Installing Nucs

Beekeepers may purchase bees in the form of a nucleus hive – referred to as a ‘nuc’. A nuc usually consists of 2 frames of bees, with brood and a queen bee, together with three frames of honey. When the nuc arrives at the bee yard, the beekeeper transfers the frames of brood and stores from the nuc into his or her own hive, and then adds 5 empty frames with foundation to make up the complement of 10 frames in the hive.

Nuc Installation

A full frame of bees with their brood is lifted out of the nuc for inspection.

Nuc Installation

The nuc comprises 5 frames of bees and stores. Here, a frame with bees is lifted out of the nuc for inspection.


Nuc Installation

A nuc is placed close to the new hive. The beekeeper gently smokes the bees in the nuc to calm them, before transferring the frames into the new hive.

Nuc Installation

The first frame of bees has been transferred from the nuc into the new hive body.

Nuc Installation

And the process continues, until all of the frames have been transferred.

Installing Nucs Into Hives

The bees are smoked again, to keep them calm during the transfer process.


Hives Opened for Inspection

Two nucs are open for inspection, with unopened nucs lined up behind.