We are at this time sold out of nucleus hives for 2017. Check back in March to see if more hives become available.
Hunter Apiaries will offer a limited number of four-frame deep and five-frame medium nucleus hives. Each hive consists of one frame of honey, three or four frames of brood in all stages of development with covering bees and the 2018 queen that laid all the brood. We will begin taking orders on December 1, 2017. Please call us at 540.577.4699 so we can discuss the process of making and confirming your order. The cost for each hive is $115.00. There is a $25.00 non-refundable deposit for each colony. There is also a new frame and foundation exchange to keep costs down.
How are nucleus hives from Hunter Apiaries different? Some providers purchase a queen from a southern breeder, add them to frames of bees, brood and honey then call it a nucleus hive. At Hunter Apiaries, we breed all our queens so they are optimized for local conditions. Each queen is introduced into a nucleus hive where they lay until the queen has demonstrated superior potential by laying three or four frames of brood. In this way, you know the queen is a good layer. With nucleus hives from Hunter Apiaries you are buying a hive with a proven queen.
Our process of creating hives takes longer. Colonies begin to become available in May and are picked up in the order we receive your deposit. For this reason, it is best to call early.
Finally, the number of nucs offered is based on how many donor hives we expect to survive the winter. Mild weather may mean more colonies in the spring. If you are unable to order a colony, please contact us in March.