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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Warrior, Alabama
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    Default What are the legal issues in selling packages as nucs.

    I am getting tired of hearing of people buying "nucs" and they they talk about the nuc being "made up" while they were there and they having to release the queen. That is a package. It is not a nuc. A nuc is queen, bees and foundation that have been living together before you buy it. They are a small living hive colony.

    ? What are the legal issues involved in people selling small packages with some frames and calling them "Nucs"?
    Can that not be considered misrepresentation, or basically lying?

    Would a buyer have a legal standing against a seller who sold a "ackage with frames" as a nuc?
    Old Guy in Alabama

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Hampton CT
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    360

    Default Re: What are the legal issues in selling packages as nucs.

    I don't know the legal issues, there is a lot of skullduggery in advertising, that also pertains to bees. It always pays to establish a relationship with your supplier and ask a lot of questions. There also could be some confusion on the part of the beekeeper, especially if they are a beginner.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
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    1,310

    Default Re: What are the legal issues in selling packages as nucs.

    Your best recourse for that would be to call your state's apiary inspection service (i.e. your apiary inspector). In most states, they're the ones both making, AND enforcing, the regulations...so they'd be the ones who have all the say as to what a nuc "legally" is, and what can be done if someone misrepresents their "package plus combs" as a nuc.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
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    3,070

    Default Re: What are the legal issues in selling packages as nucs.

    I would think a "Nuc" would have to be legally defined, and as far as I know it is not. People can sell shabby products and about the only recourse anyone has is to stop buying from them. Problem is there are a dozen waiting right behind them to take their place. Buyer Beware.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
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    764

    Default Re: What are the legal issues in selling packages as nucs.

    Quote Originally Posted by jrbbees View Post
    ? What are the legal issues involved in people selling small packages with some frames and calling them "Nucs"?
    This is an interesting discussion. There are no standards as far as I know and I am not sure more regulation is the right approach. TO me it comes downs to ethics and education. What our and a few other regional clubs have done is to work to educate the customer and produce our own written standards on what is a nuc. We don't all agree on each point in the region, but the basic make up and quality is more or less agreed upon. It has had a pretty good ripple effect. There are also folks who package bees in March and April and let them grow into nucs and sell those as nucs which at that point technically they are. We also educate folks to ask about this- to ask how the nuc was made up, queen source, etc. Fortunately or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, the State inspections are for disease, not the quality of the nuc.
    karla

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Concrete, WA, USA
    Posts
    761

    Default Re: What are the legal issues in selling packages as nucs.

    I too see the issue and yeah it does seem a bit shaddy
    NUCs fall in a gray area of hive replacement or start up

    A Package of bees has a history of being this

    2,3,4,or 5 pounds of unrelated bees shaken from several different hives
    a Mated queen often from a seperate supplier and a can of feed
    all mixed a day before you get them
    No brood , no frames no comb, and a broodless period inwhich the mite count can be somewhat reduced

    a True nuc is a set number of frames containing Brood,pollen, honey, mother queen of workers bees on frames and a box
    most TRUE honest nuc sellers will have 4 frames of brood in a 4 frame box, 5 frames of brood in a 5 frame box and so on... they will NOT sell you a feeder or undrawn frames in a Nuc. But the Nuc has Brood, and does not see a drop in population as a package does

    A Common Nuc is same as a true Nuc but the queen is caged and supplied from a seperate queen supplier - this is the "Common" nuc we see today
    problems with this is the queens DO have release issues and there is a time delay of brood - which shows up about a month after you get them - them builds up - so they are a bit slower then the true nucs --- often times these types of nucs are really just a 3,4,5 frame split sold as nucs


    as with anytime you get a frame style of bees - you risk AFB, Mites, Drone comb or other pest and issues --
    so yeah its a buyer beware issue and so i hope that my list of things will help others make a list of questions to ask when they order bees in the future
    Doing the Right things Right
    http://thevalleysbuzz.webs.com/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
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    4,163

    Default Re: What are the legal issues in selling packages as nucs.

    I would say the person is lying, & has enough beekeeping experience to know he's lying.
    Ethically wrong.
    Dan

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
    Posts
    1,223

    Default Re: What are the legal issues in selling packages as nucs.

    a nuc means that the bees are on comb. normally it means that the queen has been laying and established. I think that a lot of beginners call a package a nuc so maybe your information is not correct.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: What are the legal issues in selling packages as nucs.

    I think the biggest issue here isn't what people are sellings as a "nuc" nearly so much as whether the buyer knows BEFORE ordering/traveling to pick it up, exactly what they are buying. I think if someone advertises a "nuc" and clearly describes that it's going to be 4 random frames of brood, with X amount of bees, and a caged queen, then that's fine...they haven't misrepresented anything. However, if someone drives 2hrs to go pick up a "nuc," and finds out AFTER they get there that the "nuc" is what I just described, then that's a bit shady, and whomever's selling it needs to have a nice write-up about them published in the "Consumer Reports" section of this forum (among other things)!

  10. #10

    Default Re: What are the legal issues in selling packages as nucs.

    I think the real issue is guys with 2 boxes think they rule the world, and horace bell's of the world have the bees, the money, and make quality hives, in times and numbers that seem magical So what if they were made up. if theirs brood and pollen in those frames, its a nuc. I think it would be better to introduce the queen tomorrow, without that stressful ride to try and supersede her as opposed to accept her. But that would definitely not be a package.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,847

    Default Re: What are the legal issues in selling packages as nucs.

    I sold many nucs this year. They were inspected by the MA bee inspector BEFORE I delivered them. I believe this guarantees a disease free nuc and that it is an established nuc.

    When I bought nucs in the past I always looked for brood and frames of bees before I took delivery. I give buyers that right and usually open the nuc for them before I accept payment.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    whatcom co, WA
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: What are the legal issues in selling packages as nucs.

    You're confused. A package is bulk bees with a queen in cage.

    A nuc is frames with brood with queen.

    Shaking 3 pounds of bees into a box and selling it as a nuc would be wrong. 3-4 frames of brood in a box with a caged queen, sold as a nuc, and described AS SUCH (with a caged queen) is normal. It is the buyers responsibility to ask questions such as how long has queen been laying? Did the queen lay the brood or is the nuc made up with frames of brood and a caged queen? Of course the honest producer would also be wise to disclose this to the consumer, especially newbies...who don't know to ask. Most beekeepers know to ask this, as it obviously impacts their results.

    The "nucs" or starter hives I sell are made up with frames of brood and a (new, current year) queen that has been released and laying for long enough for me to see new capped brood. Actually I make them up with cells though, so the hive raised the queen. Does this make them better? Not necessarily.

    I have not bought nucs recently but the ones I bought generally were advertised as a nuc with a (new, this year's) queen. They were made up with 2-4 frames of brood and a caged queen, released, and sold to me when queen had been laying for long enough to get established (2-3+ weeks). I asked to determine how many frames of brood I could expect, and also asked about the queen. THIS IS NOT A PACKAGE. Nor is 4 frames of brood with a caged queen.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
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    4,067

    Default Re: What are the legal issues in selling packages as nucs.

    I have bought five good frames of mostly brood covered with bees with very adequate stores of pollen and honey. They are made up the day before and a queen cage is put in each. On the third day after that queen has been in the aggregation of bees and brood and placed in my equipment, I release the queen. Whatever you call these units which I recieved in the middle of April, there are bees in two boxes and I have just supered the first. The package of bees I got two weeks later, is now on six or seven frames! The first cost $100 and the package $90. It was a good package with maybe 25 dead bees in the bottom. Which was the better deal? A name is not nearly as important as the product. If you are close enough to Spokane to go get them, I highly recommend these Sunrise Honey 'not nucs':<}

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