What is the purpose of a Nuc
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  1. #1
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    May 2014
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    Default What is the purpose of a Nuc

    I am new to beek. Quick question, what is the purpose of a Nuc?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Greenbrae, CA, USA
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    Default Re: What is the purpose of a Nuc

    Lots of uses for them. Basically they're just smaller colonies. They're often used to make splits as this only takes a few frames of bees so no need for a bigger hive box. Many people (like me) keep a couple of nucs going to provide resources for other hives. For example, if another hive needs a new queen you can just combine with the nuc. Likewise a weaker hive can be boosted by taking a frame of brood from a backup nuc. Nuc boxes are good for hiving swarms, and also can be used as swarm traps. Very useful to have around.

  4. #3
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    Sep 2014
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    John Day River, OR
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    Default Re: What is the purpose of a Nuc

    I think of nucs as either/and/or a bonzaii beehive or a spare tire. Its got all the parts of a bigger beehive but in miniature. It also takes a little bit of maintanence to keep it in miniature. But when something goes wrong, you can kick in the spare and keep on truckin.
    Nucs are also really usefull for introducing cells or mated queens. A small colony rarely rejects a queen, and is less likely to swarm when a virgin hatches.
    You can combine them with weaker hives anytime of year to boost populations or requeen.
    The utility of nucs cannot be overstated.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: What is the purpose of a Nuc

    Aside from the good examples above there are many
    uses for them. There are the mini mating nucs and the standard 5 frame nucs. If you
    are a queen breeder then the nucs will help to minimize the hive equipments a keeper has to buy for the virgin to mate.
    Nucs are used to overwinter bees esp. in the cold Northern
    region. Nucs can be use as a new queen quarantine set up before putting in a production hive. Also use to evaluate a newly mated queen for her
    good laying pattern before putting her in a production colony. And bee use to confine a breeder queen
    to collect larvae to graft in a way to extend the life of the queen when she not laying that much. They can bee use as a backup in case your production
    hive's queen had failed. They are good for expansion or contraction of your apiary too. Nucs build up faster as the queen have lesser space to take care of and able to keep the broods warmer in a smaller space. Lately, I have been thinking about using the 5 frame nucs to be used as a mite OAV treatment. And of course, to sell the nucs when you have excess bees also. Overall, nucs are the supporting legs for a growing apiary.
    Last edited by beepro; 02-08-2015 at 06:28 PM.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  6. #5
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    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default Re: What is the purpose of a Nuc

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    Overall, nucs are the supporting legs for a growing apiary.
    "Almost every emergency of management can be met forthwith by putting something into or taking something out of a nucleus, while nuclei themselves seldom present emergencies." E.B. Wedmore, A Manual of Beekeeping

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
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    Default Re: What is the purpose of a Nuc

    I was going to sat the same thing Michael. lol Very good answers.
    I split whole hives but do appreciate the nucs when I need resources.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    helenwood,tn.usa
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    Default Re: What is the purpose of a Nuc

    link to michael's talk which includes a lot of info. on the uses of nucs
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nznzpiWEI8A
    first colony out of a log 1983 beekeeping about 15 years. Warning i could be an idiot. I'm from South Jersey.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: What is the purpose of a Nuc

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Beeman View Post
    I was going to sat the same thing Michael.
    Early bird gets the worm.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Hudson, WI USA
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    Default Re: What is the purpose of a Nuc

    Perhaps not a purpose, but side effects - fun and satisfaction. I derive much more satisfaction from raising my own queens in nucs and bringing them through the winter than I do from making honey. Every time I open a nuc box and see that the new queen has started to lay it feels like Christmas morning when I was a kid. When I get them though the winter I have the satisfaction that is akin to what it must have felt like at the end of a long cattle drive. "We brought 'em home Dusty.. Yee Ha."
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6g1MFhCYZCc

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Salem, Oregon
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    1,800

    Default Re: What is the purpose of a Nuc

    Lots of good answers.
    Along with everything else is the aspect of portability.
    When you need to fix a hive in a different location, nucs are so easy to move.
    Just stuff a pinch of grass in the entrance, pick up the nuc (or nucs) and away you go.
    Most of the time, nucs will weigh about 35 lbs so very easy to pick up and load on your rig.
    I have exactly ONE more hive than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond dispute!

  12. #11
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    Default Re: What is the purpose of a Nuc

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryVanderpool View Post
    Just stuff a pinch of grass in the entrance, pick up the nuc (or nucs) and away you go.
    Flottum once told me about his friends "One Beer Trick" for moving bees. Plug the entrance with grass or foam rubber, go have a beer, come back, open the entrance, let the bees in, and move the hive.


  13. #12
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Fenton, MI.
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    16

    Default Re: What is the purpose of a Nuc

    Well today we built a couple 5 Frame Nucs, they still need a coat of paint, but we are hoping to split the hives we have from last year. We will need to build one more complete hive for this year, Bees will be here soon
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  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Squaw Valley, CA, USA
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    Default Re: What is the purpose of a Nuc

    Nice looking Nucs- keep in mind the bees build up pretty fast in the Nucs. It requires some management.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Frankfort, Ohio
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    Default Re: What is the purpose of a Nuc

    I use nucs to raise queens, provide emergency queens, provide extra brood for colonies or cell builders, I overwinter them, split them, sell them, replace winter losses with them, etc. Overwintered nucleus hives are what keeps me from buying replacement bees every year and I always have a bunch of extras to sell. I don't think a person can have enough nucs!

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    international falls, Mn
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    Default Re: What is the purpose of a Nuc

    Here's a link to a BeeSource thread that I have in my favorites, it gives a glimpse of the uses and horse power available from a nuc.
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...stainable-Nucs

    ==McBee7==

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    Mukilteo, WA
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    Default Re: What is the purpose of a Nuc

    I'm new as well and learning about how wise it is to have nucs on hand. to that end, this is my plan to move from 2 hives to 3 while being able to sustain that number with nucs.
    I'm going to attempt this by using the On-the-spot (OTS) queen rearing by Mel Disselkoen. I highly recommend buying his book off of mdasplitter.com
    unless I fail, then i'll just recommend it.
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