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How long can I wait to transfer my nuc?

How long can I keep a nuc before transferring it to the hive? I’ve seen a variety of answers ranging from 1 day to a week. I have to travel the day after I pick up my first nuc and am hoping that it’s OK to leave it for about a week. Thanks! Also, if it matters, it’s a five frame nuc.

Depends on what kind of box it is in. If cardboard, I wouldn’t want to leave it a week. A bit of rain can make it very soggy. Also, most nuclei need feeding to start with, and you will find it impossible to feed safely in a cardboard transport box.

If plastic, and you can open the entrance, you can leave it as long as you like.

Make sure that you put the nucleus in the exact place that the hive will be, to avoid lost bees after you make the transfer.

Hey Dawn, thanks a lot for your quick response. It is indeed a cardboard box. Ugh. Is it unreasonable to think that I could place a stiff plastic board that’s bigger than nuc to try to protect it from rain? And could I cut a hole for the entrance? Sorry for the newbie questions. :slight_smile: This travel came up after I’d purchased the nuc and now I’m in a bit of a panic to figure out what to do.

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From experience, I can tell you that they still get soggy. :face_with_raised_eyebrow: The cardboard is usually waxed, but that doesn’t seem to protect the box for more than a day or two at the most.

Most nucleus boxes in cardboard have a fold down flap pre-cut in them. It is intended to be used as an entrance for a day or so.

Don’t be sorry. I would be sorry if you didn’t know and didn’t ask! :blush:

Could you not just install them the day of purchase? Get them home, give them 30 minutes to settle down, then just transfer the frames over. Very simple. Takes me about 5 minutes, it will probably take you about 45 minutes including suiting up and calming down yourself. :wink:

By the way, welcome to the Flow forum. Glad you joined us. :blush:


So from what I’d read, I needed to wait a day for them to settle down and acclimate a bit. I’d be thrilled if that weren’t true.

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Then be thrilled. :smile:

Bees are generally not very happy after a vehicle journey, but they settle down after about 30 minutes or so. I have installed many nuclei after a short settle time like 30-60 minutes. No big deal. Sure, they may be calmer the next day, but if you are suited up, calm and have everything ready, you can do it the same day. :wink:


Perfection. Thank you.

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Hey @MarkInPDX and welcome! Given your situation I’d say go for it and put the frames right into your new box when you get home. It’s nice if you can give the bees a little time but you’re up against it with the “known unknowns” :smile:
Similar thing happened to me last year - the nuc supplier truck was very delayed, I then had over an hour’s drive home, and by then it was dark. TStorms in the forecast for early the next morning, supposed to go on all day…made the call to install as soon as I got home & it got interesting when some bees managed to get inside my suit :astonished: but it got done and I wasn’t sweating it when that storm indeed came through at 4am!