A nuc is a 3-5 frame hive with a mated, accepted queen. In a five frame nuc, at least three frames should be already drawn out and full of brood and honey. The “nuc box” also houses your new colony of bees. We will will seal all openings in the box as best we can before pick-up.
Have your hive and all necessary components painted and ready for use. Be sure you have all of the safety gear and tools ready to go.
Place your hive in the exact spot where you plan to keep your bees. Moving them later is not really a practical undertaking, so consider placement carefully at this time..
We will have received the nucs earlier in the week and inspected each one before we can feel comfortable sending out to their new homes. The evening before pick-up, we will close up the boxes once all foragers have returned for the night. They will remain sealed until they arrive at the new hive location.
On pick-up day
Our pick-up day runs very smoothly! You should have already taken care of any remaining balance on your bees and purchased any supplies you may need as the store will not be open yet during pick-up.
All pick-ups must occur between 6:30am and 8:00am.
We know it's early and you might have other things you want to do on a Saturday morning, but...the bees cannot remain sealed in the nuc boxes once the day begins to warm up. They will overheat and can die. We cannot let this happen, so any nucs not picked up by 8:30 will be placed back into the bee yard and released. Can't make it on your scheduled pick-up day? Please find a friend or relative who can come and pick them up for you so you don't lose your bees.
You will pull into our parking lot and we'll check your name off of our list and give you a ticket for each nuc you've purchased. Next, you'll pull up to the end of the lot where the nucs are being distributed, and we'll load you up. That's it! You are now a beekeeper.
Nuc installation Demo at 7:00am
Not sure what the heck to do with the box full of bees when you get them home? Plan to arrive early and watch an installation demonstration in our bee yard. This is free but you'll need to bring your protective clothing in order to participate.
In your apiary
Once you pick up your nuc box(es), head directly to your apiary, ensuring that the bees do not overheat in the car.
Place the nuc box directly on top of or in place of your hive box. Then, open up the entrance to the nuc box, located on one of the short sides, near the bottom. Bees will likely come pouring out of the box, but don't worry...they'll soon calm down and get to work.
The bees will begin orienting themselves to their new location, so you'll likely see lots of activity around the hive. Pollen and nectar collection begin almost immediately, so take some time to watch them.
After 24 hours
It'll be hard, but wait at least 24 hours (or up to one week) before moving the frames of bees from the nuc box into your hive body.. It's a simple procedure. Follow these steps:
Light your smoker and put on your veil/jacket/suit.
Gently puff a bit of smoke near the entrance of the nuc box, then crack open the lid and put some smoke across the tops of the frames.
Starting from one side of the box, gently lift each frame from the nuc box and place it into the hive body. It's important to maintain the order and direction of each of the frames during this transfer, as the bees have arranged their resources in a particular way.
Once all frames have been transferred, there may be some bees remaining in the nuc box. If so, hold the nuc box upside down over the hive and give it a firm tap. Most of the bees will fall into the hive.
Fill in empty frames on either side of the frames you just installed, keeping the nuc frames toward the center of the box. Be sure to completely fill the box with the appropriate number of frames, either 8 or 10.
Ensure the entrance reducer is set to the smallest opening.
Fill your feeder with 1:1 syrup and place feeder in the hive.
Replace the inner cover and outer cover.
Sit back and watch the bees!
One week later
It's time to do your first hive inspection.