Nuc vs. Package and Local Providers of Bees
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We think it's best to buy bees most local to your area. You are probably well-aware of all the big bee providers already, but this page provides a local list of providers. Keep in mind that package bees are often shipped in. So, even though you are buying them from a local provider, they may not be local bees. We believe the providers below who sell packages will be honest with you if you ask. So, what's the difference between a nuc and a package of bees?
Package bees exist to get those wanting bees, some bees. They are cheaper than nucs. They usually come with a queen isolated in a queen cage along with 3 or 4 pounds of bees. The weight/amount of bees will affect the cost of the package.
The queen was most likely added to the package of bees (introduced) before being provided to you. The package will also have a can with sugar syrup allowing the bees to drink since there are no frames of honey and it's possible the package traveled a distance. You have to install the package into a hive with frames in your apiary. It's best if you have a drawn frame or two available. The queen is likely still a virgin, and will need to go out and get mated before she returns to the hive to begin laying eggs. As a result, it takes a package a while to get going and build up. You should not expect a honey harvest the first year, but there are things you can do (such as feeding) to bolster the success of the colony.
Nucleus Colony (or nuc,) is more likely to have been overwintered locally in a local beekeepers yard. A nuc could have been overwintered as a larger hive and then split off into a smaller one... or, some producers will overwinter actual nucs taking precautions to protect the smaller colony over the winter.
Nucs are more expensive because typically, the queen has already been mated and is laying in a series of frames that have already been drawn out. You are buying a small, working, further-progressed colony of bees along with drawn frames filled with eggs, honey and pollen. Bees and the frames are usually transferred from the nuc box to a hive body and they get right to work. It's common to pay a small fee for the box or equipment that you get your bees in and then get a refund when you return it.
Please be sure to ask your questions to each provider for details. Each provider is usually different and the ones below will be honest with you answering your questions.
We hope you'll look into these people who work hard to provide a quality, local product. Tell them SIBA sent you. Do you want to be added to this list? Just send us your information.
This page was last updated January 12, 2024.
Garry & Kathy Reeves
The price for our five frame Nucs is $225 there is 100% satisfaction guaranteed. You may order at any time but pick up for the Nucs Will start the third week of May.
14759 St. Rd. 350
5-Fr. nucs with mated marked queen in a painted wooden box for $225. Return the box for $15 refund. Nucs are available for pickup in Florence KY.
859-992-2470 or Email
Bastin Honey Bee Farm
5-frame nuc in a re-usable plastic nuc box (yours to keep). $200 Deep frames only. Most frames are wood with black plastic foundation. Pick up availability will be in the order that we receive payment and will start as early as we can possibly get nucs out (most likely late April, early May). All orders must be paid in full to reserve your spot. Shipping is not available, all nucs must be picked up at our store. Nucs will have new mated queens, 4 frames containing brood, honey, and pollen. There will also be one new frame to provide space for them to draw comb. Queen marking is not available. Queens may be Italian, Carniolan, or a mix as we run all types. Queens are guaranteed to lay. We will replace queens that fail if notified in a timely manner after pickup.
|Tree City Bee Company
5 Frame Nucs - $195
5 Frame Nucs (Marked Queen) - $220
6 Frame Nucs - $230
All nucs come in a waxed wooden nuc box that is yours to keep with Varroa Sensitive Hygiene bees. Nucs will be ready for pick up in the first part of May in Greensburg. Payments can be made online with credit card. 4 part payment plan available as well. Mention you heard about us from the SIBA website for $5 back. Each order will come with a Gray Dogwood sapling free of charge.
1200 S. Co. Rd 60 E
Greensburg, IN 47240
Bohman Bee Company
Nuc consists of:
* Bees can change occupancy of frames as they see fit.
Pick Up Information:
Pick Up will be late May to early June on a Saturday morning. These dates will be announced by the beginning of April. At that time you will need to choose which date you prefer and pay the balance of your order prior to pick up.