Kutik's Honey Farm

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Notes for new beekeepers

We've seen some well-intentioned people do some mighty strange things. If you have never kept bees before, please read these notes.

  1. Bees are livestock and must have proper care. Some folks think they can just buy bees, set them out and forget them. But they need husbandry. You would not purchase goats or cows without learning all about them! We recommend you join a beekeeper association and find a mentor, or take a beekeeping class. Check with your county extension agent to find out where to connect. Do this no later than the winter preceding your bee purchase.
  2. When you purchase a nuc, keep in mind that it is a baby hive. Just as with any animal, you will need to feed it, until it can forage for itself. This can vary according to the nectar and pollen plants that are available - but at least plan to feed at the beginning.
  3. Nucs will shortly outgrow the little nuc box. Have full sized hives and supers ready to give your bees room as they expand. You may need to move them in just a few days, so it's best to get these ready in the winter, so you won't be caught "with your pants down" in the spring. Crowded bees are apt to swarm - a great loss for you, and a likely irritant for your neighbors.
  4. Nucs are live bees and must be transported as such. Some people have come in the middle of the day for nuc pickup - which means that many of the bees are out visiting flowers and will be left behind - greatly weakening your nuc. Some folks have come with shorts and t-shirts and thinking that they will transport the bees in a car. You should come with a pickup, or trailer, and bring veils for each handler and a smoker. Come early in the morning before the bees begin to fly, or come in the evening when they are done. Plan to move your bees quickly to their permanent site. They will not fly off a moving vehicle; the wind will hold them down. But don't stop on the way for more than a couple minutes, or you will leave bees at that spot.
  5. One man came with plans to enclose his nucs in a tied up garbage bag for transport. Our employee rightly refused to let him take them - they would have been dead by suffocation is just a few minutes.


Kutik's Honey Farm
285 Lyon Brook Rd. Norwich, NY  13815   607-336-4105, Fax: 607-336-4199
(February through May, we are usually in South Carolina 803-473-4205)

This page was last updated on February 4, 2012.