Beekeeping Articles

Beekeeping Articles

Nucleus hive

What is a Nuc, How, When, Where can I use it?

By Lindsay Wilson

People say what is it ? Do I need a Nuc?
Will I use it? Can I save money not having one? I can’t see the point in having one! Well You Do Need a Nuc

A Nuc is a small bee hive, having 4 frames with foundation on the frames, and we call this a Nuc (nucleus hive).

1st Most people start out beekeeping from a swarm. Or they buy or make a nucleus hive made by splitting a bee hive. The worker bees will make a new queen from the eggs or larvae then she goes on a mating flight. After 6 weeks or so you can take the frames, now full of brood and drawn out comb, and put them into your Bee hive. So now you can make a new bee colony anytime with a Nuc. Well, just not in winter, its too cold.

2nd Is the same as the 1st but, you buy a mated queen, she will arrive in a queen cage. Add her to some brood frames, with house bees and a frame of food from a hive and you move this to your nuc box. Using a small bee hive we call a Nuc.

3rd In early spring beekeepers practice swarm prevention. What if this does not work? We need a Plan B, a bait hive in your garden is just the thing! Your Nuc box with 4 frames and foundation. Please do not use drawn honey comb frames, as you do not wish to get wax moth. You now have a bait hive, any swarm from your hives or in your area will send out scout bees that can find your bait hive.The bait hive is also called a Nuc....Has the penny dropped yet ?

4th Using a Nuc to catch a swarm. Let’s say a swarm is on a bush or tree, you can knock and brush the bees into your Nuc. As it has a door that closes and a lid that locks all the bees inside. You can take them home or give to someone at the club that’s just starting out in beekeeping or maybe it’s time to start your 2nd hive?

5th From late spring you will be robbing your hives for honey. You will be taking honey frames out of your hives and brushing the bees off the capped frames of honey with a bee bush. You now have a Nuc to put the honey frames into, and the bee cannot get to their honeyframes to take back their honey. All by using a Nuc…Just bring the Nuc inside to extract…..bee free!!!

At Southside Beekeeping Club we runs Nuc Box Building Courses so do you think doing a Nuc Box Course maybe for you ? The courses are run in a friendly and casual environment and we let you get down to it! And, you come away from the course with a Nuc... its a win/win situation, all good.

Hope this will help you to make up your minds about Nuc’s.

Lindsay Wilson
Beekeeping Course Co-ordinator
Swarm Co-ordinator
Web Assistant
One Of The Clubs Speakers.