It’s November 2018 as I rewrite this post from 2010. Again, I’m struck by how I talked like I knew what I was talking about even though I had no experience as a beekeeper. Luckily installing a nuc is pretty straightforward and doesn’t require a great deal of experience to grasp. Most of what I wrote, even with no experience, seems accurate.
Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster the wait is over. I just got a call confirming that I can pick up my honey bees in 2 weeks. It will cost $400 for two nuc packages and I’ll have to drive eight hours to get them, but at least I know I’m going to have honey bees for two hives this year. Nuff said.
Okay, so what’s a nuc package and how does it work?
This is a nuc package. To reduce confusion, let’s call it a nuc box, because that’s what it is: a small box that contains the nucleus of a honey bee colony. A nuc box typically holds 4 deep frames, several thousands bees and a mated queen. Three frames will contain a combination of honey, pollen and eggs, everything a colony needs to stay alive. One frame is usually left empty so the worker bees have something to work on while they’re stuck in the box during shipment to their new hive.