Does anyone know if there is a "standard" for nucs put out by the ABF or other organization? Is there a definition?
I help many new beekeepers every year. This year the local farm store finally got rid of the horrifying person who was supplying the nucs (he took advantage of the newbees by giving them cull frames and trash bees he wanted to get rid of. Then he yelled at the customers). Unfortunately, the new supplier, although nicer, provided some of the poorest nucs I have ever seen. I recommended the folks ask for a complete refund.
These were sold as 5 frame nucs. They contained: 2 really poor frames (they should have been culled years ago), the 2 frames were not well covered in bees, the other 3 frames were new, plastic foundation, (so new they weren't even dirty yet), and a caged queen.
When I sell (or buy) a nuc, it has 5 fully drawn frames covered in bees, 2-3 frames have brood, and 2-3 have honey/pollen, the queen is fully accepted and laying.
The 5 frames should look like they were just pulled from full grown, active hive - that is why it is called a "nucleus". A nuc should need extra frames the day it arrives. Foundation can be purchased for 2 $/frame - why pay 25 dollars per frame for it in a nuc? Foundation in a nuc seems like a total rip-off.
I would like to work with the "bee guy" at the farm store (I'm not sure he even keeps bees) and help them work towards a more specific contract that spells out the condition of the nucs when they are delivered. I would like to provide them with some printable information from reliable sources, not just my word or 15 years of experience.
Does anyone know of this type of information from any of the organizations?
Thanks for the help.