Nuc Installation Instructions

Congratulations on your new honey bee nuc with marked queen purchased from All American Bee Company! While there are many ways to install your nuc, we feel this is the best and simplest way for beginners. We wish you success with your new nuc/s!

Your hive equipment should be assembled and located at the hive site BEFORE your new nuc arrives so the honey bees can be installed without delay. If you can not install your honey bee nucs the same day due to weather, set the nuc outside and open entrance to allow bees to perform cleansing and foraging flights. Be sure to close the nuc entrance after dark the night before installation to retain as many bees as possible and to aid with moving nuc. Delaying installation of nuc into hive may instigate swarming from overcrowding or absconding if you delay too long from depleted resources.  It is best to install the honey bees into their new hive soon after receiving and 1-3 hours before nightfall.

Getting ready for installation

You will need:

  • Protective clothing (veil, jacket/suit, gloves, etc…)
  • Hive tool
  • Feeder with 1:1 sugar syrup (I recommend the pail feeder)
  • Complete hive set up (boxes, inner covers, frames “with or without” foundation) etc.
  • Your nuc of honey bees!

Work on one hive and nuc at a time.

Step 1: Preparing your equipment for the honey bee installation:

When you are ready to install your package, open the hive to expose frames. Remove all frames from the hive body to allow room to install the frames of honey bees. Install entrance reducer with smallest opening being utilized.

Step 2: Installing frames of bees from nuc into new hive:

Carefully open nuc and carefully remove outermost frame from nuc and carefully place into hive allowing plenty of room for next frame to be installed. Repeat this step until all frames from nuc are placed into hive. Be sure to keep frames orientated and in same sequence as they were in the nuc to prevent causing additional stress to honey bees. Position/slide frames into center of the hive box allowing for proper bee space of 3/8” between drawn frames.

Step 3: Remaining honey bees in nuc.

Position the nuc box over the hive box and turn the nuc box over to allow remaining honey bees to fall into hive box. A gentle tap may be required to dislodge bees. Place mostly empty open nuc box beside hive on ground.

Step 4: Install remaining frames.

Carefully install remaining empty frames into hive box. Space evenly. A frame spacer tool may aid in this process.

Step 5: Feeding:

Add feeder and close up hive. (Continue to feed until you have at least two deep boxes, or 3 medium sized boxes of drawn out frames of combs containing nectar, pollen, bee bread, and brood. It takes a LOT of carbohydrate energy for the bees to draw out beeswax comb)

Step 6: Close Hive Entrance:

Loosely wedge a handful of grass into small front entrance opening or piece of tape over small entrance opening for 24 -36 hours. After that time remove any remaining debris from the entrance. It is important to keep bees inside the hive to allow them to acclimate to their new hive.

Step 7: Checking on the queen:

In 5-7 days check on the queen and ensure she wasn’t killed/damaged in transfer. You are looking to verify that you have eggs. If you have eggs in your frames. You had a queen in your hive in the last 3 days that was laying. No need to find queen if you find eggs.

Step 8: Checking on your hive:

After two weeks, do a quick inspection of your new hive to look for eggs and larva.

Develop a good habit of inspecting your hives every 2-3 weeks and (record your findings)

Try not to disturb new hives in between inspections other than feeding.

Step 9: Expand your Honey Bee knowledge in between inspections. Some great resources are:

Utilize the time between inspections and feedings to expand your honey bee knowledge. Beekeeping is not an inexpensive hobby and you have invested a good amount of your hard-earned money into getting to this point. Protect your investment and expand your knowledge about the honey bee. It will make a huge difference in your beekeeping experience and will save you a lot of money in the long run.

Some great resources are:

  1. NCSBA website – www.ncbeekeepers.org/
  2. Honey Bee Health Collation – www.honeybeehealthcoalition.org/
  3. Find a local beekeepers association and join. www.ncbeekeepers.org/chapters/local-chapter-listing
  4. Read in this order – (Beekeeping for Dummies, Honey Bee & Biology, and Hive and the Honey Bee)

*Please use creditable sources for your education. (“A Word of Caution” lots of online video sources – have a lot of bad information regarding beekeeping that is based on opinion and not fact.)

We at All American Bee Company wish you the best in your beekeeping experiences and would like to once again say thank you for choosing to purchase honey bees from us!