Nucleus Hive Orders
5 deep frames or 8 medium frames of healthy bees, brood, honey, and a queen in a reusable plastic nuc box. Our nucs' queens are raised in their nuc, so you will never get an unaccepted queen in a cage. Early and Spring nucs also include 1 pound of pollen supplement to be fed to the bees during poor weather. No box returns necessary. Nucleus hives must be picked up in Shoreline, Carnation, or Monroe. We do not ship bees.
Our Early and Spring deep nucleus hives come from Eric, Ian, and Randy Oliver, of Golden West Apiaries and scientificbeekeeping.com. The Olivers keep their bees in the foothills of northern California. While it's not Washington, the bees experience the full range of weather, and adapt well to our area. We've used the Olivers' nucs ourselves for the last 4 years, and they have done a terrific job with both survival and honey production in our cold, wet, unpredictable Puget Sound climate.
Randy Oliver is known for his honey bee research, and it shows in the bees that he and his sons raise. They are productive, gentle, and have a reasonable degree of mite resistance (NOT mite immunity). If well managed, the Olivers' nucleus hives will serve you well for many years.
- Early nucleus hives are usually available for pickup in March. Early nucs are the absolute soonest that it is possible to get bees in the year, as they are overwintered from the previous summer. We won't promise anything, but you have a very good chance of making a honey crop your first year with an early nuc. Because they have a second year queen, early nucs are a little more prone to swarming than spring or summer nucs, and may benefit from requeening before winter. Availability is very dependent on weather and winter survival rates, and sometime there just aren't enough to sell. (Not available for 2019)
- Spring nucleus hives are usually available for pickup in mid April. While it's a bit later than the early nucs, as they have current year queens, we're still among the first to have nucleus hives available in Washington. Spring nucs have a good chance of making a honey crop if you can provide them with drawn comb for the brood boxes, and even have a chance of making a honey crop if placed on foundation, as long as you feed them heavily before the flow to allow them to build their comb. (Poor weather in California has prevented queen mating, and delayed nuc arrival for 2019. Nucs are currently expected to arrive the second week of May)
- Summer nucleus hives are usually available from late June through September. Summer nucs are made up from our honey bee stock, using a local queen. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm availability and timing.