Nuc with Deformed Wing Virus

Hello to all the beeks,

I am a new beekeeper, who has spent the last year eagerly anticipating my first colony. I have been reading and watching everything I can related to backyard beekeeping.

Imagine my surprise/disappointment to find evidence of DWV the first evening home with the nuc box. The girls dragged out about a handful of little zombees. When I transferred to their forever home, saw some deformed ladies cruising around the hive and they have since been kicking a few of them out. Also this was a 4 frame nuc, 1 frame with honey, 1 that had about 1/8 capped brood and some larvae mixed in with more honey, and 2 empty frames that they were starting to draw out.

Now taking away the fact that I am a new beekeeper who was sooo excited and ended up getting some sick girls to tend to off the bat, I also paid $275 to a reputable breeder and was expecting a healthy box of bees.

My question…is this all normal? Like do you typically take a gamble with nucs or do I have a right to be disappointed/upset?

P.s. I’ve started my mite monitoring right off the bat, so will know shortly if there is a mite issue in these frames.

Hi Jenn, welcome to the forum.
I hope there is a reason that the breeder has a good reputation.
The contents of the 4 frames don’t impress me, however that could be made up for with a strong colony with lots of nurse bees.
I guess time will tell, based on your mite count, if the breeder is living up to his reputation.

Hey Jenn,

Welcome to the forum and beekeeping.

DWV is the main colony killer, so is a serious concern. You have every right and expectation of receiving healthy strong bees for your money. A reputable supplier is obliged to ensure their nucs are free of disease. There’s little chance of being mite free, but the mite load should have been below threshold. For DWV to be evident, it has been vectored by Varroa. Do a wash as soon as possible.

Maybe a local experienced beekeeper has better advice,

I’d contact the supplier. In my opinion, if they are reputable, they’d want a satisfied customer and offer a replacement.


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Thanks Mike and Jeff,

I did contact the breeder. Waiting for a response. I just wanted to make sure my expectations were not unreasonable.

Appreciate the validation :slight_smile:

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Welcome Jenn and ditto to all that Jeff and Mike said! Unacceptable. Hope you get it sorted out.

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