nucleus hives

Nucleus Hives.

Mt. Coramba Apiculture supplies high-quality nucleus hives to hobbyist and small-scale beekeepers.

5 January 2019.  We currently have a limited number of 4/6 frame nucleus hives for sale from $165.00 each.  Young queens grafted in December 2018. Pick up from our apiary at Nana Glen into your hive.  Contact us for more information.

Nucleus hives are commonly known as nucs. (pronounced newks).

What is a nucleus hive?

A nucleus hive consists of four full depth Langstroth frames of brood, honey and pollen with a locally raised mated queen. The queen is hatched in the nucleus from one of our carefully grafted queen cells, mated with local drones and then allowed to develop and display a good brood laying pattern before sale.  Mt. Coramba Apiculture produce our nucs in the Orara Valley, northern NSW, from start to finish and as a result, we have full control over the process. For this reason, our bee nucs are far superior to any package bees available on the market.

How many bees are there in a nucleus colony?

Orara Valley Honey take care to ensure that every bee nuc for sale is strong and healthy.  We estimate that our four frame nucs contain from 5000 to 8000 bees and a robust, healthy queen.

We strive to ensure that the honey bee nucs we supply are robust and disease free.

Orara Valley Honey grow our nucleus hives in six frame full depth brood boxes. This gives us the time to check that the queen is suitable and as a result, we can carefully asses the bees to ensure that they are docile and easy to work.  Furthermore, we can also select the four best frames for you and use the balance in our hives. Care is taken to observe the nucleus hive for any signs of disease before sale.  The use of foundation is kept to a minimum, and most of our frames are naturally drawn comb.

Mt. Coramba Apiculture encourages responsible beekeeping, and we follow The Australian Honeybee Industry Biosecurity Code of Practice.

What is our policy on chemical use?

At Mt. Coramba Apiculture we do not use any form of chemical control for small hive beetle.  Our small hive beetle control consists of maintaining strong hives without too much space for beetles to take hold in. Proper colony management is the key to beetle control.  In fact, we don’t use any of the common forms of beetle control such as oil, or diatomaceous earth filled traps. The majority of our hives have screened bottom boards.

How do I order a nucleus hive?

We don’t take orders for our nucleus hives.  The production of nucleus hives is time-consuming.  Weather conditions and the availability of reliable sources of pollen and nectar directly influence our ability to produce good bees.  Please contact us directly to inquire about availability.  Demand for nucleus hives far exceeds supply because of the renewed interest in beekeeping.  We don’t cut corners, and as a result, our nucs are highly sought after.

How much do our nucs cost?

Our 2018/2019 price will be $165.00 for a four frame nucleus hive.  The cost covers the bees and the frames only.  We do not supply a box.

Can I inspect the nucleus hive before purchase?

Most definitely yes.  You are welcome to visit our house apiary at 235 Morrow’s Road, Nana Glen any time by appointment.  We frequently give our time freely to speak to new beekeepers about beekeeping in general and inspect a few hives so that you can decide if beekeeping is for you.  Alternatively, for new customers, it is our preference to install the nucleus hive into your hive at your apiary.

Do I need to be a registered beekeeper?

Yes.  Mt. Coramba Apiculture encourages responsible beekeeping consequently we never sell hives to unregistered beekeepers.  We will insist on sighting you registration paperwork before unloading your bees.  We maintain records of all bee movements. In New South Wales new beekeepers can register online.

How do I get my bees to my apiary site?

Our preferred method to transfer your bees is to close up the nucleus hive before sunrise and then move them to the new site within a few hours after daylight.  The nucleus hive is then opened up so that the bees can fly while the frames and bees are transferred into their permanent home.  Our nucleus hives are ventilated so that the bees remain calm and stress-free.

Alternatively, you can leave a hive at our apiary, and we will place the bees into your gear onsite ready for you to collect when convenient.  Once again we can close the hive up before sunrise so that you can transport them to their permanent home within a few hours of dawn.  Bees will tolerate being closed up for a few hours however you must ensure that your equipment has some ventilation such as a ventilated entrance closure and a vented migratory lid.

Never lock your bees up for a few days when you move them.  You will kill them.

Installing a nucleus hive.

Should you need assistance or information on installing a nuc hive, we can show you how to transfer bees from a nuc to your hive, or we can do it for you.  It is a simple process.  Just lift the frames out of the nucleus colony and place them into your hive.  Make up the extra frames with your new frames of foundation or drawn combs. For example, a four-frame bee nucleus going into an eight frame brood box will require four extra new frames.

Are our queens marked?

Queens are marked with a water-based marker pen by placing a coloured dot on the thorax.  This makes the queen bee easier to see among the other bees on the frame.  Marking also makes it easier to establish if the hive has swarmed or replaced the original queen.  We don’t get too concerned with the international queen marking system.  Pink and yellow tend to stand out therefor we mostly use those colours for queen marking.


What is the best way to set me up for beekeeping success?

Consider completing a beekeeping course.

Mt. Coramba Apiculture offers beekeeping courses and workshops to beekeepers looking to start in beekeeping.  Our classes are flexible, hands-on and competitively priced.  Our trainer, Glenn Locke is an experienced beekeeper with formal qualifications in training.

Take a look at our online resources.

Mt. Coramba Apiculture have put together a list of online beekeeping resources that we think will be helpful to new and experienced beekeepers alike.  All of these resources are from peer-reviewed, responsible government and industry sources.  We do not recommend Facebook as a reliable source of information.

Join a beekeeping club.

We highly regard new beekeepers who are members of the NSW Amateur Beekeepers Association.  The NSW Amateur Beekeepers Association has very active branches in Taree, Mid North Coast and Northern Rivers.  The Mid North Coast Amateur Beekeepers Association meet on the second Sunday of every month.  Here is a list of Australian beekeeping associations.

Check out our information about backyard beekeeping.

Our responsible backyard beekeeping blog is packed with useful information if you are thinking about beekeeping.

Beekeeping equipment suppliers.

You will also need some essential equipment.  Essentials include a smoker, a bee suit, a hive tool.   Furthermore, you will also require bottom boards, boxes, lids and frames to house your bees.  In the areas, we cover we recommend New Horizons Coffs Harbour & Valley Industries for your beekeeping equipment.


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