What Makes Our Nucs Unique
Starting a hive with an established colony in a nuc gives you a head start on the season. With a nuc you are getting the core, the essentials of a honey bee colony. Never underestimate the value of drawn comb! It's where the bees raise more bees, turn nectar into honey, and store pollen. When you start with a nuc, not only are you starting with workers and foragers, you have thousands of new bees that will emerge over the coming weeks! You'll also have comb for your queen to lay more eggs in and good stores of honey and pollen.
Now some things specifically special about our Unique New York Nucs (tongue twister!)
- Our first round nucs contain an overwintered queen and her daughters that lived through the winter of 2018/2019, in the Catskills, which included sub-zero temperatures.
- Our second round nucs will contain a newly mated 2019 Spring queen raised in the hive from a queen cell, so you know she's been accepted by the workers. We will not, as is common in the industry, take a caged queen throw her in with a random group of bees, sell them, and leave the customer to wait and see whether or not the queen was excepted.
- Our bees are hardy survivors and have not been treated with any substance since we began beekeeping in the spring of 2013. On top of that, many of our lines of genetics are descended from Anarchy Apiary stock which have not been treated since 2005.
- Our hives are foundationless, so all the comb in them was made by the bees. There is no plastic or commercial wax foundation in our nucs. This management choice, plus the decision to be treatment-free, helps limit the contamination of the beeswax. Beeswax holds onto lipophilic contaminants, which includes many pesticides, both those that beekeepers voluntarily put into their hives through treating or involuntarily through trucking their hives to farms for pollination. Researchers are still finding DDT in comb!
- We do not like to breathe smoke or wear sweaty bee jackets often. Our bees are mostly worked without smoke and with only veils. That doesn't mean our bees don't sting(: But we probably have a lower threshold of what would be considered a "hot hive" than most beeks, and therefore raise gentler bees.
- Our nucs will come in 8 frame wooden boxes, not cardboard nuc boxes. They will have temporary plywood bottom boards, and a screened inner cover. This way you can just add a top cover and open the bottom entrance to let the bees out. No need to transfer the bees to new, unfamiliar equipment after the stressful time of being closed up and traveling to their new location.
What really makes our colonies unique is our beekeeping philosophy. To truly try and "save the bees" we believe you need to try to raise bees that would have a chance of surviving without you. Bees that, if they swarm, have a chance of making it in the wild. Drones that, when they mate with wild queens, don't weaken wild genetics because they've only been kept alive through treatments and supplemental feeding. In essence, we don't need to "save the bees" an insect that was around tens of millions of years before us and coevolved with flowering plants. We just need to develop relationships and environments that let them bee(: