top of page


5 Frame Nuc and Hive

HoneySmith Bees is the ultimate source for beekeepers in and around Odenton, MD. We provide bees, as well as tools and clothing you can use while beekeeping. Bees operate in colonies and work best when there is a system in place to produce honey.


Nuc stands for nucleus colonies. These are bee colonies that are small colonies made from larger ones. This word also refers to the box the bees are kept in. The term nucleus refers to the queen, since she is the center of the hive, hence the nucleus of the hive. The Nuc hive is the hub of bee life and activity. With a Nuc, most of the groundwork has been done for you. You just need to nurture the hive to keep it going. A typical Nuc starts with about 10,000 bees, but can grow to as large as 40,000 or more bees in only two months’ time. This amount of bees can produce a great honey crop with the right care and conditions.


The 5 Frame Nuc is a more established beehive, complete with honey. This Nuc includes 3 frames of brood and 2 frames of honey and pollen. 5 Frame Nucs operate the best and ensure the success of future hives. This is especially important to have as new beekeepers. Nucs that are not established or that do not have all 5 components may not survive. 


More experienced beekeepers can get away with 2 or 3 frame nucs. These contain a smaller amount of bees but can grow with the right care. The best way to start is with a 5 frame nuc to have the most success.


As a beginner beekeeper, the Nuc hive is essential. It is basically a hive that is already established with worker bees and a queen bee. With the right care and treatment, your bees will be making honey in no time. There is always the option to purchase a package, but you may not be as successful with a package as you would with the Nuc. A package is combining bees and a queen together in hopes that they can work and grow together. This may or may not happen.


To set up the basic nuc, you need two frames filled with honey and pollen. These go on the outer edges of your nuc box. You will then place three frames from the source hive with a queen to complete your nuc hive. Then you can care for your hive so that they produce plenty of honey for you.

bottom of page