Nucs may be ordered through FLBC by current members only. We are not a reseller of nucs, but try to provide a service for our members, especially those new to beekeeping who may not know how to order nucs. If you need to renew or join, you may send your $10 membership fee together with the check for the nuc(s). Please read the information below so that you understand the process.
Here’s the short instruction on how to reserve your nuc or nucs:
Please get a check (made out to Finger Lakes Beekeepers Club) to Marjorie Pryse, 1 Pembroke Lane, Ithaca 14850. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each nuc costs $106: $85 for the nuc, $20 deposit for the nuc box (which you’ll get back, if you return it), and $1 to defray the club’s driving expense.
The check reserves the nuc. First to pay are first on the list. We always sell out, so get your check to us quickly!
And the long story of the process:
Northern beekeepers have been buying nucleus colonies (nucs) from the southern states to replenish dead outs and to start new colonies since the 1930s. The Finger Lakes Beekeeping Club has been purchasing nucs from Wixson Honey, Inc. for at least six years. These bees are produced by Chuck Kutik, a NY commercial beekeeper who produces them in the Carolinas to transport them up for distribution by Jerry, owner of Wixson Honey. Kutik has been selecting bees that are hygienic and in our experience build well & produce well in our area. The advantage of the nuc over a package is that you get a laying queen with frames of brood along with lots of workers!
Every year the club starts by poling attendees at the January meeting to estimate our yearly order. This year we have ordered 40 nucs for purchase by the club for distribution to members paying in advance. FLBC collects money and writes a single check to allow one (or two) truck(s) to make our pickup saving us all gas. The nucs are brought back to Ithaca area for distribution. Remember to get your check in to Marjorie made out to Finger Lakes Beekeepers to reserve your nucs. First to pay are the first on the list.
Here is how it works! You place an order by sending the Treasurer a check–which covers the cost of the nuc, deposit on the box and a small fee to help cover the gas for the truck driver bringing the bees to the distribution point. This years cost is—$85 per nuc plus a $20 deposit on the nuc box–Chuck would really like his nuc boxes back! Plus add $1.00 for each nuc you order to assist with transportation cost. So 1=$106, 2=$212, 3=$318 etc. Remember the $20 deposit is returned to you when YOU get the nuc box back to Wixson’s.
We never really know when the bees will arrive because of changing weather but we do get little news snippets from Jerry or e-mails from Kutik’s group. Every year for the past few years bees have arrived the first or second week of May. When the bees arrive a call goes out for the pick-up, which triggers a FLBC call to each and everyone who ordered. Thus you will be called to inform you that bees will be arriving at the predetermined distribution location and encouraging you to meet the truck or set up an evening to come by for your bees.
If you have never moved bees, or nucs, this is what occurs. I always hope for cool weather because cool weather settles the bees. Moving these nucs will either happen if it’s cool or usually commences at dust/dark. So the truck will pick up all the nucs usually at dusk or when all the bees have stopped flight. So the nucs will arrive at the distribution destination just after dark! You can come when they arrive or usually can schedule with the hosting beekeeper at Ithaca distribution destination to pick them up some evening later that week or the following weekend. Stay tuned for details provided at meetings.
You will take your nuc(s) home & place them near or at the point of installation to let them settle. Then the next warm afternoon, ASAP, move them over into you production equipment. You are then responsible for returning the nuc boxes to Wixson to get your deposit back. Often people in the club band together to get a large number of these boxes returned saving trips to Dundee. For example, in the past I have bought up boxes at club meetings (for the deposit price) so the next time I’m over there getting containers I can return a truck load!
Finally–this service is to help new beekeepers or small beekeepers as such we limit orders to a total of 5 nucs per. If you have had bees for a few years or if your big enough –you should place a separate order for your business!
I’m sure we will talk about nucs at our March meeting or at the beginner class in April. The FLBC discussion board is also a great place to get answers!