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Bees arrive tomorrow: last minute questions: help please!


Hello all!

My target is to have healthy, happy bees living in foundationaless frames, per @Michael_Bush’s philosophy, and in 8 frame medium boxes.

I have three packages arriving tomorrow morning.

I have 3, 5 frame medium nuc boxes set up and ready to go.

Do I put each package in just one 5 frame medium nuc box to start or go ahead and stack both boxes together immediately?

If I only use one of the nuc boxes for each hive, how will I know when to add the second nuc box?

My plan is to install the bees when it starts getting dark tomorrow.

If it rains tomorrow, should I wait for the rain to stop before I install them?

How will I know when it’s time to move them to the standard eight frame medium boxes?

I am a mixture of being a nervous new mother and also wee bit terrified of doing it wrong!

Thank you again!


Have you got Medium Nucs - ie medium depth not full depth??
Or are you meaning Medium Deep Brood boxes?

Picture would be useful


Hi Sheen, I think the best advice would be to go to Michael Bush’s website, apparently he has a lot of info on installing packages of bees into boxes.

All I would suggest is to keep each nuc box a couple of meters apart, smear a couple of drops of lemongrass oil inside the boxes, place the queen cages inside the boxes with the lids off, then rest the packages on the sides on top of the boxes. Once most of the bees are in the boxes, use a bit of smoke to drive the bees off the boxes, before putting the lids on. Then rest the packages near the entrances til the rest of the bees go into the hives. I would be inclined to use at least one sheet of foundation in each nuc so the bees get off to a straight start to help avoid cross combing. I have read that Michael uses the odd frame of foundation.

Good luck with that Sheen, cheers


And don’t install your bees if it is cold and raining. Wait until the weather is fine and sunny, packaged bees will be fine for a few days. Another alternative is to install the bees box and all inside your hive rather than shaking them all out. That way if the weather is not too great they are all safely inside the hive and can emerge on there own. Of course if there is not enough space then this will not work.


Hey Valli!

Great idea about the pictures. Thank you!

We have three medium nuc boxes. They are approximately 3 feet apart.

The weather looks like it’s going to cooperate. Our intention is to install them around 9:30 tonight so that there’s a greater chance they will stay put.


Thank you Rodderick!!

I just picked them up and I imagine they are a bit tired. I would prefer not to shake them! Thank you for the tip!


Thank you Jeff!

Silly question…Do I cut a sizable hole in the screen in order for them to get out of their box or remove all of the screen?


Very pretty - OK the Idea of Medium Nuc kinda threw me - are they going into 10 Frame deep Langs or stopping as Mediums?

Nth Carolina can be hot from what my friend tells me


Aw. Thank you!! :blush:

They will eventually be going into medium boxes with the deep flow have super.


Once the nuc’s are full i’d move them to their permanent homes. 8 or 10 frame regular boxes.

I installed mine in 40F weather, fed them and it kinda made them stay inside and get used to their new homes.


Thank you! Should I put one or both nuc boxes on today?


I would start with one and see how they fit. A 3lb package of bees will have 3,500 to 5,000 bees in it. That is enough bees to cover about 2 deep Lang frames or 3 mediums if they stand shoulder to shoulder (which they won’t!). Let them draw good depth of comb on 3 or 4 of those, then add your second box. If you see a lot of bees on the front of the nuc after the first 2 or 3 days, add the second box sooner.


Thank you so very much, Dawn!! Perfect timing on your answer. That is exactly what I needed to know. :heart:️:heart:️:heart:️

Do I put the inner cover on also or just the roof?


Always put an inner cover on, unless you are using a migratory roof.


Hi Sheen, just remove what you can without shaking the bees too much. I have never dealt with a bee package, so I don’t know if the screen is stapled or what to expect. Just do what you think will give the bees an easy exit. Your supplier might have some tips for you.