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Nuc Program

Colonial Beekeepers Nuc Program – providing Virginia bees to Virginia beekeepers!

Colonial Beekeepers Association (CBA) has club beekeepers in our program with the goal of producing nucs for beekeepers interested in local honey bees.

So what is a NUC? A NUC is a small colony of bees (NUCleus colony) which is started from a fully developed hive. Another common term is a split. Most members will not start splitting hives until well into the nectar flow so the main hive honey production is not impacted severely. That is not a definite date...depends on weather. It then will take 4-6 weeks until the nuc is ready to sell/deliver. Most nucs are ready for purchase in late spring.....late in May into June or even later.

So here is how it works....The club Nuc Coordinator keeps a list of club nuc producers, a list of club members and a list non-members who wish to obtain one or more nucs (Nuc Buyer). The Nuc Coordinator DOES NOT have a stash of nucs in the freezer or in the back yard!!!!

When the "NUC Coordinator" is notified by a producer that a NUC is available for sale/delivery, he/she goes down the list of "club member Nuc Buyers" and sends the producer a couple of names with contact info. Once the club member list is exhausted the non-member list will be started. The nuc producer will contact you directly via phone and/or email. It is very important that the Nuc Buyer contact the producer as soon as possible after notification that a nuc is ready for pickup and make arrangements. Once again ....The "Nuc Buyer" will be notified and it is then that person's responsibility to get the NUC in a timely fashion..... most producers want it picked up in a day or two and they set the terms for pick up ....




Nucs include:

  • 3 Frames of brood

  • 2 Frames of food stores

  • 1 Queen that laid the brood

  • State Inspection

  • Comb that is no more than 3-5 years old


Prices for NUCs will be set by the individual producers and be provided to the Nuc Buyer when initial contact is made via phone and/or email. If an arrangement for purchase is not made, the producer will contact the Nuc Coordinator and explain the no sale (not ready, out of town, to costly). No sale buyers will be moved to the bottom of the non-member list.


CBA highly recommends that new beekeepers take the Beginning Beekeepers Course and have a mentor assigned prior to receiving bees.


CBA requests that Nuc Producers limit sales to provide equity for those Nuc Buyers wanting bees but sales numbers and prices are determined by the Nuc Producer. If a Nuc Buyer wants to remain on the list their contact information will be provided as nucs become available.


The nuc producer may provide you with loaned equipment or disposable equipment for transporting your nuc.  Other producers will want you to bring YOUR equipment for transfer.


If you are transferring please bring appropriate equipment including tie-downs and protective clothing when you pick up your bees, as you may be inspecting your nuc at that time. Your responsibilities when you receive a nuc are to:

  • Bring your bee suit and hive tools so you can inspect the hive with the producer.

  • Bring your hive body (bottom board, box, inner cover, telescoping cover) with extra frames of foundation or comb to fill out your hive.

  • Bring devices to close off your hive entry(s), so bees don't escape during transport.

  • Bring Push pins to lock your bees/frames and to lock the entry device for transport.

  • Bring ratchet tie-down strap(s) for securing the hive for transport.


If you would like to participate in the CBA Nuc Program as a Nuc Buyer or a Nuc Producer, please email the following information to our Nuc Coordinator Laura Scott at :

  • your name

  • telephone number

  • email address

  • are you a Buyer or Producer?

  • number of nucs

  • deep or medium frames

  • are you a CBA member?

If you have additional questions please email the Nuc Coordinator.

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