We’ve got short instructions on installing your Package Bees or Nucleus Colony below – feel free to reach out with questions or clarification!
Package bees are just boxes specially built to carry bees securely and safely. They are sold according to the weight of the bees with maybe 4000 to 5000 per pound. They mostly have the queen bee not unless the buyer has instructed otherwise. They are relatively cheaper compared to nucleus colony.
To install the package bees, you will need to remove the center frames of the colony you’re moving the bees into. Remove the cage containing the queen bee first, then place the container on its side over the place you have removed the frames. Put the queen’s cage on top of a frame and gently turn the package inside out to assist the bees to fall into the hive. Prepare two frames where you shall place the queen cage and use pressure to hold it in place if you have existing comb – otherwise you can tie the cage with string or tape to secure her – you don’t want her to fall to the bottom of the hive. Once all the bees are out of the package, you can remove the package and set it in front of the hive (or on top)
Nucleus colonies are small in comparison to large production hive, and they come in a 4-5 frame package for you to install into your new hive. They are just getting started but already functioning as a full colony does. They are relatively expensive because the queen bee is already mated and also that the frames come with honey, eggs, and pollen. Well, we going to look at how to install the package and the nucleus colony bees.
When installing a nuc, it is just like placing mini hive frames inside the big hive. First, you have to prepare your hive by removing the frames at the center to be the workplace of the bees, and then the nuc frames will be placed in the remaining portions. Pass a smoker over the nuc to come down the bees and start removing the frames and putting them in the big hive. Install a feeder containing sugar syrup for them to feed on until the forager bees get into their production line.
Pros & Cons – There are some advantages of buying a nuc rather than a package. For instance, the colony comes with all stages of life from the eggs to the adult. Secondly, it comes complete with honey and pollen and also the workers and drones are familiar with the queen as for the most cases she is their mother and the colony start foraging almost immediately after being installed. You have to consider preference, cost, flexibility and also the materials needed.