Buying and selling nucs of bees


These guidelines are not intended to be onerous. They rely on the goodwill of buyers and sellers.
Conwy Beekeepers’ role is to put buyers and sellers in touch. We do not set prices, and we do not recommend particular suppliers.

The bees should be gentle to handle, suitable for a beginner.
We recommend that buyers arrange to see the bees flying before buying, and agree with the seller that the nuc conforms to each item 1 to 5 before buying.

General specification for a 5-frame nucleus of bees

  1. British Standard deep Hoffman frames with wired combs, all in good condition. No excess of drone brood.
  2. Five combs, all fully drawn out, at least three with brood and two with adequate stores. No frames of undrawn foundation.
  3. Brood at all stages: eggs, larvae and sealed brood, and bees covering all the frames.
  4. All brood to have been laid by the queen provided.
  5. Locally raised laying queen, may be marked yellow for 2017 or red for 2018.
  6. Seller to advise buyer of any recent varroa treatment.
  7. Seller to advise buyer if queen has been clipped.
  8. Nuc to be inspected by Seasonal Bee Inspector before sale, or soon after if the inspector prefers.
  9. Nuc to be supplied in a returnable 5-frame or larger nuc hive, ready for moving. Supplier may wish to charge a returnable deposit on the nuc hive.
  10. Supplier to provide an up to date hive record card or diary notes.
  11. Option 1. Buyer collects their nuc and transfers to their own hive a few days later, when the bees have settled down. IMPORTANT: see Conwy BK information on How to transfer bees.
    Option 2. Supplier offers to deliver the nuc and transfers it into your hive.
  12. Empty nuc hive to be returned to seller within an agreed time.
  13. We suggest that buyers arrange for an end of season inspection, to ensure the colony is OK for the winter.
  14. Any after-sales problems are to be resolved between buyer and seller.  Conwy Beekeepers will not arbitrate.
  15. We suggest that the seller contacts the buyer a few weeks after the sale to check that all is well.
  16. Seller to keep a record of all sales, including a copy of the hive record card or diary notes.

Who is my Seasonal Bee Inspector?

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Compiled by Peter McFadden, Conwy BK, updated June 2018

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