Transferring a nuc into a hive body

Transferring Nucs

Photo of Stan teaching a group how to transfer a nuc from a nuc box into a hive body box

Part of our May beekeeping classes include how to transfer a hive nucleus into a standard hive body. Here is a description of how to do it for those who missed the class. (A hive nucleus, or “nuc” for short, includes bees on five frames. It does not include the box. So when people purchase nucs they transfer the frames into a standard hive body box.)

This process is best done during daylight hours. Prepare the hive body by placing it on the bottom board and removing at least 6 frames. Stan removed 7 in this photo. Removing frames will give you room to place the nuc frames without squishing bees. 

Move the nuc box over a bit and place the new hive body in its place. Be sure the hive entrance is pointing the same way. Bees have a good idea where their hive is supposed to be and will go in the hive that is in the right GPS location. 

Give bees a little smoke at the entrance. Open the lid and give bees a little smoke along the top bars of the frames. Give just enough smoke to move bees down onto the comb.

Use the hive tool to pry out one ear of one frame. 

Gently lift one frame out. Lift straight up to avoid smashing bees. 

This photo is of the outermost frame of bees. Bees have drawn out comb, but have not started filling this one with honey or brood yet. 

Gently place the frames into the new hive body in the same order and orientation as in the nuc box. 

Next, slide the frames next to each other to make room.

Continue placing frames and sliding them over until all 5 frames from the nuc are in the box. Then replace the remaining empty frames until you have all ten in the box (or nine if you run nine frames). 

There will be bees left inside the nuc box. Stan’s preferred (fast) method is to take the nuc box, turn it upside down and hit it sharply onto the top of the box (one quick tap will do it). This causes all the bees to drop out of the nuc box into the new hive body box. Be sure to remove the nuc box a few feet away. Bees may recognize the smell of their old box and want to go back inside. 

Place the lid on the bee box and wait until dark before moving it at least 3 miles away for 3 days. 

Nuc Pickup and Beekeeping Class

Our beekeeping class at The Star Mill in American Fork was a huge success! Thanks to all who participated and good luck with your bees!

In May, Stan taught three great beginning beekeeping classes to help new hobbyist beekeepers get started. Here are some photos of one event. 

The bee truck, loaded up with beekeeping equipment

Stan talked for about an hour about equipment, bee biology, moving bees, placing hives, etc.

Then we suited up and started up the smokers for the “In the Hive” part of the class.

Stan showed how to transfer a beehive nucleus (“nuc” for short) from the nuc box to a standard hive box. 

Here is the “grimy” diagnostic hive. (The bad example of what you can find in a hive)

He also showed what robbing will look like in a hive. 

And we had a honey extracting demonstration also.

Overall, it was a success. We had a good time and were overwhelmed with information! See you next year!


Blueberry Ginger Orange Scones

I have been making this recipe for about a year now and love it every time. The recipe is adapted from Eat Better America’s Pear-Ginger Scones. Of course I had to substitute honey for sugar and whole wheat flour for white flour. They are still light and amazing! 

I love how versatile this recipe is. I have substituted other types of fruit and spices, but blueberries and ginger are pretty amazing together. And the orange zest really brings out the blueberry flavor. Enjoy! 

Blueberry Ginger Orange Scones 
¾ c Rolled Oats
1 ½ c Whole wheat flour
1/3 c Honey
2 ½ t Baking powder
2 t Ground ginger
2 t Orange zest
1/3 c Stick butter
¾ c Frozen blueberries
1 Egg
1/4 cup Milk

Heat oven to 400F. Grease cookie sheet or spray with non-stick cooking spray. 
In a medium bowl, stir together oats, flour, honey, baking powder, ginger, and orange zest. Cut in butter. Stir in egg and milk. Add blueberries and combine. 
Press dough onto cookie sheet to form an 8 inch circle. It will be about ½ inch thick. 

Bake 15 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and cut into pie-shaped wedges. Serve immediately.