Nucleus colony

Published on 20 January 2024 at 15:50

A nucleus colony, or nuc, is essentially a smaller hive, in a smaller box, consisting of bees in all stages of development, as well as food, a laying queen, and enough workers to cover from three to six frames.


When placed into a full-sized hive and given supplemental feeding, the nuc usually expands quite quickly into a strong colony. When started in early spring, these hives may produce surplus honey in their first year under good weather and nectar flow conditions.


If you have purchased a Nucleus colony or maybe you would like to buy bees from us here are some steps to follow


Get Prepared For Your Nuc of Bees

Before you receive your nuc ensure you have everything you need to start beekeeping. This includes your beehive with frames & foundation, beesuit, feeder, Smoker, gloves, hive tool and hive stand,

You should also be ready to feed your nucleus colony with 1:1 sugar syrup. 

How To Transfer Your Nuc Into Your Hive

Give yourself plenty of room to work around to transfer the nuc. Remove around 6 frames from your hive to allow space for the transfer of the nuc. you should not need to use any smoke as this can make the queen run all over the place in the nuc.


Being carefull when first taking out the frames from the nuc to put into the hive as the queen could be on any of the frames and to avoid crushing bees.


Transfer the frames into the centre of the hive, when your moving the frames across into your hive make sure you put the frames in order as they were in the nuc and checking as you move them across to make sure the queen is Transfered over she will be marked with the colour of the year .


Then ​fill all gaps within the brood box with frames and foundation If ther are any bees left in the nuc box simply give it a bit of a bang over the top of the hive and place crownbord and put on the roof and leave to settle. The bees will naturally head towards the new beehive and orientate to there new home.


leave for a couple of days then feed in the in late afternoon before dark.


Set up a feeder and feed with 1:1 sugar syrup (1kg of sugar to 1ltr of water) to assist the bees in drawing out the rest of the frames and turning them into honeycomb. ( you can use an empty super to contain the feeder)  Stop feeding when the bees are covering 80% of the frames in the beehive.



Once the bees are in the beehive, you can start weekly inspections. Inspect the bees every 7 days and ensure they have sufficient space to grow.


Check to see if the queen is laying eggs and there is brood in all stages. Keep an eye out for swarm cells and ensure there is enough stores. (food)


ADD SUPERS ( Honey Boxes )

When the bees are covering 80% of the frames in the brood box, you can add a super. 


First place the queen excluder onto the brood box and then place the super above the queen excluder. This ensures the queen can only lay in the brood box and only honey is stored within the supers. 


If your new to beekeeping it is advised you do a beekeeping begginers course these will teach you how to look after your bees and what to look out for, otherwise it would also be advisable to have a mentor that can help and guide you through your experience in beekeeping


Bee health is very imprtant to us all our Colonies are treated with Oxalic Acid ( ApiBioxal ) to treat against varroa and thoroughly inspected against any diseases before being sold, and comply with the latest guidelines set by Defra for the Sale of Honey Bees.


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