Our 5-frame nuc includes a mated, marked and proven first-year queen. Originally of Carniolan stock, our queens are open mated here at the Little Wren Farm apiary and selected for traits including overwintering success, health, gentleness, and honey production. At pick-up, each 5-frame nuc includes a nucleus colony with a mated, proven, and marked queen; at least 2 frames of her own brood; and 3 frames that provide a mix of food (nectar, honey, pollen/bee bread), brood, and space / foundation for expansion. Our 5-frame nucs are sold in waxed, cardboard nuc boxes. At pick-up, nuc boxes are plugged and banded for transport. Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Apiary Program 2023 Certificate for Apiary Health Inspection available.
Our nucs are only available for curbside pick-up at Little Wren Farm. After your nuc order is confirmed, you will receive an email from Little Wren Farm to coordinate pick-up date and time. We require that you wear a veil for pick-up.
Important Note: After a nuc leaves our apiary, we cannot be responsible for the colony, including queen health or performance, but we’re always very happy to answer questions or share advice. Please don’t hesitate to drop us a line if you run into any questions.
General Overview of Nuc Pick-Up and Installation:
The following recommendations and suggestions regarding nuc pick-up, transport and installation are offered based on our experience.
Nuc Pick-up & Transportation
We require that you bring and wear a veil for nuc pick up at Little Wren Farm.
Pick up will generally be scheduled towards the end of the evening, when most of the bees are back in the nuc box.
In preparation for transportation, we will plug and band the nuc box. Nuc box closures are not foolproof, so plan to wear a veil for the ride home if transporting inside your car. For additional peace of mind, consider bringing a large sheet or mesh bag to enclose the nuc box during the ride home. If you’ll be transporting the nuc box in the back of a truck, bring some method for securing it in place (if an open bed, securing it against the back of the cab is likely best).
Closed nuc boxes can very easily overheat. Once you’ve loaded the nuc box into your vehicle, you should travel straight to your apiary, minimizing transport time. If you’re transporting the nuc in your car, considering keeping the windows down or using the AC as needed to prevent the nuc from overheating.
As soon as you arrive at your apiary, place the nuc box at or immediately adjacent to the receiving hive’s intended location and remove the entrance plug. The nuc box should be set at the same height off the ground as the receiving hive.
You can leave the nuc in this location up to 24 hrs, but try to make the transfer to a full hive box as soon as possible (weather permitting).
Nuc Installation into Receiving Hive Body (these notes assume installation into a 10-frame Langstroth hive body; modify as appropriate based on the intended receiving hive body)
Plan to install the nuc into your receiving hive box in the middle of the day (between approximately 11am-2pm) when many foragers will be out of the hive.
Before installing the nuc, set up the receiving hive body, including the 5 additional frames you will be adding to the hive. Place 4 frames inside the box (2 frames on either side) and set 1 frame aside temporarily. Leave space in the center of the box for all 5 frames from the nuc.
Transfer the 5 nuc frames into the center of the receiving hive body, maintaining the same frame order and orientation to hive entrance.
Install the final frame into the receiving hive body, close the hive, and install an entrance reducer.
If using undrawn frames, plan to feed the colony (using an approximately 1:1 sugar syrup, using only white sugar) to help them to draw out the new comb. Feed the colony until all frames are drawn out. Once the first box of frames is completely drawn out, you can add a second box and continue to feed while the colony draws out those frames as well.
Other than refilling syrup as needed, leave the colony alone for 1 week before your first inspection.