Nucleus Hive Orders - Locally Raised
Spring nucs are sold out for 2023.
Summer nucs with local queens are expected to be ready in mid-July. If you do not have comb to give them so that they can grow quickly, we do not recommend starting a new hive this late in the season.
5 deep frames or 8 medium frames of healthy bees, brood, honey, and a queen. Our overwintered and summer nucs' queens are raised in their nuc and get to lay for an extended period. Even our spring nucs, made with CA/OR queens, are given a full month to acclimate to their nuc, so you will never get an unaccepted queen in a cage. Overwintered and Spring nucs also include 1 pound of pollen supplement to be fed to the bees during poor weather. No box returns necessary on Deep nucs. Medium nucs will come in a plywood nuc box, which we would like back (price includes $10 deposit). Nucleus hives must be picked up in Shoreline. We do not ship bees.
These nucs are raised by Rainy Day Bees in the Seattle area.
- Our overwintered nucleus hives are often available for pickup in mid-April. Special accommodations may be possible for earlier delivery, depending on the year. We won't promise anything, but you have a very good chance of making a honey crop your first year with an overwintered nucleus hive. Because they have a second year queen, overwintered nucs are 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 sometimes there just aren't enough to sell.
- Spring nucleus hives are made before local queens can be mated, using our bees and a more southerly beekeeper's queens, though we try to source from as far north as possible. Spring nucs are given 4 weeks to prove themselves after queen introduction, allowing for the queen to emerge and complete a full brood cycle. Because of this, spring nucs are usually available in mid-to-late May.
- Summer nucleus hives are usually available from late June through September. Summer nucs are made up from our honey bee stock, using a queen raised by Rainy Day Bees or another local queen producer. Please contact us to confirm availability and timing.
- All nucleus hive purchasers are automatically subscribed to our annual nuc purchaser list, which includes periodic emails regarding what you should be seeing/doing in your hives at a given time of year, as well as anything that we are noticing in our hives that is unique to this year. You may request to opt out via email.