When you arrive to pick up your nuc you should have a space prepared in your vehicle to securely place the boxes. You may want to lay a sheet down where you plan to put the nucs first so that you can lightly wrap the boxes to help contain any bees that may escape on the ride home. This is especially true if you do not have a separate truck bed to place the bees and are worried about bees in your car. The nucs will be sealed as well as possible but it is very possible some bees will still get loose. 

On the night of pick-up

Once you have picked up your nuc, you should head straight to your apiary.

Place the nuc box on top of the hive and open the entrance. Make sure the box is secure and leave the nuc to sit overnight. You do not want to work with bees in the dark!


  • The following day, or the next day when the weather allows (at least 60 degrees and not raining), is when you will place the bees into their hive box. If the weather is poor the bees will be fine for a few days in the nuc box. You should be wearing your protective equipment and have your hive tool with you. Light your smoker before opening the nuc. 
  • Give some light puffs of smoke at the entrance. Open the lid and give a puff of smoke across the top of the frames.
  • Start on one side of the box and carefully move each frame from the nuc into your hive. Place the frames into your hive body in the same order and direction as they were in the nuc. The bees have arranged their resources in a particular way and it is important to maintain their order.
  • Once you have transferred all the frames there will still be some bees remaining in the nuc. Make sure the queen is not left behind in the box. Hold the nuc box upside down over your hive and firmly tap the box to knock the remaining bees into the hive. You can set the nuc box on the ground and any remaining bees should eventually find their way into the hive.
  • After you have placed the frames from the nuc into the hive, place your empty frames on either side of the nuc frames to fill the empty space. The frames from the nuc should remain in the middle of the hive box.
  • If you are using a frame feeder, be sure you have filled it before closing up the hive.
  • Place your inner cover on your hive body, then replace the outer cover
  • Put your entrance reducer on the smallest opening.

If you are using brand new, undrawn frames in your hive you should feed your bees 1:1 sugar syrup to help them draw wax faster. There are various types of feeders on the market so choose one that works best for you.

Wait at least 7 days before doing your first inspection. 

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