We recently heard from both Kent Williams and Dan O’Hanlon about the benefit of buying nucs to start beekeeping with. The greatest advantage in their option is that you are getting an established hive. But exactly what is a nuc. I’ve always been taught that a nuc is five frames of bees and brood with an established laying queen. These may be overwintered, Ohio raised queens and bees or spring built nucs that come from Ohio beekeepers. The key is the established queen. I’ve recently been told that some individuals are selling five frames of bees with a queen in a cage. These are not nucs, even if they come in five frame equipment. Bees sold like this are just a very expensive package bees. With the demand for bees in the spring, many new beekeepers buy package bees to get started with. Make sure you know the difference in what you buy. Always buy from a respected dealer and if you don’t know, ask around at your local club. Make sure you see and ask for a copy of the inspection certificate, it’s the law in Ohio.

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