By Howland Blackiston, Unknown

A nucleus hive (often called a nuc) is created by stocking a special miniature hive with a few frames of bees and brood from one of your colonies. Why create a nuc? Some of the reasons include the following:

[Credit: Courtesy of Bee-Commerce]

Credit: Courtesy of Bee-Commerce
  • A nuc can serve as nursery for raising new queens.

  • A nuc provides you with a handy source of brood, pollen, and nectar to supplement weaker colonies (kind of like having your own dispensary).

  • A nuc full of bees can be sold to other beekeepers — they’re a great way to start a new colony.

  • A nuc can be used to populate an observation hive.

  • A nuc in the corner of a garden can help with pollination and be far less maintenance than a regular hive (but you won’t harvest any honey from this mini‐hive).

  • You can use a nuc to contain a captured swarm of bees.

  • You can use a nuc to house a supply of bees for bee venom sting therapy. You can find more information about the use of bee venom to treat certain inflammatory medical conditions. Do Internet and social media searches to find apitherapy groups around the world. The big disadvantage of a nuc is that it will not over-winter well in colder climate zones. Not enough bees or stored honey is available to see them through the cold months.