relatively cheap. All joints are butted and screwed, and all lumber uses is stock widths. In this case, a medium depth nuc with use 1 x 8 lumber. While this is slightly deeper than a medium box, it is pretty close and brace and bottom comb should be a minimal problem. While I am describing here a medium depth configuration, it can also be modified to use 1 x 12 lumber to accommodate deep frames.
The sides of the box are stock 1 x 8. The bottom and top are stock 1 x 12. aHere are the dimensions for the basic box:
Here is where you are. Pretty simple. This took me about 10 minutes and if I was making a bunch I can imagine my per-box efficiency would improve.
Now we have to add a frame rest and a top. For the rest I use an insert of a 1/4 inch piece of scrap plywood. The top is another length of 1 x 12 with cleats on the end to keep it closed. 2 additional cleats are added to the box as carry holds. here are the dimensions:
Here is how it looks when the inserts are installed (1 inch screws):
And there you have it.
If you leave off the top and the bottom, you end up with a stackable box for nuc expansion:
Modifications I will make to this will include a cut-out in the bottom, covered with screen, to ventilate the hive. I will add cleats to the bottom to raise the bottom to allow for ventilation. On the top I will cut a hole to allow for a hive top feeder.
Not bad for a couple hours work.
NEXT TIME: I am going to retrofit a deep box to make it into a 2-colony nuc.