When you purchase bees to start a new colony, they typically come in a nuc, making it easier for transportation. It’s best to head directly to your apiary after picking up the bee nucs so that the bees don’t overheat in the car. Preparing the space with proper equipment before acquiring the bees can make the process much easier, but be sure to look for these signs it’s time to transfer your bees from a nuc to a hive.
3 of the 5 Frames Contain Brood and Honey
One of the primary purposes of a bee nuc is to give the new colony a head start on growth and stability. The bee nurseries or farms you purchase from add existing honey and brood to the nuc with the bees, giving them a chance for success right away. Most bee nucs contain five frames, and two or three will contain honey and brood. Note that it may be best to transfer the colony from the nuc to the permanent hive if three frames are full.
The Bees Are Exploring Their New Hive
When you unload the nuc from your car, you should place it on top of or near the permanent hive. This way, you’ll avoid moving the bees too far during the transfer. Once you open the nuc, bees will probably come pouring out and start exploring their surroundings. Give them time to get acquainted with the area. They may be ready for transfer if they’re already exploring their new hive.
The Bees Are Active
It won’t take long for the bees to begin foraging and working once you place the nuc near the hive, but you should give them a few days to get used to their new surroundings before moving them to their permanent home. Once your colony becomes active, they may be ready to move.
Starting a new bee colony is an incredible experience, and your efforts as a beekeeper help the bee population in your area. Knowing the signs it’s time to transfer your bees from a nuc to a hive will help you determine the most ideal time to move your growing colony to their new, permanent home.