Nuc, nuclei, nucleus = A small colony of bees often used in queen rearing or the box in which the small colony of bees resides. The term refers to the fact that the essentials, bees, brood, food, a queen or the means to make one, are there for it to grow into a colony, but it is not a full sized colony.
People sell nucs in the spring and they sell packages in the spring. My choice of nucs or packages would depend on several things.
1) Are the nucs on the same size cell and same size frame as you want? If so, that's a plus for the nuc. Otherwise you are done. You should get a package if you want them in mediums and the nucs are in deeps, or you want them in a top bar hive and the nucs are in deeps, or you want them on small cell and the nucs are on large cell. If you are going to have to fight with getting them in the frame size/cellsize you want, then get a package. Requeen later with local queens.
2) Are the nucs from a reputable person who is known to provide good nucs. Since a nuc is just some bees and a queen in a five frame box it depends on how long the queen has been with them, how much brood, how many bees, how old the bees are etc. Not all nucs are alike. Assuming a reputable dealer, that is another point for the nucs.
3) Are the nucs local. In other words, were they trucked in from the South or were they and the queens in them raised in your climate. if so this is another plus.
4) Are they overwintered nucs. I have very good luck with nucs that make it through my winter. They almost always make a crop. I would consider this another plus.
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