2 of our bee hives have made it through the winter, but one didn’t make it. Bummer. We are in the process of trying to get a nuc hive to replace it. The difference between a nuc hive (about $125) and a 3# package (about $80) is that although they have about the same number of bees, a nuc hive already has an accepted queen who is laying eggs and comes with 4 frames and brood. The big difference is that the nuc hive is already a family of bees. They are established with each other. They have accepted the queen. They aren’t thrown together like a package of bees.
We could do a split with our current hives at no cost, but we are trying to get a lot of honey this year as we are constantly needing more honey. We have some established customers who like our honey and want it pretty consistently. This increases our chances for getting honey. A package of bees spends a lot of time in the beginning trying to get established. A nuc needs less time to get established, like a couple of days, instead of a month like a package, and therefore the bees can spend more time foraging and establishing their colony. This gives them time to make honey for them and us!
Bee packages don’t usually get extra honey their first year, but nucs generally will produce some extra honey their first year.
How about you, how did your bees do over winter? I’d love to hear about it!
This post is linked to Homestead Barn Hop.