I have no problem with a good nuc made in spring with a young matted queen laying for 3 weeks or so. The queen have been accepted and there is no risk of queen rejection.
On the other hand I have heard of really some bad nuc stories, nucs sold with the queen still caged. Those are the cases I am referring to and I hope you will agree with me.
The original thread was a question about pricing the overwintered nucs and most of the postings on this thread forgot the "overwintering" part and ignored any difference and advantage that an overwintered nuc has over a nuc made in spring.
Based on my experience there is a difference between a good overwintered nuc and a good spring nuc. That difference is the queen, even if they come from the same source.
The overwintered nucs here in North East have a queen bread in the summer months, which makes for much better matting conditions, the queen si confined in time and space in a 5 frame nuc box so there is no risk of "burning out" of the queen, if they are able to collect enough food and survive a winter, common sense is that they are worth something more than a nuc headed by a queen never tested. Not all the overwintered nucs survive so right there we have a selection, we have a reduced risk for future performance.
Another very important reason of the overwintered nuc advantage is the maturity of the queen closely related with performance.
Brother Adams believed that a queen bread in the summer reaches its full maturity and potential the next spring. That is the reason that those overwintered nucs that survive the winter become the best hives on the apiary, less swarming, less varroa problem and enter the second winter stronger than the otherwise the big hives.
The queen on spring nucs may be laying nicely but still she is not fully matured. It takes months for a queen to fully mature. I am not even talking about the effects of queen banking on the shrinking of ovaries, reducing the pheromone levels.
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