It’s only June and it’s bee’n a beesy summer! The summer has started early this year with consistent sunshine and little rain. And the honey has just bee’n flowing in like no other year. But before we get to the dessert, let’s talk about work!
As we had more than enough hives, we were delighted when we received a call from a couple requesting to purchase a couple of nucs from us. We took every precaution to prep those nucs for their best chance of survival in a new home. Instead of the minimum required 5 frame nuc, we waited until the nuc had such a large brood nest that we could bolster their domain with an additional 5 frames. We didn’t want to take any chances. This way, the customers were guaranteed a reliable substantial set.
As well and as with all bee sales, the bee inspector was called to examine the health of our little ones. This is a mandatory routine as it will prevent the spread of diseases if anything were to be lingering around. This time, our bee inspector ran a sugar shake test to check for mites and inspect for American Foul Brood (AFB) and any other anomalies. We were given a certificate afterwards with a “pass.” Yay!
With a final check to make sure everything was looking good and the queen was, indeed, ruling the hive, we took one last photo of the determined green queen.
The amateurs finally showed up. I know we had said to arrive early evening when the bees would be back in the house, but arriving after dusk, was not a good move. We were preparing ourselves to get stung (bees don’t like their house to be taken apart after hours, would you?). To our surprise, everything went so smoothly. What a great set of bees they got!
Here’s what you need to know about picking up your first nuc:
- Arrive with your own box which includes the box, bottom board, inner and outer cover boards or a mesh screen as cover board. Also bring Tuck tape (the red tape) to seal any cracks. Bring a screen to allow for ventilation if possible.
- Gently transfer each frame. Take your time and don’t make any quick movements. A spray bottle with water will can help on a hot day.
- Once you’ve relocated the nuc, open the entrance a tiny bit and feed them with sugar syrup immediately.
- As you’ve been given a nuc fully loaded with brood, honey, pollen and bees, you should need to expand their house by adding a second box on top fairly soon afterwards.
- Check often, feed them, go to a beekeepers club and enjoy your new pets!
If you’ve been wondering how much these sell for, we charged $180 for 10 dadant frames. Here’s a breakdown of what commercial beekeepers would charge:
$160-170 for a package which includes about 2 lbs of bees and the queen (obviously)
$20 for 10 wood frames
$20 for 10 wax plates
That $200 does not include any brood, pollen, or honey. Nor does it have any drawn out wax combs yet so it will take more time and work for the bees to get the point of our 10 dadant frames.
If you’re interested in buying some bees from us, please email us in the spring or early summer at firstname.lastname@example.org