Workers and Queen Cells Unite! Adventures in Queen Rearing, Part 2

Stacks of honeybee mini-nucs with 2 happy beekeepers

Beekeepers and mini-mating nucs.

Nuc stacks & happy beekeepers

Mini-nucleus mating hives filled with nurse bees and a queen cell in each are stacked on pallets in a cool, dark room. A fan can be seen behind two of the happy beekeepers

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7 Responses to Stacks of honeybee mini-nucs with 2 happy beekeepers

  1. Roy Rayner says:

    Where might I purchase the same type nucs you use?.

    • Hi Roy, I bet you, like Dan (another commenter) are referring to the tiny white nucs we are using at Bruce Bowen’s for queen rearing. They come from Mann Lake. There’s also a slightly larger version, which we’re probably going to test in 2012. The small ones are nice, but can be hard to maintain: a fine line between too much feed and too little feed. On the positive side, you can find the queen fairly easily.

  2. Susie says:

    Thank you so much for answering my inquiry. Would you happen to know of anyone who makes homemade nucs like yours. or perhaps would have a set of plans they would send me?.

    Thanks again,


    • HI Roy – I don’t really know of anyone building them from wood, but I went over to’s Build-It page and that’s how-to on building a nuc. Really the tiny mating boxes are just like a tiny nuc with a built in feeder. Now, I’m not a builder – my husband is the woodworker in the family/business – but you could take the design for a nuc, but make it only half the length, and you’d have the same basic design except that the frames would be going like a regular hive (front to back) in the mini-nuc from Mann Lake, they go side to side. Me? I’d just use a standard nuc, but Bruce’s point is that these tiny ones take less foundation and they’ve got the feeder built in, so it’s kind of a toss up as to what’s easier for you.

  3. Susie says:

    Hi Susie,

    I think my best bet would be to buy a mini nuc from one of the bee supply outfits and use that as a model. I might not be able to build one like the factory made ones, but I might come close.

    Do you think the mini-nucs are worth the time and effort, or do you prefer the five frame nucs?.


    • There are a lot of people using the mini-nucs – but I think the five frame nuc is easier to maintain – that balance between too much feed and too little feed. But buying one and seeing how to replicate it in wood could work. I’d just suggest looking at Mann Lake’s larger version of the mating nuc too.

  4. Susie says:

    Thanks for all your help Susie.


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