Pretty disappointed in the nucs I bought
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    Sandy, Utah USA
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    85

    Default Pretty disappointed in the nucs I bought

    I picked up my nucs today, my first time with nucs and this particular supplier and they had almost no brood. I also didn't see any eggs in either as well. From the looks of everything the queens were just barely released as the queen cages were still stuck into the wax and fell out when I lifted up the frame. It doesn't even look like the nucs were checked after the queens were put in otherwise the cages would have fallen out before that. I'm very disappointed because I bought the nucs for a reason obviously and they didn't deliver. Last year I bought packages and had trouble with a drone laying queen. 👎

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kirksville, Missouri USA
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    1,765

    Default Re: Pretty disappointed in the nucs I bought

    It sounds like some suppliers put some random frames in a box, shake some bees and add a queen in a cage, calling it a nuc. That sounds like a pre hived package to me and could be what you got.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Sandy, Utah USA
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    85

    Default Re: Pretty disappointed in the nucs I bought

    Agreed. I'm not really happy about that. If I had known I would have just bought packages and installed them on drawn comb

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    10,207

    Default Re: Pretty disappointed in the nucs I bought

    If the nucs were from a hobbyist, you get what you get. But if they were from a professional, I'd get back to them about it. Have a look and estimate exactly how much brood is there, ie, equivalent to one frame total, or whatever, and let them know. 1, they should know, and 2, they might have poor hires and not be aware. Generally accepted norms are a nuc has a minimum of 2 reasonably good frames of brood.

    One way this situation could come about is the vendor makes up nucs with x amount of bees and introduces a queen. Waits some amount of time and assumes that by then there will be an acceptable amount of brood. But if it doesn't pan out as expected the customer doesn't get what he expects. Selling a nuc with a queen cage still in it is a poor look, and may indicate a lack of time / thought / care spent.

    Poor beekeeping / management really, everybody makes the odd screw up but if they do, should be prepared to remedy it.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Powhatan, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    373

    Default Re: Pretty disappointed in the nucs I bought

    Even a hobbist should be contacted back if you are disappointed. Be prepared to talk specifics they need to know what the problem was or it will happen again.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Red Bud, IL, USA
    Posts
    1,809

    Default Re: Pretty disappointed in the nucs I bought

    Even a hobbist should be contacted back if you are disappointed
    Amen I prefer for the customer to inspect the product in the yard and I definitely want to know if something isn't right later. Only way to do business if you're reputable.
    “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
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    3,404

    Default Re: Pretty disappointed in the nucs I bought

    You got ripped. Name names. No need in someone else getting jacked around.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Sandy, Utah USA
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: Pretty disappointed in the nucs I bought

    I bought it from a farmer co-op but they worked with a local commercial beekeeper. I emailed them and they are contacting the supplier. We shall see. I'm not sure exactly what I should ask for. Money back, frames of brood, free replacement queen if needed? I have less than 1/2 a frame of brood on each. Actually that's being very generous... very
    Last edited by beaglebee; 04-29-2017 at 09:02 PM.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Sandy, Utah USA
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    85

    Default Re: Pretty disappointed in the nucs I bought

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Bee View Post
    You got ripped. Name names. No need in someone else getting jacked around.
    Intermountain Farmers Association via Slide Ridge Apiary in Logan Utah. I plan on announcing at my next beekeeper association meeting too

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Marshall county, AL
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    3,404

    Default Re: Pretty disappointed in the nucs I bought

    Quote Originally Posted by beaglebee View Post
    I bought it from a farmer co-op but they worked with a local commercial beekeeper. I emailed them and they are contacting the supplier. We shall see. I'm not sure exactly what I should ask for. Money back, frames of brood, free replacement queen if needed? I have less than 1/2 a frame of brood on each. Actually that's being very generous... very
    If you have any other alternative, I'd ask for my money back. There are TOO MANY con artists in the nuc selling business.
    The more I learn about bees, the less I know.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    ElDorado,Arkansas,USA
    Posts
    1,605

    Default Re: Pretty disappointed in the nucs I bought

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    If the nucs were from a hobbyist, you get what you get. But if they were from a professional, I'd get back to them about it. Have a look and estimate exactly how much brood is there, ie, equivalent to one frame total, or whatever, and let them know. 1, they should know, and 2, they might have poor hires and not be aware. Generally accepted norms are a nuc has a minimum of 2 reasonably good frames of brood.

    One way this situation could come about is the vendor makes up nucs with x amount of bees and introduces a queen. Waits some amount of time and assumes that by then there will be an acceptable amount of brood. But if it doesn't pan out as expected the customer doesn't get what he expects. Selling a nuc with a queen cage still in it is a poor look, and may indicate a lack of time / thought / care spent.

    Poor beekeeping / management really, everybody makes the odd screw up but if they do, should be prepared to remedy it.
    "minimum of 2 reasonably good frames of brood" I wouldnt call that much of a nuc.I give 4 frames of brood and 1 honey in all I sell.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Pahrump, NV
    Posts
    772

    Default Re: Pretty disappointed in the nucs I bought

    I'm confused, when you picked up the nucs didn't you take the opportunity or get the chance to go through them? Seems odd that they'd sell you a closed up box of bees.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    frederick, md
    Posts
    840

    Default Re: Pretty disappointed in the nucs I bought

    Quote Originally Posted by beesohappy View Post
    I'm confused, when you picked up the nucs didn't you take the opportunity or get the chance to go through them? Seems odd that they'd sell you a closed up box of bees.
    If you open to inspect, the workers take off. Every nuc I have bought has come in a closed box, not opened until we install it. If you inspect you almost need to wait until the next day to pick them up.

    We bought one that was very poor, from a commercial beekeep. We let them know, they said that was the way they did them, never bought again from them. This is three years ago.

    We just do packages now if we decide we need some. They seem to outgrow the nuc, and here we get them in mid March. A good jump start on the season. Nucs not available until late May/June, usually.
    Zone 6b: 27 hives in Maryland, Carniolan, Italian mix mutts: Still learning - started bees spring of 2014.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    3,796

    Default Re: Pretty disappointed in the nucs I bought

    It is a very regional practice to be able to go through nucs. I've been keeping bees for 16 years and I've yet to myself or hear of someone local have the opportunity to go through them at the time of purchase. But then what is called nucs elsewhere and what we call nucs here are different too. In CA, I'd guess that what you call a nuc, I'd call a split. Nucs here are made up at least a month in advance of sale, so that what there is for eggs & capped brood are offspring of the new queen.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Sandy, Utah USA
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    85

    Default Re: Pretty disappointed in the nucs I bought

    Quote Originally Posted by beesohappy View Post
    I'm confused, when you picked up the nucs didn't you take the opportunity or get the chance to go through them? Seems odd that they'd sell you a closed up box of bees.
    We bought them from a farm co-op that was working with a local commercial beekeeper. I would have scared the crap out of the employees if I had opened the boxes in the warehouse where I picked them up at, plus once I opened them half the bees were flying everywhere, so they wouldn't have been able to get them back in.

    The co-op did all the ordering and delivery to stores, when I emailed them they said they were expecting the nucs to have brood as well. It might be good to have them in the picture because they are a much bigger customer than just me and the commercial beekeeper is likely to take them more seriously because they represent bigger business.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Sandy, Utah USA
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    85

    Default Re: Pretty disappointed in the nucs I bought

    Quote Originally Posted by missybee View Post
    If you open to inspect, the workers take off. Every nuc I have bought has come in a closed box, not opened until we install it. If you inspect you almost need to wait until the next day to pick them up.

    We bought one that was very poor, from a commercial beekeep. We let them know, they said that was the way they did them, never bought again from them. This is three years ago.

    We just do packages now if we decide we need some. They seem to outgrow the nuc, and here we get them in mid March. A good jump start on the season. Nucs not available until late May/June, usually.
    Yea the bees exploded out of the box when I first opened it. Definitely would not have been able to get the bees back in after that. Since what I got was basically a package installed on the commercial beekeeper's oldest nastiest wax, I will never buy from that supplier again either.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    rensselaer county, NY
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    41

    Default Re: Pretty disappointed in the nucs I bought

    Two sides to every story. BTW how much did you pay? Was it cheaper than elsewhere? Don't know how a co op works, but why didn't you buy right from an apiary or known source?

  19. #18
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Sandy, Utah USA
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: Pretty disappointed in the nucs I bought

    Quote Originally Posted by Spysar View Post
    Two sides to every story. BTW how much did you pay? Was it cheaper than elsewhere? Don't know how a co op works, but why didn't you buy right from an apiary or known source?
    It was not cheaper than anywhere else. I bought it through the co-op because the nucs were available through the co-op. Otherwise I wouldn't have known about this particular apiary or that they were selling nucs. The other major bee suppliers in the area bulk order packages from California and don't offer nucs. I was attracted to the co-op because they offered nucs and because the apiary was "local" a mere 3 hour drive away. Since nobody else I looked at were selling nucs I have no idea what the going rate for nucs are but I paid significantly more than they were selling the packages for. I bought them with the understanding that I would be getting 3 frames of brood and a laying queen with each nuc and would have been willing to pay more for quality had I been given the option.

    I used the co-op to order through because that's the way things are mostly done around here. Most of the commercial bee keepers don't sell directly to the consumer. The way most hobbiests, that I know, have to buy is from local suppliers who bulk order from California. The other options are classified ads but there isn't a lot of choices and a lot of the places on the ad just re-sell packages etc. If you want to count on getting bees in the spring, you have to order them.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
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    2,575

    Default Re: Pretty disappointed in the nucs I bought

    Bee club or Craigslist.
    David Matlock

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,272

    Default Re: Pretty disappointed in the nucs I bought

    Quote Originally Posted by Riverderwent View Post
    Bee club or Craigslist.
    as a start, and then become self sustaining by making your own splits asap.

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