This post is geared to those who will be picking up nucs and want to read up ahead of time. Click Here for a post about what to bring to the pickup.

Nuc Transfer Instructions

  • Start your smoker.
  • Find and mark the nuc you would like.
  • Move the nuc box over a few feet and place your box, lid and bottom board in the same spot, with the entrance facing the same direction.
  • Remove the empty frames from your box.
  • Use hive tool to pry the lid off.


  • Puff enough smoke on the hive to cause bees to move off of the top bars of frames. Don’t over-smoke them.
  • Move frames from the nuc box to your 10-frame box one at a time.
    • Start with a frame near the edge to avoid squishing the queen. Use the hive tool to pry the frame up. Do this from the middle of the frame rather than the edges to avoid breaking the frame ears or the box.
    • Gently lift the frame straight up, trying not to squish bees.
    • Inspect the frame for comb, brood, honey, pollen, larvae, the queen, workers, drones, and eggs. This is the most important part. When you leave today, we want you to be able to identify eggs.
    • Place the frame in your box, keeping the frames in roughly the same order and orientation.
    • On the next frame, slide it a bit away from the other frames, into the space and carefully remove it, inspect it, and place it in your box.


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  • Once all 5 frames have been transferred, slide them together to the middle of the box. Add the empty frames so there are 10 total frames.
  • Tap the empty nuc box upside down on the ground in front of the new hive to remove leftover bees.
  • Take the empty nuc box to the nuc box pile. Bees will smell their old box and want to go back to it.
  • Mark the hive with your name. (We have sticky notes for this.)

Generally, queens are from our feral bee project.

Here are two different YouTube videos on how to transfer a nuc.


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