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When you purchase a nuc ...

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Katie, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. Katie

    Katie Larva

    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    Pikowai, Whakatane
    When you buy a nucleus of bees, is there an amount you would think you would receive? i.e How many frames of bees, brood etc? What are your expectations?
  2. Naki Bees

    Naki Bees Larva

    Messages:
    61
    Location:
    New Plymouth
    I reckon four or five frames, at least two frames of brood and a frame of honey and should be packed with bees.
    Rob Atkinson, tony and Merk like this.
  3. tony

    tony Guard Bee

    Messages:
    1,847
    Location:
    Opotiki
    i rekon five frames and as Naki bees says.
  4. Alastair

    Alastair Guard Bee Donor 2014 Donor 2013

    Messages:
    2,039
    Location:
    Auckland North Shore
    They are normally specified as 4 frame nucs, or 5 frame nucs. The "textbook" norm for a 4 frame nuc is minimum 2 frames of brood, one of honey, and one with either brood, pollen, honey or whatever.

    Nucs I sell are 4 frame nucs.

    A little common sense should apply, if I'm selling a nuc when there's no nectar flow it will have a lot more honey, when the flow is on it will be mostly brood to get the guys hive up & running faster.
  5. tony

    tony Guard Bee

    Messages:
    1,847
    Location:
    Opotiki
    I didn't even now you could get four frame nucs!
  6. Daley

    Daley Guard Bee Donor 2014

    Messages:
    1,493
    Location:
    Gisborne
    Im with those guys, at least 2 frames of brood. BUT you should have 4 frames absolutely packed with bees.
    I think the bees numbers are pretty blimin important :D
  7. Kiwimana

    Kiwimana House Bee Donor 2014

    Messages:
    683
    Location:
    Waitakere, New Zealand
    The ones we sell are usually five or six frames, depending on how long the hive sits in the apriary. And what the flow is like at that time.

    See ya...Gary
  8. Katie

    Katie Larva

    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    Pikowai, Whakatane
    I want to comment now without shaming the person who sent me four nucs. I know it may have been a difficult season for raising nucs but I paid a good price and am extremely disappointed that two nucs didn't seem to have very many bees and all and I got a lot of honey and not a lot of brood. Some bees may have been lost in transit but when we have purchased nucs before they were full frames and they were loaded with bees. Disappointing.
  9. Katie

    Katie Larva

    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    Pikowai, Whakatane
    These were four 3/4 frames and some of those were not fully filled with honey or brood.
  10. P K Tan

    P K Tan Guard Bee Donor 2013

    Messages:
    1,242
    Location:
    Porirua; Wellington
    That reminds me of the CC advert. Any possibility the bees came from some where close to you and went back home?
  11. Erin

    Erin Guard Bee Donor 2014 Donor 2013

    Messages:
    1,141
    Location:
    Hamilton
    reminds me of this:
    GhostChips.jpg
    Jamo, Roger and tony like this.
  12. Katie

    Katie Larva

    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    Pikowai, Whakatane
    No possibility whatsoever!
  13. Alastair

    Alastair Guard Bee Donor 2014 Donor 2013

    Messages:
    2,039
    Location:
    Auckland North Shore
    I'm guessing that if these nucs were supplied in 3/4 depth gear they probably came from somebody who is not a commercial producer? More likely someone with just a few hives making a little extra cash? If that's the case you pay your money and you take your chances.

    You pay your money and take your chances with a commercial producer also but there is more likelihood of backup and proper recourse in the event of a problem.

    Personally I've found it a very good season for producing nucs, bees built up hugely and I have been able to sell nucs that are pumping. Mine are 4 framers but none of them go in a nuc box, can't fit the bees in. Queen raising, well that's been something else, for several reasons mating % has been really bad this season, for me anyway. But that's actually been good for nuc sales, I've had less queens but lots of bees so better to sell nucs as I can get rid of some bees with the lower numbers of queens I've got.

    Part of the problem is the numbers of people wanting to buy, I've been forced to turn orders down constantly for both queens, and nucs, with people in some cases being very dissapointed. Under these circumstances some people end up at the point where they will pay big money for just about anything, which leaves room for poor quality nucs to be sold.
    phill-k and deejaycee like this.
  14. deejaycee

    deejaycee Guard Bee Donor 2013

    Messages:
    1,584
    Location:
    Hastings, Hawke's Bay
    Katie, just out of interest, how were the nucs transported that bees may have been lost?
  15. Katie

    Katie Larva

    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    Pikowai, Whakatane
    Being new to the North Island I decided to look for a reputable firm and found this company advertising on the Beekeepers Magazine. They charged $140 for the nucs and $20 for delivery. I received a bill in October to be paid for within ten days. I did this. I have had to chase the order over the last few weeks wondering what the heck was going on.
  16. Katie

    Katie Larva

    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    Pikowai, Whakatane
    One nuc had a number of dead bees in the bottom. They were post haste overnight. I figured if I pay good money I would get good nucs. When we have bought nucs in Christchurch they were half the price for double or triple the bees.
  17. frazzledfozzle

    frazzledfozzle Guard Bee Donor 2014 Donor 2013

    Messages:
    2,746
    Location:
    Top of the South
    in the past we have sold five frame nucs but have had troubles getting our nuc boxs back. from now on we will sell four frame nucs in the reusable corrugated cardboard nuc boxs that that the client can keep.

    As Alastair said at least 2 frames of wall to wall brood and the rest a mix of brood honey and pollen and full to the brim with bees. and of course a nice new ITALIAN queen:p
  18. Katie

    Katie Larva

    Messages:
    65
    Location:
    Pikowai, Whakatane
    Got the Italians. That was the first goal. They are good natured bees had no problem installing them just not sure if the value for money was there. But if they survive I will still have four new hives so maybe I am making a mountain out of a molehill!
  19. Alastair

    Alastair Guard Bee Donor 2014 Donor 2013

    Messages:
    2,039
    Location:
    Auckland North Shore
    If the nucs were couried to you in a nuc box, you aren't going to get one jam packed with bees. Too much risk of suffocation during the journey.

    The company has to make a judgement call, trying to get as much into the box as they can, but at the same time taking into account weather etc and making sure they will arrive alive. If you had dead bees in the bottom in reasonable quantity, looks like they probably cut their margins pretty fine.

    Best course of action may be to take some photos of exactly what you got, and send them to them saying you don't think it was good enough. They can then look at the pics and make a fair assessement.

    There's also sometimes unrealistic expectations. Sometimes people wil bring their hive and I put a 4 frame nuc in it, and they say, "when can I put another super on it, straight away?" Well if they were buying a single decker hive, yes, it will need another super straight away. But a 4 frame nuc, is just a 4 frame nuc, it has to fill the first box first.
  20. Otto

    Otto Pupa Donor 2013

    Messages:
    293
    Location:
    Dunedin, New Zealand
    I keep my nucs in 5-frame boxes with 4 frames and a 1 frame feeder. This would be a 4-frame nuc:)

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