Alabama Nucleus Hive prices vary by the date they are picked up. The earlier you install a colony of bees in the year, the more likely they will be to make honey and survive their first winter. Our overwintered nucs are prime for doing very well and making honey during their first year and are only available in March.
Buy 4 nucleus hives and get a $50 gift card 7 days after picking up nucleus hives.
Not available to be shipped.
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WHAT IS IT? A nucleus hive is a small colony of honeybees that has all the resources it needs to start developing into a full-size colony. A nucleus hive is used by beekeepers to start a new beehive by transferring the frames in the temporary nucleus hive into a permeant wooden hive supplied by the beekeeper. The other option for starting a colony of bees is a package. Click here to learn more about packages.
WHAT IS AN OVERWINTERED NUC (Only available in March)? An overwintered nuc that is received in March is a very valuable nuc. These nucs can be expected to make honey during their first year which is not expected from the average nucleus hive. An overwintered nuc has a queen in it that has been laying for several months and is wanting to expand its population quickly. This characteristic is why overwintered nucs are valuable and worth more to the beekeeper getting started.
WHAT KIND OF BEES ARE THESE? These are European honeybees bred in which is the type used across the United States. They are known for their gentleness and ability to produce a honey crop. Specifically, these are a mixture of Italian and Carniolan genetic traits that are raised and bred in Alabama. The bees will overwinter well with adequate food stores and come strong out of the gates every January rearing brood.
WHAT IS INCLUDED? The Alabama-raised nucleus hive will be provided in a 5 frame deep beehive that is temporary. The box will be a Jester Nuc Box or a Pro-Nuc Box that is reusable and can be kept. Inside the box is 5 wooden frames with plastic or wax foundation. 2-3 of the frames will be a combination of open and closed brood with eggs, larva, and pupa from the queen in the box. The queen is an openly mated queen from the current year that is not marked. The genetics of the queen is an Italian / Carniolan mix.
In addition to the several frames of brood, the nuc will include 1-2 frames of honey/pollen and drawn comb. Worker bees of all ages will also be on the frames as well, including nurse bees, foragers, guard bees, and drones as well.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING? It isn't necessary to bring anything with you to pick up your nucleus hive. It's not necessary to bring any boxes or exchange any frames with us. When picking up nucs, it is helpful to have a safe place for them to sit when traveling with them. A trunk or the bed of a truck are both great options. They can also go inside the car, but regardless of where they go, it's important they can travel without the risk of tipping over.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE BEFORE INSTALLING THEM: Nucleus hives are a fully functioning colony that is actively foraging for water, nectar, and pollen with a laying queen. The queen is constantly laying eggs inside the nucleus hive so the colony is expanding the minute they are picked up from us. Because of this, it's important to install the colony into a full-size box within a week, but preferably the same day. The nucleus hive has a removable door that allows the bees to fly and they should be placed in the same spot their permanent home will be if not installing into a full-size box that day.
WHEN ARE THEY AVAILABLE? Bees are livestock and because of this, their availability is based on the weather. We plan for monthly pickups from our store in Downtown Birmingham. They are not available to be shipped.
Pickup will be on Saturday mornings from our store between 8AM and 10AM. Picking up early in the day is much more preferable than late in the day as the bees are locked up inside their nuc in preparation for pickup. The less time they can be closed in their box the better.
CANCELLATION AND REFUNDS: Nucleus hives are live animals and because of this, they cannot be returned to us for a refund. We do our best to supply excellent bees and queens in our nucs, but if there are any issues with them, we need to be notified within 48 hours of the bees being picked up.
The whole purchase price of the bees is non-refundable when requested within 45 days of the pickup day. We understand this is not ideal, but because these are live animals and there is a lot of work and equipment that goes into preparing the bees early, this is our policy to make sure bees are taken care of.
Nucleus hives not picked up on the pickup day without any special arrangements made will be considered abandoned.
Another person can pickup up the bees for you if you would like to sell them to that person or if you cannot pick them up yourself. We will need written permission prior to pickup.
Want to know more about finding bees, read here.