Nucs vs packages: If you are replacing winter losses, or starting new beehives in equipment you already have, you are immediately faced with a decision: "Shall I buy package bees or nucs?" The primary appeal of packages is simplicity in shipping. They can be sent via the post office. But nucs are a better choice, if they are available. A package will dwindle for a couple weeks because there is no brood until you install it. A nuc will have brood already hatching, when you install it. Queen acceptance is more certain, and a nuc will almost never abscond, as packages sometimes do. Nucs can often be obtained from a commercial beekeeper, particulary those who migrate south. You can think of each hive as a cow, and the nucs as spring calves. Commercial beekeepers usually make a lot of nucs for their own use, and generally are happy to sell some. If you are in the north, you need to establish a "southern connection," as early nucs are trucked from the south. Late nucs may have to be maintained for a year before they do anything for you.
Periodicals and online sites: The classified section of the following sources will often advertise bees and nucs for sale, as well as beekeeper auctions, equipment, etc. You will also find regular ads from the professional queen breeders and package producers.
Bee and Equipment brokers:
Morris Weaver Enterprises, 1118 Neal St. - Navasota, Texas 77868-2511, 936-825-3083
The Risk of Buying Used Bee Equipment
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