Winter Nuc Preparation

For the last four years we have been using the following Winter Nuc preparation method. We first heard about preparing Winter Nucs during a talk Kirk Webster made at a local beekeeping organization; our method has been slightly modified from Kirk’s. In the early Spring winter nucs which have survived are quite vibrant and ready to expand and most often become wonderful honey producing hives in late Spring-early Summer. Our over-winter success rate for this method has been between  80-90%. We just completed wrapping our Winter Nucs for the upcoming winter two weeks ago.

  1. We create Winter Nucs the last week of July from strong 4-frame Summer mating Nucs along with their queens. All of our queens come from our breeding operation.
  2. The 4-frame Winter Nucs are placed into a single divided brood super with a solid bottom.
  3. We add 3 small moisture-release holes above each Nuc main entrance.
  4. We feed the Winter Nucs through the end of October. Feeder jars are placed in the upper empty medium.
  5. We add 1-inch pink insulation to the upper medium before the 1st freeze in October.
  6. We loosely wrap the brood super with roofing paper in November.
  7. During the late winter weeks if necessary we add Fondant