Nuc Pickup & Instructions
Updated Dec 15, 2013
NUC PICKUP INSTRUCTIONS–PLEASE READ ALL THE WAY TO THE BOTTOM!
Golden West Apiaries
14744 Meadow Dr
Grass Valley, CA 95945
530 277 4450 (please make calls from 6:30- 8:30 am; please do not call later in the day if possible, as it interrupts our bee work)
We produce our locally-adapted nucs in the Sierra Foothills, so our season starts later than producers in the Valley. Our first mated queens are generally not available until April 15, and perhaps not until May 1. If you need nucs earlier than that, you may order nucs with good queens from last year (2nd-year queens, avail in late March), or get your nucs from a producer at lower elevation. Please do not pester me for any orders involving newly-mated queens until mid April at the earliest (for those who order early)! If you didn’t order until March, there will be many orders before you, and your nucs won’t be ready until early May. Those who pester will have their name moved down the list by 10 notches for each pestering.
I produce “chemical-free” nucs on high quality combs (we haven’t used any synthetic miticides since the year 2000), with the queen mated and laying in the same “large” nuc—the queens are never caged nor banked.
My breeding program is simple; I select for the following traits:
1. Gentleness. Since I work barehanded and without veil or protective clothing during warm weather, I do not tolerate stinging or defensiveness.
2. Early buildup for almond pollination and our early foothill honey flows.
3. High honey production.
4. Natural resistance to local pathogens–”disease free.”
5. Natural varroa mite resistance–after potential breeders are selected for the above criteria; we then only breed from those that maintain the lowest mite levels. This ruthless culling selects every year for the optimal natural compromise between productivity and mite resistance.
I offer nucs with either new queens, or with proven year-old queens.
Fresh queens depend upon good weather for proper mating, so nucs with new queens are usually not available until mid April to early May. Rather than waiting for fresh queens,you can get a major jump on the season by asking for a nucs with a year-old queen. As we split our hives in March and April, we make nucs from the “cores” of excellent colonies with proven, fat queens from the previous season. These nucs can give you a several week head start over those with freshly-mated queens. Colonies with year-old queens are great honey producers, but swarm control should be exercised, as they are more prone to swarm than new queens. Nucs with year-old queens are exceptionally strong due the the amount of sealed brood, and cannot be held for long in the nuc box, so they are sold on a first come, first served basis.
Our nucs are on deep frames (9-5/8″ boxes); if you wish to keep bees in medium boxes or other style hives, please purchase a package instead of a nuc.
Prices: Due to the variability of bee supply, all prices subject to change without notice!
5-frame nucs–$125.00 (discount for bulk purchases of 10 or more)
We are proud of the quality of our queens and nucs–if for any reason you are not completely satisfied, simply return for replacement or refund within 30 days.
For those wishing packages, we can shake a limited number by special order.
Add a $6 refundable cage deposit to the above prices.
Packages can also be made with either new or year-old queens–the same time constraints apply.
Queens and cells:
We sell only a very limited number of queens, and don’t ship. We will produce queen cells to order at $5 each (2-week lead time). Mated queens $25 ea. (price may change). Queens are not normally available until our nuc orders are filled (usually mid May).
1. Please bring green folding money for payment, unless prior arrangement has been made to accept a check.
2. Note: all nucs are 5 deep frames unless other arrangements have been specified. Nucs contain a freshly laying queen from selected stock, 3-4 frames of brood, and food combs of honey and pollen.
4. For each nuc, bring a deep brood box, containing only 5 frames , a hive cover (and inner cover if appropriate), a bottom board, and a ratcheting nylon web strap (has a lever that clicks to tension) to hold it together. Or bring your own nuc box (no frames). We can also place your nuc into a returnable plywood nuc box with a $10 deposit.
5. ***Always carry full protective gear and a smoker when moving bees, in case a mishap occurs.***
6. We’ll install bees into your boxes at my home yard, let them settle down for several minutes, then you can drive them home. Alternatively, feel free to drop off your strapped hives (clearly marked with your name and phone number) in advance with payment inside, and we will install the bees and call you when you can pick up at your leisure. If there are combs containing any honey, please seal the boxes tightly!
7. You may pick up nucs any time, but you’ll get the full field force if you pick them up in early morning, evening, or during cold or rainy weather (sunny daytime pickup is fine; we will shake extra bees into your nuc to make up for any lost field force). BE SURE TO ARRIVE BY 6:00 PM if you need assistance. Please do not arrive any later–I am trying to devote evenings to family. If you live far away, please check any computer map program for the estimated travel time.
8. For the trip home, secure the hives firmly in the vehicle to avoid shifting. The smoothest ride in a truck bed is just behind the cab. In general, do not close or screen the entrance. However, if you have screened bottoms, you may close the entrance completely. If you are carrying them in a car, or are concerned about bees getting out, wrap the whole hive in netting, shade cloth, or a bedsheet. Closed nucs can easily overheat!
Pick up checklist–please print and check off all items! I can only sell nucs at this low price if the pick up goes quickly and smoothly–please get all your ducks in a row before you get here!
__ Green cash full payment for each nuc–paper money with green presidential portraits. Not checks!
__ For each nuc: 1 hive body, 5 frames (3 frames for 8-frame boxes), 1 hive cover, 1 bottom board
__ Ratcheting straps. These have a handle that moves back and forth and goes “click, click, click” as the strap cinches up. Bungees or camlock straps do not provide adequate bindage.
__Please assemble all equipment and any entrance blocking before you arrive, so that we can quickly transfer your nucs without waiting for you to fiddle around.
__ Ropes to keep the hives from sliding in the back of the vehicle.
__ Net or old sheet if you are carrying within a vehicle, or plan to make stops.
__ Full bee gear and a smoker in case the hive breaks open on the way home
___BE SURE TO ARRIVE BEFORE 6:00 pm.
Directions from I-80 east:
Take the Colfax/Grass Valley offramp.
Keep turning right until you are on Hwy 174.
Don’t miss when 174 turns left a mile out of town at Giovanni’s restaurant (sorry, currently burnt down, so it’s not much of a landmark any more!).
Go about 6 miles on Hwy 174 toward Grass Valley. When you see the green Meadow View Drive sign don’t turn yet, rather go another ¼ mile and look for the Meadow Drive sign on the left.
Turn left on Meadow Drive.
Go 1.1 miles up. Address 14744 on right.
Directions from Marysville (Hwy 20 east):
When you hit Freeway 49/20, go right over the overpass, straight; this will put you onto Empire St. Follow Empire St until it tees into Hwy 174, turn right