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