We want to set you up for success. Before taking the nuc home, we want you to see inside the hive and make sure the colony is thriving, the queen is laying eggs, and see the temperament your bees. It can also give new beekeepers confidence to inspect their colony for the first time with other beekeepers around.
We set up our nuc pickups so that you can inspect your colony and transfer it to your equipment during daylight hours (around 6:00 PM), and then take them home after dusk (around 8:30 or 9:00 PM).
2023 Pickup Time and Location
- May 26 and June 9 in Highland, UT at about 12635 N Ponce de Leon Drive.
- June 2 in Spring City in a pasture at about 600 N 300 E.
- NOTE: These dates are later than previous years because of the wet, snowy winter.
Come around 6:00 pm to transfer bees to your hive and again at dusk to drive them home.
Printable Nuc Transfer Instructions
To prepare for the pickup, download and print this document. It has a list of what to bring and instructions for how to transfer the nucs. Read through the material and watch the videos below.
This printable is from our our Free Online Course, My First Colony. Our online courses will be a HUGE help throughout the coming beekeeping season. SIGN UP TODAY.
- One deep box
- 5 frames (the nuc will come on 5 more to make 10 total)
- 1 lid
- 1 bottom board
- Protective clothing
- Beekeeping Gloves
- Smoker with matches and fuel (burlap)
- Tie downs for your hive: bungee cord, rope, etc. You will need to tie one around the box to hold it together, and others to tie it to the truck bed.
- Duct tape to seal the entrance if transporting bees in an enclosed cab. It’s best to transport bees in a truck. Duct tape is not necessary in a truck.
- First aid supplies for bee stings, as desired.
Transfer the nuc from our equipment into yours. We want you to inspect your hive before you take it home. We especially want you to see eggs in the hive.
Watch These Videos About Transferring Nucs
Written Instructions For Transferring A Nuc
- 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.
- 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.)
Transport your bees to your apiary. We do this after dark so most of the worker bees will be home for the evening and no longer flying.
Place your hive in its long-term location before dawn. (Moving bees across the backyard is tricky.)
Sign Up For Online Classes
Sign up for our online classes to increase your success as a beekeeper.
- My First Colony. Learn how to start your first honey bee colony.
- Beginning Beekeeping Skills. Learn how to inspect your colonies.
- How Is My Queen? Make sure your colony is queen-right
- Are My Bees Healthy? Learn to prevent, diagnose, and treat common honey bee diseases
- Honey & Beeswax. Learn to harvest, extract, and bottle honey, and to work with beeswax.
- Queen Rearing. Learn to raise your own queen bees.