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Hello all.

I plan to buy about 10 5 frame nucs next year. What do you look for when buying a nuc?

I called around to some places this morning and this years nuc went for anywhere between $35-45. Some places have you return the nuc boxes.

not bad I thought.
 

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That's a heck of a price, if the people who bought them this year were happy with them, I'd put in an order now.
 
G

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It really depends on who you ask and what time of year you're planning on buying one.
I look to get them as early in the spring as I can. I want 3 1/2 frames of brood and the other 1 1/2 frames of honey and pollen stores.
I don't want any room in the nuc. It needs to be full and ready to go into a full size hive when I get home.
I like to have the queen that laid the brood pattern that I see in the nuc, or at least see the hive she came out of so I can see what type of queen she is.
I'm sure others will add more.

BB
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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I'm with BB. Check it out. See if there is a nice brood pattern, look for the queen. Make sure it's not just a bunch of empty frames with a few bees.

Ask around and find people who have been happy with the nucs there, if you can.

Usually a local nuc is actually cheaper than buying a package when you figure shipping and you get at least a month's head start on a package.
 

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Visit at lenght with the seller before hand as to what you expect to get. Then inspect it before you take it away.

Year before last I bought what I expected to be five frame nucs and ended up with three frames instead. I paid 38 and provided my own queens and equipment. Two superceded, and one of those twice. One was queenless when I recieved it. I never expected to be taken by this guy, but that is what happened. And then I should have gone out to his yard to inspect even though he made reasons for me not to. He assured me the queens were in there and laying.

The point is to have it clearly laid out as to what you expect and for how much, just like glastnos (sp) trust but verify.
 

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What few nucs I sold I made sure I saw the queen when transferring the frames into their equip. It should have atleast 2 full frames of brood but I like them to have a full 3. That depends on how fast the queen can get laying before they are picked up. sevarl of the nuc were taken out of a box and had extra frames of brood and honey so they were easy to set up strongly. So check the box do not take their word for it as stated above. If it is low on brood(under 2 full frames) ask when the queen was introduced. My nucs raised their own queen so one nuc was late to start laying by 5 days which was why it had only 2 full frames of brood.
 
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