Buying Bees (Nuc Boxes)

Nuc Boxes


Will have local bees for sale in the Spring (2018) Contact Bee Dispatch for more information


You can obtain bees as a full colony, nucleus, package or a swarm.

  • Full colonies are usually only available when a beekeeper is selling up or downsizing and are the most expensive way of buy bees.
  • Nuclei (Nuc Boxes) are the most common way of purchasing bees.  They comprise of five frames of comb, which contain worker bees, brood, a laying queen and honey stores.  These generally come in a returnable or supplied travelling box and will need to be transferred to a clean hive.
  • Package bees usually contains just worker bees and a queen in a small box weighing roughly 1.5kg with enough fondant for a few days, they do not come with any brood, or frames and need to be housed immediately.  This is unusual in the UK.
  • Swarms are available to collect.  The best way is to contact your local bee division who will put you onto a swarm list.  You will need to have a little experience to do this, or get someone who has done this before to help you.

As a guide a good nucleus will:-

  • Have a good quality, young laying queen.  She may be marked and/or clipped.
  • Have all stages of bee brood present.
  • Be free of signs of disease.
  • Have at least three frames with brood.
  • Have four frames or more fully covered with honey bees.
  • Have the equivalent of at least one full comb of honey an half a frame of pollen as stores.
  • All combs should be in a good and clean condition, preferably being less than one season old.
  • Nucleus Boxes will need to be returned.

Nuc Boxes are ideal for beginners and usually cost about £100.  If you would like to speak to a local beekeeper or if you would a Nuc Box of Bees or if you have a Nuc Box that you would like to sell then please contact

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