Nucs , Packages, & Queens
We will begin taking orders for next spring's bees in December 2023!
HOW TO ORDER BEES:
In Person - In person with the total amount in cash, check, or credit card at our retail location (23 Merrimon Ave, Weaverville, NC, 28787)
By Phone - Call 828-484-9466 during business hours and pay in full via credit/debit card over the phone. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.
Order Online - Scroll down to the bottom of this page to see the currently available listings. Order via the website and pay in full via credit/debit card. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.
* We require payment in full on all orders. This is necessary to hold your reservation.
* No Refunds. You are ordering live creatures and committing to their care!
* No specific queen requests in Nucs and packages. Queen marking MAY be available for Nucs, depending on the producer.
* Nucs MUST be picked up between 8 and 10 a.m. on the assigned date.
* Availability dates are highly variable. We will give you as much notice as possible, but please be flexible. Bees are wild animals, and Mother Nature determines the timing of their arrival!
* We cannot guarantee weekend pickups. The bees may arrive mid-week, and it is up to you to adjust your schedule or make a backup plan for pick-up.
* Be ready! Have your equipment prepared and sugar water ready for feeding.
PROS and CONS of Nucs vs Packages
Packages will have a more predictable pick-up date than Nucs.
Once we set a date, you can plan on its arrival time. Nucs are less predictable since beekeepers must read the cues of their hives and split into nucs when the season is right, so the date can vary drastically based on what winter and spring weather looks like.
Nucs have a faster build-up than packages.
Nucs come with a head start, with bees at all life stages and drawn-out comb. Because of this, they will frequently have a faster build-up after installation instead of the hive having to take time to draw out wax and produce brood.
However, packages can quickly catch up to nucs with consistent feeding. Packages also often have lower initial mite loads because of the break in the brood cycle.
What should I know when I buy bees?
Buying bees is like having a baby! They are live animals, and we are at the whims of the weather and their life cycle. Your nuc or package may be late if we have a cold spring. If we have a warm spring, they may be early. Please understand that we set a due date for your estimation, but it is just that - an estimation.
If you order a package, you will generally have a 1-2 day window for pick-up. Packages will survive for about that time, either inside or outside our store, depending on the weather. The longer they sit, the more bee mortality you will see. Honey and the Hive does not assume liability for delayed pick-ups. We will give you as much notice as possible, and from there, it is in the hands of the beekeeper to promptly acquire the package and move it to safety.
If you order a nucleus colony, you may have shorter notice for pick-ups. The window for Nuc pick-up will always be in the morning, generally between 8 and 10 a.m. Our staff wakes up before the sun and seals the box to get your bees ready for transport. A nuc generates so much heat that honeybees can perish if they are not opened by the heat of the day - generally between 10 and 11 a.m. If you do not make it to pick up by 10 a.m., your nuc will be opened or given to somebody else, and your pick-up will be bumped.
When you order bees, it is vital to have everything ready in time to pick up your new hive. DO NOT PLAN TO TAKE TRIPS AROUND THE TIME OF DELIVERY. This usually means the months of April, May, and the first part of June.
Honey and the Hive does not claim responsibility for your education and preparation. We try our best to support beekeepers on their journeys, but we also sell over 1,500 colonies of bees each year! We STRONGLY recommend taking a class, joining your local bee club, and finding a mentor.
Links for Beginner Beekeepers: