Making a nuc

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by PerryBee, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Just a quick question, especially for those selling nucs (something I may do this year).
    A 4 frame nuc is often advertised as 2 frames of brood and bees, 1 frame of honey and 1 frame of empty comb.
    Is it understood that all 4 frames are covered with bees or only the 2 with brood?
    Thanks
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    There is no 'understanding' or standard way of doing nucs. Last year I sold 5 frame nucs with 4 frames of bees, brood and feed (<here depending on season this last item can vary quite a bit) and one new frame with foundation. Getting the first frame out of a 5 frame nuc box was very unnerving (for me) and presented some hazard to the nuc, so this year I decided to stick to 4 frames in the box.

    How many frames are covered with bees would depend on the quantity of bees (naturally) and also the temperature when you looked. I would rather sell a nuc that when the owner pulls the top the quantity of bees boils out over the top of the box and when they pick it up for the first time it feels like a brick. This is the kind of year when this latter quality will be difficult to achieve.
     

  3. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    OK, I think I got it.
    4 frames covered with bees, 2 with brood, 1 honey, 1 empty comb.
    I thought that sounded better, 2 frames of bees wouldn't look impressive in a nuc box designed for 5 frames. (I built those D Coates ones)
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I have been told PerryBee that some nucs when opened are not the least bit impressive. I have never bought any of these myself but others I know have and have quite often been left with the feeling of being fleeced.

    Getting the right number of bees into the box (the optimal quantity of bees depends very much on the time of year here) is no small feat. This simple task is almost an art form all to itself.
     
  5. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I would really rather have people happy than dissapointed.

    I have on one occasion sold a swarm I had caught to someone getting started again for a very nominal fee. It ended up the swarm had a drone laying queen (perhaps an unmated afterswarm?). I felt badly enough that I ended up giving them a second swarm at no additional cost. Yet when I think about it, when you buy a swarm, there really should be no guarantee of what you are getting, just a bunch of bees with a queen of questionable quality and value.

    Later though, after making several calls to a couple of folks that sell nucs I came to discover that swarms (large ones) are prized and can actually fetch a price comparible to or even exceed those of nucs in that they often contain more bees and that they are in prime comb building mode. People actually phone and request them when they become available.

    Go figure!
     
  6. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    I wouldn't buy one like that. I have enough empty comb. I don't sell them like that either. My customers expect more.

    In a five frame nuc from me there should be three full frames of brood and probably some brood on the other frames too. The two outside frames will have mostly honey. But I expect they just as often have some brood too.

    Bees covering the brood for sure and more. Plus a laying queen who has been laying for three weeks or a month.

    I like my customers to pick them out themselves. Many nuc sellers don't want people pawing thru their nucs. I don't want any more complaints about dead queens or anything than I have gotten so far.

    This years price is still $80.00, but next year they will be $100.00. I need to catch up w/ the market.

    None for sale at this time. In case you wondered.