Should I Order a Nuc or a Package of Bees?

nuc or package.png

If you're a new beekeeper, it can seem like there are an overwhelming number of decisions to be made when setting up your first apiary. Do I need a bee suit or just a jacket? Plastic frames or wax foundations? Carniolan or Italian bees? There's no right or wrong answer to any of these questions, just like there's no right answer to give when new beekeepers ask us if they should order a nuc or a package.

Here's how we like to explain the difference, and our recommendations for when each is appropriate:

What's a nuc?

"Nuc" is short for nucleus colony, and it is easiest to think of it as a small version of a working hive.