What is best for a new beekeeper, a nuc or packet bee?

Wait a minute, how do I get started if I become a beekeeper? I have a thousand questions and no one can answer them. We’ll look at just ONE of the substances that plague new beekeepers and that’s what I need a package or a core of bees.

When I and my friend and business partner started with beekeeping, we were, I think, badly advised. It was recommended to get packages. I know what I know now, this was a mistake. Today I would say to spend the extra money and get a nuc.

Option one, a nuc. What is a nuc? A nuc is a nucleus in a hive. A small colony of bees reduced from a standard hive with eight or ten frames, placed in a smaller box with five frames, with foundations. Nucen contains the queen, nurses, guard bees, drones and workers. A nuc has a laying queen. A laying queen means eggs, eggs must be present so that the workers can feed and raise a queen cell, if something tragic strikes the queen, for example an injury. In this case, the workers choose an egg to breed as the new queen. It’s a pretty interesting process.

Option two package. What is a package? In short, a box of bees consisting of a parade queen in a cage, and a few thousand working bees. Carrying the queen is not a barbaric practice, it is a way of keeping the queen separate from the other bees who would try to kill her because they do not know who she is. She was placed in the cage and in the package just before the package was sent. As for that, probably none of the bees in the package knew each other before they were shaken into the package. The way the bees come from their hives in the field, into the box called the package, is that they are shaken from frames in large hives in the apiary, into a funnel-like apparatus and then into the screened box called a package. When the correct weight of bees is in the box, a jar of syrup is placed in the top of the box with the queen in a cage hanging down in the package secured with a piece of ribbon. When removing this, you must be very careful not to drop the queen in her cage into the mass of bees, or someone must reach down into the bees and get out the queen’s cage. Why? You’ll probably get stung a few times when you pick up the Queen’s cage. The queen in her cage is fragile and must be handled with care.

The packages are more difficult to install. Nucs can only be picked up from the beekeeper and transported to their homes where they immediately begin collecting food to feed the colony. The packages take longer to establish once in the hive, hopefully the queen will feel good and get a good laying pattern started. In a nuc, this problem is alleviated because the beekeeper makes the bees settle in a good climate when you pick them up. The beekeepers’ task with a package is to insert the package into a nuc or honeycomb to “get acquainted” with the process to begin. Hopefully, if all goes well, they “sit down” before longing and start working together. In a nuc, they already work together when you take up the core. They’re a colony.

In conclusion, I think that nuc, although slightly more expensive, is better for the new beekeeper in the long run over the package. There is a learning curve and nuc is easier for the novice beekeeper, nuc is established while the package is not. There are many more chances to fail with a package than a nuc!

Have a nice day!

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