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2nd year beek. Last year bought 2 nucs. Went to bee yard, picked up 5 frame cardboard nuc boxes. All went well. This year contacted different supplier. His process is for me to bring empty boxes to his bee yard & he will transfer 5 frames to my box. I will close it up & take em home. Is this an approved method or will I lose lots of bees & possibly the queen in the transfer process.
 

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I have seen nucs sold both ways. If the nuc that you are taking home is coming out of a 5 frame box into your 5 frame box, the chance of loosing the queen is slim. If you pick them up during the day you will loose some foragers. If possible, I would try to pick them up as late in the afternoon as possible, to minimize forager loss.
If the supplier is taking 5 frames out of a full size colony, I would make sure that you physically see the queen going into your nuc box along with a minimum of 3 frames of brood. Not worth the cost of a nuc if you are getting a frame of brood, no queen and 4 empty frames. Use your best judgment.
 

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Greg D
If you use your 8 or 10 frame box's, take enough frames to fill out the box.
Place a screen over the entrance and a strap around the complete hive after instaling the nuc.
You have just set up your new hive to bee placed in it's new home.
 

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The upside is that you can see if you are getting the brood you are paying for. If a nuc is not as strong as you were told it would be, ask for a different one. You will indeed lose the foragers which is not a good thing, but the amount of brood is much more important than the flyers. If these nucs have the number of frames of brood you were told they would and the laying pattern is good, you will be getting what you paid for.

I buy nucs that have five frames of brood just put in the box with a caged queen and I definitely get my monies worth.
 

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taking my own box to the supplier is how i have done it here. as mentioned, it's nice to see what you're getting. if you pick them up early or late in the day you won't loose enough foragers to matter.
 

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I sell nucs here in Ohio. I install the frames in the customers box. This gives the customer time to ask me questions (usually they are new beekeepers), show them the queen, and for them to see the health of the colony. I sell nucs out of 10 frame singles and shake in extra nurse bees to make up for the loss of foragers. I also cage the queen with a 1/4 inch of candy to protect her during the trip, frames tend to slap around when they aren't thoroughly glued together. She is usually out and laying in 24 hours or less.
 

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Thanks Greg D... I am in the same situation. Newbie..ordered 2- 4 frame nucs for this Spring. I was so eager I think I caught the beekeeper off guard by ordering so early...Nov 1st 2013. I plan to bring my supers to his location & transfer on site, for 2 reasons. #1 The help & assistance, as I feel I know very little. #2 I am pressed for time in the spring (professional gardener) and I do not want to have to drive 2 hours round-trip to return the nuc box. I am excited but getting a bit nervous. The beekeeper stated that the queen will be marked. I was referred to the beekeeper by the NJ State apiarist so I am hoping I will get good bees & brood.
Here goes nothing! Let the adventure begin!
Moonflower
 

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Last year I bought two nucs in Indiana. I took boxes. The seller showed me each frame and the queen. I knew nothing but his descriptions while showing me frames made my first inspections a lot clearer. I thought it was a good method. He did not cage the queeen and they were fine, but it sounds like a good idea. Hardware cloth in the entrance and tie down straps held the hives together.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everybody for the replies. I feel much better about this now. Looking forward to getting the girls in April!
 

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the queen wasn't caged in mine either but that's not a bad idea. we used crumpled up newspaper to jam all of the frames over to one side so that they couldn't flop around.
 
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