*We are not asking for nuc boxes back this year. They are yours to keep! You can return them to the store if you have no use for them, however.
* Each package will be charged a $5 package box fee. This fee will be refunded upon return of the package box. *
P R O S a n d C O N S ?
Packages will have a more predictable pick-up date than nucs. Once we set a date, you can pretty much plan on it. Nucs are less predictable in this way - since beekeepers read the cues of their hives and split into nucs when the season is right, the date can vary drastically based on what our winter and spring looks like.
Nucs come with the head start of bees at all life stages and drawn-out comb. Because of this, they will frequently have a faster build-up after installation, instead of taking time to draw out wax and produce brood. But packages can quickly catch up to nucs with consistent feeding and have lower initial mite loads because of the break in the brood cycle. All in all, there is no incorrect option!
What should I understand 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 own life cycle. If we have a cold spring, your nuc or package may be late. 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 pickup. The packages will survive for about that much time, inside of our store or outside, 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 pickups. We will give you as much notice as we possibly can, and from there it is in the hands of the beekeeper to move their package to safety.
If you order a nucleus colony, you may have shorter notice. The window for nuc pickup will always be in the morning, generally between 8-10am. Our staff wakes up before the sun and seals up the box to get your bees ready for transport. A nuc generates so much heat that honeybees will perish if they are not opened by the heat of the day - generally between 10-11am. If you do not make it to pick up by 10am, your nuc will be opened or given to somebody else, and your pickup will be bumped.
When you order bees, it is important 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.