Bees are purchased either as a package or in a 3-5 frame Nuc. Package bees and Nucs sell out quickly and should be ordered early in the year, as soon as you decide on your source.
A package is a box with 2-4# of bees, a caged queen and a can of sugar water to feed them during their journey.
A 3-5 frame Nuc is a set of 3-5 frames in a box, with bees and an established queen that has been mated and is laying well.
The next couple of charts will help you to compare a package of bees with a Nuc of bees:
I have purchased both types. My 1st year I purchased 2 packages and had a fun time learning how to install. The 2nd year I purchased 2 Nucs, which were much easier to install and just a totally different experience the 1st couple of months.
When installing a package you are watching them closely the 1st month and feeding them aggressively. When installing a Nuc you are easily place the frames into a hive that you have setup ready to go and then inspect every few weeks to assess progress. There is no need to feed a Nuc since the Nuc should come with it’s own stores of food.
I hope this helps you decide between a bee package and a bee nuc. If you have any questions, please leave a comment.
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