In most years, I have starter hives (Nucs) for sale for beekeepers in the central Virginia (I am just to the east of Richmond, Va) area. Although I once had a form that allowed folks to get on a “waiting list”, things became a bit too hectic to manage that correctly and I now simply enable the form once I am comfortable that I will have some strong Nuc’s available (see this form: http://richmondhoneybee.com/bees-sale/reserve-nuc ).
What do you get?
I provide a healthy Nuc that is headed by a young, newly raised queen from one of my proven lines. You are absolutely going to get 2 to 3 frames of brood (all produced by the young queen) and at least a frame or two of resources. The Nuc is going to be too big to live in a Nuc much longer. They need more room, which is when I call the folks on my list to come pick up their bees and put them in a full super.
The queen will be one of my mutts. I have a wide mixture of genetics and let my queens mate in the wild. I don’t care much about whether I have Russians or Italians. I only care that I have strong bees that do well in our area and in today’s adverse environmental conditions. I weed out the weak ones.
What do you need to bring when you pick up your bees?
Typically, you are going to need a 10-frame, deep super. I will swap the frames (usually 5) from my Nuc with the frames of foundation in your hive. If you do not bring 10 frames of wax foundation, I add $10 to the cost of the Nuc (and do not take any of your frames.) If you are using a Medium setup, you would instead start with a 10 or 8 frame Medium box with frames.
What is the cost?
The current price for my Nuc’s is $150 with wax-foundation frame exchange. Without frame exchange, it is $170.
How do I get on the list?
I no longer keep a list, as it was too difficult to maintain and I would inevitably forget someone and feel guilty about it!! Instead, I enable a form or encourage folks to simply contact me by mid-April to see how things look. The “order” form is here : http://richmondhoneybee.com/bees-sale/reserve-nuc.
What Happens Next?
More than likely, the majority of my best Nuc’s will be created in April. This means that I will be reaching out in May to let you know the bees are ready to be picked up.