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Urgent Advice Appreciated: Well priced Nucs but with Nosema... Should I take them


I am trying to start up around 6 to 10 new hives this season. So I am looking for colonies but they are few and far between where I am at this time. I have been offered two nucs from an experienced commercial apiarist at a very good price. However he says they had some nosema coming out of winter… he says they have recovered well with the good weather we have now.

I plan to put these colonies into brand new wax dipped hives: would I be better off turning down these nucs and waiting- keeping my new hives free from potential nosema spores? We got a nuc last year from the same person and it made a really excellent very strong colony. Last year there was no talk of nosema.

I need to make up my mind today- as the apiarist is coming to town and needs to know if he should bring the nucs.

I have also been offered a huge 8 frame swarm from another beek- and there is talk of many more swarms to come- would I be better off waiting for swarms and making splits than buying these nucs?


Personally I wouldn’t take them. At least he is being honest with you so his credibility goes up in my opinion. Let us know what you decide. Swarms can also be from diseased hives and a huge swarm could be an absconding colony which could have been infected from “who knows what” so you should keep a close eye on them for a couple of seasons before breeding from them.


Thanks Rodderick,

The supplier was straight up about everything right off the bat- and he isn’t pushing these nucs at all- I asked him if he had any. I decided to go ahead with it- he really is a great guy and offered these nucs at a very very good price: $75 dollars each including frames, Nuc Boxes- AND Delivery! Last year he didn’t an even better deal for my mum- and that hive has/is going very very well. These are also established overwintered bees. Apparently there are two distinct queens- I missed what breeds he said but will ask tomorrow when he drops them off.

He explained that the bees show no signs of Nosema now- and he also said that nosema spores are pretty much everywhere- it’s only when the count gets about a certain concentration on the bees that it causes an issue?

I watched an american youtube beekeeper who was treating for nosema using a little tee tree oil in a sugar water mix- Does anyone have experience using tea tree oil like that?


Not tea tree but thymol mixed in with light syrup sprayed on the bees three times at four day intervals works very well


thanks Dee- out of interest what do you think of the idea of taking nucs that had nosema issues? Would you do it? Have you much experience with nosema?


It depends whether it’s apis or ceranae. Bees tend to recover from apis as they get out from spring time. Ceranae can be a problem all year. If the queen gets it she will stop laying. I have treated nosema with thymol. I got on top of it but I wouldn’t choose to buy a colony with diagnosed nosema in its history.