Micronucleus: what is it, making it yourself

Nucleus helps the beekeeper to receive and fertilize young queens using a simplified system. The construction device resembles a beehive, but there are some nuances. Nuclei are large and miniature - micronuclei. The beekeeper must have good experience in order to be able to form a family and hatch a queen.

What is a Nucleus

Essentially, a nucleus is a reduced-sized hive. Translated from Latin, it means the core. In beekeepers, the term means the basis of the bee colony. The small size of the body does not allow to accommodate many insects. An understaffed colony consists of a maximum of 1000 strong worker bees and a queen bee. Compared to a micronucleus, the nucleus is large in size and can contain several queens.

Inside, the nucleus looks like an ordinary hive with a full-fledged family. However, due to the smaller number of worker bees, they are not able to provide themselves with food for the winter. A small family cannot withstand the attack of other people's full-fledged bee colonies. Knowing their weakness, bees begin to develop faster. This is the plus of the cores.

There are three types:

  • micronuclei;
  • medium size;
  • large cores.

The main difference is in size. Large cores can be used in place of regular hives. Their disadvantage is the need to colonize a large number of bees.

In beekeeping, nuclei are needed for flying around queens, or more precisely, for two purposes: fertilization and breeding of new queens. It is not profitable to work with queens in hives. It will take a lot of drones that are not useful in the apiary. It is more profitable to acquire several cores.

Another purpose is family reproduction. In small enclosures, bees develop faster. The family grows on its own without the constant supervision of the beekeeper.

Important! In order to increase the bee colony in a regular hive, the beekeeper must constantly monitor the condition of the bees.

What is a micronucleus

In continuation of deciphering the terms, it should be noted that the micronucleus is the same construction, only of reduced size. The translation of the word nucleus is similarly preserved - the nucleus. The term micro means small. Taken together, a small bee colony is obtained.

Large cores are less popular with beekeepers. Most often, mini-cores are bought for the apiary because of the convenience of maintenance and low cost. The price of one micronucleus is within 700 rubles.

For the manufacture of the case, polystyrene is often used. 4 frames and a feeder are installed inside. Popular are Polish models equipped with a lower entrance, excluding the theft of honey by other people's bees. Compared to a large nucleus, a micronucleus is designed for one uterus. The advantage is the need to colonize a small number of bees. However, there are drawbacks. Due to the small size of the frames, the uterus sows them quickly. If the queen is not taken out of the micronucleus in time, she will fly away in a few days after fertilization.

What materials is it made of

A bee core is made from the same materials as the hives themselves. Traditionally, there is a tree: pine, spruce. For homemade structures, fiberboard is used.Modern models are made of polystyrene foam, polyurethane foam, expanded polystyrene. The main requirement for the material is environmental friendliness.

Which nucleus is better for bees?

The beekeeper chooses the optimal micronucleus model for himself. Often Dadan, containing 12 frames, is divided into 6 buildings. However, the best is a single design that can accommodate 3 frames.

An economical core is considered, with a divided body of four compartments, each of which can accommodate 3 small frames measuring 100x110 mm.

There are corner models. Frames are not used in such micronuclei. The walls are made with bevels. Foundation is installed in the grooves.

A single micronucleus has a feeder at the top. The entrance is equipped with a regulator. Corner micronuclei are often made of polyurethane foam, PPS or foam. There are also wooden structures.

Important! Adjustment of the building activity of bees is carried out due to the angle, which is 30-45 about.

Rochefus cores are popular among amateur beekeepers. The structure consists of a wooden body with a bottom. Blind partitions divide the internal space into compartments. Usually there are 4 of them. The bottom of each compartment has a slot covered with a grill. Through it, the bees make their way into the main colony, but do not come into contact with the queen. From above, each compartment is closed with a lid or a feeder, there is an individual tap hole. To make the house recognizable by bees, its walls are painted with four different colors.

The video tells more about the best models:

How to make a bee nucleus

The easiest way is to make do-it-yourself cores from polyurethane foam or PPP, but wood will do. If you do not have experience, you will need a drawing. Schemes can be found in specialized literature, the Internet. The need for a drawing is explained by the presence of the dimensions of each element. For example, a micronucleus is often made in standard dimensions: 175x76x298 mm. The dimensions of the core for a full frame made of polyurethane foam are: 315x405x600 mm. The sequence of numbers indicates the height, width and length, respectively.

However, adherence to the specified dimensions is optional. These are just examples. Each beekeeper collects micronuclei and large bodies according to his measurements.

Do-it-yourself bee nuclei: drawings, materials, tools

Most do-it-yourself drawings for making bee cores show the elements of the body and the internal structure. Dimensions may not be shown in the diagrams. It is important for a beekeeper to know the basic ingredients. The size is calculated individually.

The set of tools for work depends on the selected material. To process wood, you will need a saw, jigsaw, sandpaper. PPS, polyurethane foam and polystyrene can be easily cut with a knife.

Build process

The sequence of assembling the core with your own hands consists of the following stages:

  1. On the material selected for production, markings are applied according to the drawing.
  2. The body is assembled from the cut fragments. PPS, polystyrene or polyurethane foam are glued together, reinforced with self-tapping screws. Fragments of the wooden case are knocked down with nails.
  3. The internal space of the body is divided by partitions of the same size. They are attached to the side walls of the box with self-tapping screws.
  4. Inside, the box is equipped with fasteners for frames, a feeder. A cover is made. Tap holes are cut out for each compartment. The maximum hole diameter is 15 mm.
  5. The bottom of a micronucleus or a large body is equipped with legs from the outside. Usually, the stands are made of 4 bars, screwing them to the body with self-tapping screws.

The finished structure is checked for strength. At the end, the body is painted.

How to make frames for a nucleus

According to the standard, the frames have the following dimensions:

  • 145x233 mm - 1/3 Ruta;
  • 145x145 mm - 1/3 Dadant;
  • 206x134 mm - ¼ lounger.

In non-standard homemade micronuclei, the size of the frames is calculated individually. They must fit inside the case.

A specific feature of the core frame design is its dimensions. It is half of the standard frame.If they need to be installed in a regular hive, the frames are connected with a nail or a piano loop.

Frames are made from slats. For mass production, it is desirable to have a special template - a jig. The slats are fastened together with carnations.

Rules for working with a nucleus

Working with a nucleus or micronucleus has its own characteristics, which differ from the maintenance of hives.

How to properly form a colony in a nucleus

In order for the formation of micronuclei or large analogs to be successful, a developed strong family of bees is chosen during honey collection or swarming. The procedure is performed before lunch. At this time, the hives are practically empty. Bees, guards and new brood remain inside.

The order in which a family of bees is formed depends on the weather:

  1. In the southern regions, beekeepers set two feeding frames with honey and one with brood in the nucleus. Additionally, about 300 worker bees are laid.
  2. In cold regions, the same number of frames with feed and brood are placed in the core. Usually two. The number of worker bees is increased to 600 individuals.

The brood for the formation of a family of bees is taken sealed. The amount of feed is at least 2 kg. A maturing mother liquor is placed inside a large body or micronucleus. If the queen is not fertilized, she is isolated in a cage, and released after 5 days.

Attention! During the formation of a new colony of bees, it is necessary to make sure that the queen is not taken from the hive.

A void is formed in the place of the taken brood and feed inside the main hive. It is filled with honeycombs with foundation. A complete micronucleus or a large body is insulated. The entrance is reduced to the size of a bee so that only one individual can climb through the hole. Expand the entrance with the beginning of mating of the uterus.

Over time, the young bees will leave the combs. The beekeeper removes the empty frames and replaces them with new ones with larvae. The replacement procedure allows the young growth to be loaded with work. Everything needs to be done before the queen's egg-laying begins.

How to remove queens

Each beekeeper has his own secrets for the withdrawal of queens in micronuclei. The procedure for the Rochefus model consists of the following steps:

  1. After completing work with a family of bees, the teacher removes the upper body from the hive. The frames with the bees are transferred to the lower building, where there is a queen. The old uterus is allowed to be discarded, and the young one is transferred to another nucleus. At the time of the procedure, it must be inhabited by a strong family of alien bees.
  2. Frames with printed brood and incubated bees are taken from a bee colony left without a queen. They are transferred 1 piece to each compartment of Rochefus. Supplement with 1 feed frame. A mature mother plant is added to the brood frames. The completed core is returned to the hive body with the main family of bees.
    Important! At the time of installation of Rochefus, the fetal queen must be absent in the main body of the hive. Otherwise, the new queens will be destroyed.
  3. After a period of time, its own queen will appear inside each compartment and fly out through an individual entrance for mating with drones.

The technology allows obtaining at least 4 fetal queens from one bee colony. In warm weather, you can further increase the yield of queens by placing an additional Rochefus on top.

How to preserve a nucleus in winter

In order for the wintering of cores and weak bee colonies to be successful, the beekeeper conducts training. Optimally, to get a developed family of bees, the queen bee should be added no later than July 25. Sowing will go exactly from this queen.

Due to bad weather conditions or if it is impossible to take out the apiary, honey collection ends ahead of schedule. Bees need to be fed with syrup in an amount of 250 to 350 g per nucleus. For 1 or 2 days, about 2 liters of syrup are fed.

For wintering, each colony of bees is provided with 4 half frames filled with honey. With the onset of cold weather, the cores are brought into Omshanik, placed on top of the hives. On the upper tier, the bees will be warmer.


The nucleus is a handy invention and is available to every experienced beekeeper.The beekeeper has the ability to independently breed queens, increase families without buying bee packages.

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