Poor quality nuc

Hi, I installed a nuc today that I purchased from a reputable supplier,
When I installed it it only had 1 frame with brood on it 1/4, 1 frame of Honey, 1 frame drawn but empty, and 2 frames just foundation.
Is this unexcepatable? To me it seems like a really poor quality especially for $225 pre ordered. What should I do. In melbourne Vic au. Thanks

Talk to the supplier

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Hi Dave - I don’t know to be honest, but I’d be interested about how many bees are in there and if there are any eggs or young larvae in there. Here is a photo I took yesterday showing various stages of larvae…

Capped honey at top and sealed worker brood at bottom.


Hi Yuk, that sounds outrageous. I guess it comes with a young mated queen & hopefully a good number of workers at varying ages. It should get going alright if the conditions are favorable. It’ll just take time for them to build up, starting from only one frame 1/4 full of brood.

If that supplier is “reputable” & that’s the going price, man I’m selling up & moving down there.


Dave, if there is not a lot off bees in the nuc there is a chance the queen will not be kept at optimum temp and croak!! Might pay to either keep the bees in the nuc or section off part of the hive to reduce volume , Melb can get a bit chilly at night.


From Jeff’s reaction that’s totally unexpectible. It would be for me Stateside. Was your winter wet n crappy ?! Don’t see any reason for a Nuc with such limited resources.

In a five frame Nuc the middle frame it should loaded capped brood with arche of honey n maybe a touch of pollen. Two frames to either side I look for mixed brood with pollen n nectar too. One of the wall frames should be food (heavy with nectar n/or honey). That last outer I like to at least be drawn out n hopefully some pollen, nectar n etc. like to see plenty of attendant girls covering the uncapped brood.

That’s what I like n exspect. Sometimes they are super packed with the girls … last spring was a little lighter but still ready to go. Just a little less in capped brood but had plenty of mixed open n eggs all covered with attendant nurse bees.

I raise one or two Nucs to winter over as our purchased Nucs don’t arrive until mid April. So my own Nucs if they survive n make it give me replacement or expansion resources.

That’s my 2 cents,



Hi Gerald, great to see your post, I hope all is well. Yeah well it doesn’t sound like he got much more than a package of bees. Let’s just hope he got a decent number of bees.


I would be embarrassed to supply a nucleus like that. For me, it would need to be 2 good frames of brood, 2 frames of honey and pollen, and no more than one undrawn frame. Every nucleus that I have bought has had at least this content, and several of them were 2.5 frames of brood and the rest food stores - all fully drawn and most of the food capped.

I would talk to the supplier now, as other have said. If the colony doesn’t make it, at least you have established your complaint early. It is possible that they made a mistake and gave you a nucleus which was meant to be building up in their apiary, rather than ready for sale. These things happen sometimes, even with reputable suppliers.


Thanks for your response, I’m in negotiation with supplier, they believe they gave me a November nuc by mistake. Waiting to see if they can give me a frame or two of brood, or discount or exchange.
Re amount of bees I’d say about two frames reasonably good cover of bees the rest sparsely or no cover.
I’ll give them a week and wait for some better weather to check how they are coping, and keep feeding them.


Did it solve? how much time did it take?