Benefits of a Nuc:
All the Bees are Related- In a nuc, you are essentially buying a family of bees. The bees are all related, they are used to working together and most of all, they are related to their queen. She is accepted and already laying brood.
Head Start- Because a nuc is comprised of already established frames, this will give you about a 2 week head start on honey production. The bees do not have to take the extra time to begin the hive from scratch. This time saver is especially important if you live in a cold climate where the honey season is limited.
Your bees can also take advantage of the spring flow, where in a package of bees the workers have to focus on building comb and often miss the spring abundance.
No Need to Feed- Nucs come with two honey frames used to feed the bees until they can continue expanding. With a package, you must feed the bees until they build comb and begin making honey.
Less Stress- Nucs tend to be a less stressful transition for the bees. They essential are taking a bit of their original home with them in the move. They have developed relationships, accepted their laying queen and already have brood and food available to them.
Nuc installation is usually less stressful as well. A package of bees is often shaken into the empty hive where the nuc frames can be gently places inside without much disruption.
In our opinion, if you can find a nuc for sale, that’s the better way to go. But don’t sacrifice bee keeping this year if a package is all you can find/afford. Both are proven to be successful ways to begin bee keeping.