What Is A nuc?

What is a nuc?

A nuc is a term used in beekeeping to describe a small colony of four or more frames of brood, a few bees (workers), queen, and some honey stores.  They are used as starter colonies, and they are also sometimes referred to as package bees. 


They are also used for rearing queens and also for swarm control.  When used for swarm control, there are a number of advantages, particularly with regard to ensuring the old queen is still available, for example, if the new queen is not successful.

Why is it called a nuc?

The term 'nuc' is an abbreviation of the word ‘nucleus’.

What do beekeepers do with the nuc?

The nuc is placed in the centre of the brood box in traditional hives to get the colony started.  For beekeepers using top bar hives, the frames will be carefully cropped and chopped. 


If you are new to beekeeping, there are a number of considerations when selecting and purchasing a nucleus of bees.  To read more about this, go to this page.

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Considerations For Urban Beekeepers