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Bee pickup tomorrow!


I’m freaking out people. We get our bees bright and early tomorrow morning. It’s a nuc package from our local supplier just down the road. They don’t close up the nuc for transport. They say that’s our job if we wish to do so. Would you normally tape something over any openings in the box before transport? Or just leave them open? We live about 20 min from the yard we’re picking them up from.
When we get them home I was planning on placing the nuc beside the hive and unblocking the entrances. Then leaving them alone until dusk and moving them over then. Is this a sound plan or should I do something different? Once in the hive I’m going to feed them 1:1 sugar water to help them get their comb started. And put the entrance reducer on. What am I missing/doing wrong. I’ve researched for months,but I’m so worried all of a sudden. I don’t want to hurt them!


Hi Jenna,
Your bees should be closed when you pick them up, have never heard of a supplier handing Nucs, packages or hives over to customers with the entrance open… this is just plain wrong! not to mention the loss of many of your foragers when you take the hive away, hope you get a discount for that.
When you say early pickup, do you mean before the sun comes up? As you can easily close the entrance and take it with you.
Always close the entrance during travel unless you are a commercial beekeeper transporting under netting…
You are correct to unblock the entrance when you get home and place as close to the new hive as possible. Preferrably you should move the new hive over slightly and place the Nuc where the hive will be, this way when you transfer the frames of bees over to the hive there will be minimal disruption for the bees as they will need to re-orientate to find the new entrance.
Please don’t transfer your bees at dusk, this is not a good time of the day. Do it in the middle of the day. Again, less disruption. Bees won’t fly at dusk and crawling bees have a greater propensity to sting late in the day. Hope this helps.


Thanks Rodderick! Pickup is either 8am (after sunrise) or 7pm (before sunset) or anytime in between. And yes their website says we are iin charge of closing the nuc. I thought that was very strange. How long should I wait to transfer them ? A day or a couple hours?


Its up to you, you can leave them in the Nuc for weeks if they haven’t fully filled out the frames in the box. A transfer to a bigger hive can sometimes be traumatic if you are still having cold nights and the number of bees in the Nuc is low. Ideally I wait till there is a good number of bees on at least 4 of the 5 frames in the Nuc box before transferring to a bigger hive. But if your nights are warm then just go ahead and do it the same day. The advantage of a bigger hive is that you can feed with an internal feeder of the 1:1 sugar solution for a couple of weeks.



It’s easy for me ! As I’ve installed 10 Nuc’s this season already. Here’s several pix’s should your bees come in a standard cardboard 5 frame Nuc.

It’s always wise to be prepared. Have duct tape to cap hole n tape to hold the lid on ! In these pix’s you see how I do each Nuc’s box. Your sure don’t want the bees out in the car with you. I’ve had a few bees in the car flying. I just open the windows it often sucks them outside.

Don’t get in a panic. It’s going to work out … Soon you’ll be done with the hauling, transfer n all … You be a semi-expert :wink::exclamation:️:+1:.

Let us know how easy or hard it was. We all have been there as beginner. So don’t sweat the small stuff n just enjoy the time n experience !

Happy Beekeeping,



I just checked your Wx near 17 dgs C (about our 55 to 57 dgs F) … That shouldn’t be an issue for you … As couple others have mentioned don’t hurry ! As you stated place your new Nuc on top of (none peaked roof) or as close as possible for a peaked Flow-style hive. Let the colony settle for a 1/2 to one hour (this lets them settle some) then uncork (open) the entrance careful. Have your gloves on n bee suit as a few very eager bees will rush out to see the whole new world at your house. Yes, they’re at their new location/home. If you do in the morning let the bees ( forager worker bees have an hour or so to buzz around n reset their GPS to your spot on the earth.

If it’s not raining … I’d transfer the frames one by one in same order in the new brood box. Then slowly n careful add the other one frame to one side n the two to the opposite. Now careful with your hive tool or hands push all the frames careful n tightly together. Center the eight frames so you have an equal gap on right n left side of your 8 frames. See ! You’ve done it.

Now if the Wx is bad (rainy n/or too windy) you can wait for a more favorable condition (:partly_sunny:️:cloud:️:sunny:️) … They will be okay for several days. I’ve waited a few days before.

Here’s a few pix’s of my Nuc transfer two days ago:

Now ! Good :four_leaf_clover: Luck n enjoy your "first ever transfer n new colony of bees :honeybee::honeybee::honeybee:’s.



Don’t think I would use that supplier again. By 8am most foragers will be out so you get a nuc with hardly any foragers and they get to keep them. You are getting short changed.

Listen to Rod’s advice, its good.



Good point, but if you are given the choice of picking them up later in the day, by 7pm, most foragers will be back, so maybe that is a better option. Pick them up in the evening. :wink:


Interesting topic. On saturday, I will be collecting two established colonies for my new hives. My plan is to bring the new hives to the location of a friend who wants to give up beekeeping, and transfer the bees directly into the new hives. Seal the hives with breathable mesh, and then transport them home.



I’m with you on the evening pickup. More bees for your Buck ! Glad my supplier calls me … If I’m going to pick up (08:00) … He leaves the Plug in.

Now the other day I was going to install for him so I came by @ 06:30 (he ended up with a medical emergency) … That’s why I got the job ! At that time a day it was still cool n bees still in the morning sunrise shadows.

I enjoy watch the first few girls peeking their heads out n winging off to the first load of the day. Tough little Gals :exclamation:

Have a great Humpday bee buddy.


I picked up my 2 nucs last year from reputable dealers and one was already shut up and the other they had to go out the side to shut up the nuc and bring it inside before giving it to me. I got there as soon as they opened trying to be clever and beat the rush however in retrospect I would have been better off being the one to pick up the last nuc… So far I have only been able to get a harvest off the closed up nuc purchase.
Curious about having to close and secure your own box, interesting to hear how @Jenna_Williams got on.


Thanks for all the great info everyone. We picked the bees up yesterday at 8am, it was raining hard so they said it was the best time for us to pick them up since they wouldn’t be flying in the rain. Unfortunately we both work nights so evening pickup wasn’t a option for us. We have a pick up truck and only have to drive 5 minutes down the road so the supplier said we didn’t need to tape up the opening. We strapped them in the back of the truck and off we went home. We put them right under the hive so they were somewhat out of the rain. Supplier said we shouldn’t transfer them in the rain, but it was supposed to rain for the next 4 days. We left them alone for a few hours and then went back to check on them. The cardboard box was falling apart and there was a break in the rain so we decided to transfer them over. All went smoothly.

We put the top feeder on and filled it with sugar syrup I had made the night before. Today between breaks in rain we saw them all over the property. This mountain ash is right outside our front door about 400 ft from the hive. It bloomed this morning and when we came outside today it was full of honeybees :slight_smile:
So far so good. We will open the hive early next week and see how they are doing :slight_smile:


Great news! Congratulations!