June Nucs in the Pro Nuc
I have to wonder how many people google "nucs" and end up really confused about winding up at a bee blog. . . . A good laugh for the beekeepers of the world :)
Right now we have around fifty June nucs maturing. I went through and checked the queens, and they seem to be establishing well and sealing over worker brood properly. As always, some are further ahead than others. These happen to contain Saskatraz queens that I've started to work into the system since last year. I've met a lot of people curious about how they've behaved, so a round of nucs with those queens seemed like a good idea to give customers the chance to use them too. The lady laying the eggs at the top of the post did a stellar job!
We had our main nuc distribution around three weeks ago. This year we just loaded up the pickup a couple of times and handed them off that way for most customers. There is a slider on both ends of the Pro Nuc to permit ventilation and dual entrance options. We've found that the tab for the slider doesn't stay locked reliably once it has been used for any period of time, so a piece of duct tape can be good insurance if the nuc is going off to its new home in an enclosed vehicle.
We had them scattered around an orchard for some symbiotic feeding and pollination this year. Unfortunately it rained through roughly two-thirds of the bloom period in this orchard, so they didn't get as plump with nectar as I hoped. Still, it was a nice way to let them grow.
The best aspect of the Pro Nuc is that it has no folding or stapling involved with assembly. There are four plastic pieces to insert before use, and that goes very quickly compared to folding and stapling. On the downside, there's a little too much flare at the top of the box if the nucs get really full, and there is interference at the bottom of the box where some structural indentations butt into the interior. I think I still like them better than stapling, but they're not perfectly ideal. It will be interesting to see if there are some revisions in future years of production.
Let us know if you're still looking for a June nuc for starting a new hive or to requeen a weak population. We'll put them up on the website again sometime soon to sell off the ones that aren't already spoken for at this point.