Bee nucleus

Bee nucleus: A guide on nucleus installation and benefits

Bee nucleus colonies are small versions established from big colonies. The box size is smaller than that of big bee colonies - usually containing 2 to 5 frames with a hive and a queen. A nuc box is similar in design to a standard hive, which takes ten frames and more. The only difference is visibly apparent - the size. The nucleus hive has a small box since it contains a small number of frames and a small colony of bees. A bee nucleus may not contain a Queen when it's established. Still, the system within makes it possible to choose one that won't be rejected as it sometimes happens in packages. Choosing a Queen when the nuc doesn't come with one is possible when it contains eggs. The workers will simply create a queen from the available eggs, and gradually the colony starts to grow.

Caring for a nucleus hive

A nucleus hive is susceptible during the tender stage. First is the vulnerability of getting infected by disease picked from an existing hive. If steps are not taken to introduce antibiotics or are stopped along the line, the whole bee nuc may die off. And this mostly happens when beekeepers purchase honey bee nucs from unknown sources.

The use of a bee nucleus

Some beekeepers purchase nucleus hives to start a new colony in a 5 frame nuc box. The ease and fast development of nucs stir some individuals to make these purchases as they increase their beehives. However, some use beekeeping nuc to stop overcrowding in a big colony. A colony's population is rescued from being overcrowded by carving out a nuc from it. In other cases whereby a duplicate queen develops, a nuc is also created to care for such ones.

The edge of a nucleus over packages

A nucleus simply denotes an established bee colony, and as such, there are some advantages such as:
  • From fresh eggs to grown bees, a nuc has all forms of bee stages
  • Since the nuc is just a smaller version of a standard colony, honey and pollen are present
  • Harmonizing with a Queen is not required since the drones and workers are familiar with her
  • Foraging starts instantly compared to packages

Installing a Nucleus

Installing a nuc box is quite simple. Get a Langstroth (for example), perhaps a type with the standard ten frames. Since the standard is five frames for a nuc, simply remove about six frames that fall in the Langstroth middle. Next, replace the frames removed with the small colony on the nuc frames. By doing this, the bees will work their way naturally from the middle to the sides. Afterward, put an entrance reducer in place for safety because the colony is still very much young.

The take away

In conclusion, a bee nucleus is safe to start a new colony and reduce a large colony prone to overcrowding. New beekeepers can use a nuc to also begin a colony quickly without stress. Overall, the bee nuc box is simple to start and develops fast.

Latest articles