New beekeepers are often anxious to begin their beekeeping journey in the spring. They purchase package bees at a reduced cost and put their bees into new equipment with undrawn combs. Often their bees fail to thrive or they unknowingly are sold a new queen that is poorly mated.
We concede that our NUCs are move expensive than a package of bees, but we believe that the price and the wait are warranted and ultimately result in a better product. We are at the mercy of mother nature and the weather! Cold spring weather will result in delays in production, as such, we play it safe and generally indicate that our NUCs will be ready for distribution towards the END OF MAY. Sometimes slightly earlier - sometimes slightly later.
Why the wait? Bee biology is what it is and we can't control the weather. For example, if we split production colonies (based on new queen availability) in mid April, it takes at least 3-4 weeks for the first round of brood to emerge and populations to grow. Additionally, all queens are NOT equal! Sometimes queens die, sometimes queens are killed by the colony and sometimes new queens just aren't mated well and need to be replaced. We assume all of this early risk, but our customers must be patient!
Our New Jersey Nucleus Colonies (NUCs) are produced from proven stock that are strong and healthy. Some NUCs were created the previous summer and overwintered successfully in our apiaries. Others are created with purchased queens to address swarming potential in our production hives. Regardless, our NUCs are created, cared for, inspected and treated to help ensure that when our customers place them in their home apiary: they grow and thrive.
Our five frame New Jersey Nucleus Colonies (NUCs) consists of:
A mated queen that has already been accepted by the hive and is confirmed to be laying eggs
3 inner frames containing brood in all stages
2 outer frames containing honey, pollen and nurse bees
We strongly believe that first year beekeepers should purchase a NUC colony as often there are difficulties getting package bees established on brand new frames and foundation. With a New Jersey Nucleus Colony (NUC), bees are installed on drawn comb, a brood nest has been established, honey and pollen have been stored and most importantly, a young queen has been accepted and is laying eggs.
*PLEASE NOTE - NUCs can easily overheat and perish during transport. As such, our transportation policy insists that NUC colonies ONLY be picked up prior to 8am or after 8pm and by appointment only . You are always welcome to inspect each NUC prior to transport, however, we are NOT responsible for any problems that might arise during transport. All sales of NUC colonies are final.
In the Spring of 2021, we will be offering limited quantities of New Jersey bred queens and nucleus (NUC) hives from our apiaries. Our breeding program will seek to provide the best possible New Jersey honeybees for stock that is locally produced and has a higher probability of successfully overwintering compared to stock produced in Southern states that is not accustomed to the often harsh winters of the Northeast. Why not choose New Jersey honeybees?
Thank you to all who have placed deposits on 2021 Nucleus Colonies! We currently are not taking any other deposits. However, we usually make a few more NUCs than necessary and MAY have availability in early June. Additionally, we may have a limited supply of queens.
You can check via our Facebook page for announcements. Again, thank you - we appreciate your business!