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So I ordered a nuc from a Craig'slist posting and they are ready to be picked up this weekend. My concern is they want me to pick them up after 3:00 in the afternoon. Is this normal? Won't the bees still be out in the field working at that time?
Or they would've had to close up the nuc the previous night and kept the bees cooped up all day in the nuc box. Should I be worried or is this a normal practice? I've never bought, sold , or raised nucs, and I haven't had to buy bees in a while and always been morning pick up. Is this ok?
 

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Give them a call and ask them. If they have been cooped up all day, I will assume they have them in a shaded, cool spot. Or they may be allowing them to fly and will shut the door when you get there, allowing the foragers who have not returned to go to nearby boxes.

I sell nucs and would not mind these questions at all. I had someone lose 2 nucs this season because there were just too many bees in the box and they overheated before he could get home. I would not worry about leaving a few hundred foragers behind. It will not affect your nuc if it is otherwise healthy and full of brood.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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He might be pulling nucs from a larger hive. That is what I have been doing. Customer gets his four frames of brood and bees and one of stores. He sees the queen go into his hive on one of the frames. I keep the leftovers, making sure I have brood and eggs. Any foragers that come back will help my new nuc get started. That was not my original plan, but when the nuc you have for a customer swarms right before he picks it up, you have to be creative.
 
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