We are now taking orders for Spring 2024! Nucs (Nucleus Colonies) are small honey bee colonies created from larger colonies. The term refers both to the smaller size box and the colony of honeybees within it. Back Forty Bees nucs are Italian honey bees. After placing your order, you will be contacted to arrange the transfer of your nuc once it is ready. These nucleus colonies will be made up of a young Queen and a combination of 5 medium frames of brood (open and capped), pollen, honey and drawn comb or one frame of foundation (max) to allow for expansion. We do not ship nucs!
Get started easily with our Quick Start Combo nuc hive! In addition to purchasing a nuc alone (transferring the frames to your equipment), we also offer the option of ordering your nuc raised in your woodenware! Select the Quick Start Combo- Nuc & Woodenware in our store to take advantage of this easy setup. We will raise your nuc in your own equipment - when you come to pick it up all that is needed is to close it off, strap it together, and take it with you. You can then simply place it in the location you have chosen and open the entrance!
FAQs and details for obtaining a nuc
What do you need to receive your bees?
If you are new to beekeeping, consider ordering our Quick Start Combo - Nuc and Woodenware. When your order this the only thing you need to bring is a ratchet strap to secure the hive together on the way home!
Typically, you are going to need an 8 or 10-frame, medium super, your bottom board, entrance reducer (so we can close them up), inner & outer cover. If the bees are not being delivered to your home, you need a ratchet strap to hold everything in place for the drive home. If you simply have a nuc box you can close up that works fine also. Make sure you bring extra frames to fill the space full in your super (so they don’t slide around driving home).
Another option is to purchase a nuc box from me OR place a deposit on the box and return it. Either option makes it easy to take your bees home. Please see the info above for prices.
Can I drop off my equipment for a few days?
Sorry, no. To control diseases, we do not allow outside equipment to stay in our apiary.
What about frames?
I will swap the frames from my nuc for NEW medium frames and foundation. If you do not bring 5 frames with wax foundation, I add $20 to the cost of the nuc.
When should you arrange transfer?
Early evening is best. The bees will mostly be back to the hive.
Have these bees been inspected?
Yes – The apiary is inspected by VA DACS each spring. You will receive a sticker indicating such or a copy of the inspection.
Are you available for assistance after the sale?
Yes! We want your bees to thrive and you to be a successful beekeeper. We offer email, text, and call support. Note we don't have the time to visit every hive in person, but 8 time out of 10 if you send us a bunch of photos we can tell you what is happening with your bees!