How to install a nuc into a hive

Early spring nucs queens just starting to lay a good pattern.

One of the questions I am most often asked is how to transfer a new nuc into a hive.

Firstly, I tell customers to be patient. Place the nuc on your hive stand, with the nuc entrance where you will have your hive entrance. Let the bees fly for 24 hours. This will allow them to learn where their new home will be.

Next lift you nuc on to the ground and place your empty hive on the stand. Then add two frames of foundation on one side. Remove the first frame from the nuc and place it next to the two frames in the hive. If this first frame is all honey and no brood, then add another frame of foundation. Take the next frame from the nuc and place in the hive. Repeat this until the last. If the last frame is also all honey (as can often be the case) again place a frame of foundation next to the brood and add the last frame. Doing this allows the nest to expand quickly, as frames of honey on the outside of the nest means the queen has to slow down her egg production.

Replace the crown board and feed your nuc for the first two weeks. This will take the pressure off the forging bees and, again, allow the nuc to expand quickly. `the new queen will not need to have a break in her egg production and all will progress at speed. During this first two weeks I would not recommend inspecting your bees at all, apart from making sure the feeder is topped up.

After the first two weeks are up, then the fun starts, and with that, regular inspections. With luck, 4 weeks after the arrival of your nuc, a queen excluder and honey super are what you need to place on top of your hive. Do not expect this to fill over night but keep an eye on it as you will be amazed how quickly bees can fill a super with honey.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>