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I Just Bought A Nuc, Now What?

If your here, your probably about to pickup your very first nuc of honeybees. A nuc is a miniature bee hive usually consisting of 5 deep frames. These 5 frames contain honey, pollen, and brood (Eggs and Larva) of all ages. A healthy nuc will be heavily populated with bees and a laying queen. Some beekeepers will mark the queens ahead of time at the request of the customer. This makes her stand out more during inspections.

The nuc is your responsibility once you leave the bee-yard from purchasing. It's always good to do your research on beekeeping and honeybees weeks before picking up your nuc. If you have concerns or questions ask before leaving with your nuc.
If you have never been around honeybees before, here is a few pointers to get everything setup.

Setting Up Nuc Once They Are At Their New Home
Step 1: Before picking up your nuc, make sure you have a spot prepared for their placement once you return home. Make sure you are happy with the location you will put hive in before installing your nuc. Honeybees memorize their homes location, so if you decide to move it later, you have to move it more than 3 miles so they can not find the old location. Things to keep in mind when picking a place for a bee hive is, sunlight and a windbreak of some sort. In my opinion, bees do best in full to mostly full sun. I like using natural windbreaks when possible such as trees and shrubs. Also keep in mind bees enjoy not being overly bothered, so give them their space if possible.

Rules To Relocate An Active Bee Hive

Step 2: I recommend you have a full sized bee hive ready to transfer the nuc into before you leave to pick it up. You would need the following to setup a 10 frame Langstroth hive.
10 Frame Single Deep Complete Setup (Amazon)
1 Screened Bottom Board (Amazon)
1 Deep Box w/ Plastic Wax Coated Foundation (Amazon)
1 Inner cover, 1 Outer Cover Package kit (Amazon)

As the colony expands you will need an additional deep box with 10 more frames . I like to wait until at least 7 frames are drawn with comb before I add the second deep. I also suggest a feeder of some sort. My favorite feeders are listed below.
Division Board Feeder (Frame feeder)
Top Hive Feeder
Entrance Feeder

Step 3. Transferring the nuc to a deep is simple. After the deep is setup in the location you want it, remove the outer and inner cover. If you have frames inside the deep, remove them all except 2 on one side or the other. Now smoke the entrance of the nuc wait about 20-30 second for the smoke to do it's magic (smoke covers bee pheromones and distorts communication). Then remove the cover of the nuc and you may need to puff the smoker again as you open it.
Being extremely careful, slowly remove one of the outer edge frames and place it in the deep against the 2 new frames. From there complete transferring the frames placing them back in the same order as they come out. Be careful to NOT to smash any bees especially the queen as you remove and replace the frames.
Finish by adding the rest of the new frames and replacing covers. Now enjoy your bees and watch them bring in pollen.

Here is something fun to do. Use this chart and learn the colors of pollen to the plant it comes from.

Keep these rules in mind
- Come prepared to transport your nuc. Make sure you have room in vehicle.
- Always transport your nuc with it running length wise with the vehicle, this keeps the frames from smacking together each time you stop
- Do not leave nuc closed for an extended period of time. Once home, place them where they will be living and remove entrance plug.
- Don't expect to have honey to harvest the first year.
- Bees do not like being bothered on cool, rainy, windy days.
- Ohio requires that you register your colonies and this should be done before June 1st. Go to

Learn More Basic Beekeeping

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