At this time of year many people will be collecting their first nuc of bees ready to begin the wonderful world of beekeeping. It is therefore vitally important to know what to do when you first get your bees.

For those of you who like videos then please have a look at our YouTube video Putting Bees Into The Hive this gives you a really good idea of how it’s done.

For many people a checklist is a good way to go about things and so below are the instructions we give to every new beekeeper who collects a nuc from us:

  • When you get your bees home place the box on the site where the hive will be with the small flap on the box facing the same way as the hive entrance. 
  • Put on your bee suit.
  • Open the flap (it is a good idea to prop it open with a stick or something similar) or remove the bung depending upon what sort of nuc box you have. Then leave the bees alone to fly until the next day. Even the nicest bees can be a little emotional after a journey and so it is good to give them time to settle.
  • The following day move the nuc box to one side and put the hive in its place. 
  • Put 3 frames of new foundation into the hive followed by the 5 frames from the nuc box 
  • It is important to put the frames into the hive in the same order as they have come out of the nuc box and be as gentle as possible 
  • You may see the queen but it is important not to spend too much time looking at this stage 
  • Put in another 3 frames of foundation and you now have the brood box complete 
  • Turn the nuc box upside down over the brood box and give a shake to dislodge most of the remaining bees into the hive 
  • Put the hive back together 
  • Put the nuc box beside the hive, leaving the flap open and any remaining bees will soon discover that their queen is in the hive and fly to her 
  • In the evening it is a good idea to feed your bees and we recommend a contact feeder. Use a weak sugar solution of 1lb white granulated sugar to every pint of water. Make sure that the sugar is completely dissolved 
  • Leave the bees alone for a week (other than to top up the feeder if necessary) and then you can make your first inspection 

If you have any questions then please drop us a line using the contact form on the website Contact

I hope that has been helpful and good luck with your bees.

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