Nucleus hives, or nucs, are small 5-frame colonies made up by dividing existing colonies in the early spring. Each nuc is given a queen and the colonies are allowed to establish themselves. When you receive your nuc it will consist of a frame with some honey, 3 frames of brood with some honey and pollen, and one frame of foundation being drawn out as an area for the colony to expand into. Because there is brood hatching and young bees being born, nucs build up more quickly than packages and need to be transferred to full-size colonies immediately. It is possible for a nuc to be ready for a second brood box within a few weeks of installation. Nucs should be fed until all frames in the first and second brood chambers are drawn out. Please note that if drawn frames are used instead of foundation they will be filled very quickly. The colony will need a super sooner if drawn comb is used.
Our nucs are raised in the south by a trusted bee supplier. We inspect each nuc to ensure it is strong and ready to be given to the beekeeper. The nuc box itself is a plastic nuc with 1 entrance and holds 5 frames. Once you transfer the frames into a permanent hive (not included), the plastic nuc box is very handy for storing frames, catching swarms, or doing other quick jobs.
Marked queens are available. Please choose between "Marked or "Unmarked" when ordering. Marked queens are an additional $7.00.
We are expecting our nucs to be ready to hand out in early May. This date is very tentative and is subject to change due to weather (here or down South) or other delays. Please provide us with your cell phone number, email, and home phone number so we can contact you.
Transporting your nuc: Keeping the nuc cool is extremely important. Typically, we close the entrance for you, and you can then transport the nuc with minimal bees on the outside of the box. The nuc must be transported home immediately in the back of a pickup truck, or in a well-cooled car. Do not stop on the way. Once arriving home, place the nuc in the location where the hive will be and open the entrance. Do not wait to do this; open the entrance as soon as you get home. After the bees have calmed down a bit (an hour or two), transfer the frames and bees into their permanent home.
1. Ordering: All nuc orders are invoiced separately from equipment orders. Some years we sell out of nucs by early winter, so please order early!
2. Payment: Full Payment is due when your order is placed. Cancellations: Nuc orders canceled before March 31st will be refunded the purchase price minus a $20 fee per nuc. If canceling after March 31st, then no refund will be made UNLESS we can resell the nuc.
3. Returns & Refunds: There are no returns or refunds once the customer accepts the bee nuc at Humble Abodes.
4. Additional Orders: Need additional equipment when you pick up your bees? Placing an order a week or so prior to your pick-up date ensures it's ready for you when you get here!
5. Preparation: Build and paint your hives ahead of getting your bees, as you will need to install the bees in their new home the day you get them. Don’t wait!
6. More Preparation: Plan to pick up early in the day, and make sure we have your current contact info in case we need to get in touch!
Please Note: We are unable to ship nucs. You must pick them up at our store in Windsor, Maine. Should there be a change in arrival dates, we will contact you.