Nucleus Colonies (Nucs)

Local Nucs (2021)

$295.00 - $315.00

Accepting pre-payment for 2021 honeybee nucs at this time. Dates are not yet set, but we are expecting they will be available for late May through early June, but this is subject to change. Shipping options are available for BC. Victoria Pick-up available. Note: Our Yukon shipment to Behind the Barn in Whitehorse is now FULL. Please email to be added to the waitlist.

For more details on the current nuc plan for 2021, including specifics of deposits and reservation, please read all information below prior to placing your deposit. Please note quantity and cash/cheque/e-transfer/debit discounts can apply.

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2021 Nuc Details

Please note we will also be offering honeybee packages for 2021. For details see here.


Updated April 17th, 2021: Nucs are now available to reserve again, after confirming quantities will be available. Nuc costs have gone up above what we were quoted earlier this year, and our pricing has changed accordingly. Also, local queens will still be available as planned, but they will not be marked.

Please note that we are currently filling the last 20% of our available nuc spots. 

We will be bringing in local nucs in approximately late May/early June. Currently we are planning only on bringing in nucs with local queens. These queens will not be marked.

Comes in ventilated nuc boxes ideal for travel and shipping that are yours to keep! Currently all nucs are expected to be 4 frame. All frames are deep (standard sized) frames.

Pick-up option for Victoria and shipping options available for BC and the Yukon, viewable at check-out. (Note: Yukon shipping now fully booked. Email to be added to waitlist.) BC shipping is via Canada Post, and is $35 per nuc.

Please read all information below for reserving, pricing, payment requirements and terms/conditions below.

Nuc Reservation Detailed


We will be supplying nucs in late May and early June, and reservations will be on a first-reserved first-served basis. This generally means that the earlier you reserve, the earlier you will receive a nuc. We are currently planning for all nucs to have local queens included. These queens will not be marked.

More exact pick-up dates to be set in late April/early May.

Shipping options available for BC and Yukon.

Quick Facts

  • Pick-up will most likely be at our store located in Ladner, BC. Please note that we are now at a different address in Ladner, more details hereHowever, in some cases there may be a different pick-up location in the lower mainland.
  • Nuc boxes will be well-ventilated. We currently intend to supply all nucs in our preferred nuc box style which includes bottom slots to prevent frames from moving in transit.
  • We are aiming for pick-ups in late May and early June. If there is demand we may also continue supplying later into the season.
  • Queens are included with each nuc, already accepted and proven. You DO NOT need to buy a queen separately.
  • Queens will be local, but not marked.
  • Shipping for BC is available via Canada Post, at $35 per nuc. We also have a shipping option available for the Yukon.

Nuc Types & Pick-up Options

We are currently expecting to be able to supply nucs with local queens. If demand exceeds availability, we may begin offering other options.

Please note that once we set approximate pick-up dates for nucs, they may be subject to change right up until the day of delivery and we do not guarantee exact pick-up times. This is due to the possibility of poor weather or transportation delays.

Victoria pick-up options available. Shipping for BC is available via Canada Post, at $35 per nuc. We also have a shipping option available for the Yukon.

Deposit & Pre-payment

We are currently accepting full pre-payment to reserve your nuc. However, if you order 20-39 nucs you will only need to pay a total of 50% of the total cost at this time, and at 40+ nucs just a $30 non-refundable deposit for each nuc.

We take full pre-payment on most orders prior to pick-up to reduce wait times on the pick-up day, which can be very substantial. It also helps prevent payment issues on the day of, and confusion over reservation status. If you are placing a larger order you will be required to provide the remaining owing prior to pick-up.

Please note that we have an order of priority for customer reservations, mostly based on the order in which they are reserved. More details on the purpose of this priority system and how it works below.

After Reserving

After making your reservation we will send confirmation of your order via email. We will also provide updates as we receive details including more definitive delivery dates and pick-up times.

Prior to the pick-up date we will send an email with nuc installation instructions and tips, as well as a reminder to place equipment & supply pre-orders in advance.

Please note that pick-up dates and times are always tentative and subject to change; this is due to the many ongoing factors that can affect final supply time (for example weather, freight delays, etc). Once pick-up times are set we encourage you to continue to check your email in case of last-minute changes. This includes right up until the day of delivery as last minute issues or delays are always possible.

Full pre-payment required for less than 20 nucs reserved. For 20-39 nucs only 50% of the total cost will be due, and for 40+ nucs just a $30 non-refundable deposit. Upon receiving payment your reservation will be confirmed.

Upon receiving payment your reservation will be confirmed. Each nuc pre-payment includes a $30 non-refundable deposit amount. If you cancel a nuc reservation at least 14 days before pick-up you will be refunded fully minus the $30 deposit. This is regardless of nuc type.

For example, if you reserve 2 nucs for $265 each and later have to cancel your order, you will be refunded $235 per nuc.

If you cancel less than 14 days before pick-up day you may only be refunded 50% of your total pre-payment if we do not have a wait-list. If you cancel less than 4 days before the nuc pick-up dates you may not receive any refund. If you are a no-show for your nucs we will issue no refund.

Please note that in the unlikely scenario that we are unable to supply your nuc order due to any unexpected supply issues or losses in transit, and we are unable to provide a supplemental bee supply option to your satisfaction, we will issue a full refund including deposits.

Please note that we track nuc priority based on the date of reservation by customers. The earlier you reserve, the earlier nuc pick-up dates we will be able to offer you. This system of priority will also be used if a scheduled delivery has a shortage on bees, with earlier reservations taking priority for the part of the order received.

In tei unlikely scenario of a nuc shortage for a scheduled delivery date we would typically be able to provide a supplementary shipment soon after to make up the difference for customers, or otherwise provide a close alternative; if these options are not available or convenient to customers we are able to issue a full refund.

Temporary postponement of a delivery is not considered a nuc shortage as the exact date of delivery is always subject to possible change.

Nuc Pick-Up Details

Currently nuc pick-up dates are not set. We are expecting to have various nuc deliveries between mid-May and mid-June, however later shipments may be possible. Once we receive more definitive details we will let all customers who reserved in advanced know, and will also post those details here. Please note that even after posting exact pick-up dates can change, right up until the actual day of delivery.

Please note that you do not necessarily need to install your nucs on the day you pick-up, as you have the option to place the nucs right next to the spot they will be installed and open them up there. The bees will fly and re-orient to that spot, and you can hive the colony in the coming days. Our nucs also come well ventilated, so if they are stored in cool and dark conditions they will be most likely be okay for ~2 days, as demonstrated by previous success shipping them. That said, we do encourage as prompt installation as possible after pick-up.

Installing Nucs

When installing nucs you simply move the frames over from the nuc box provided into the full size hive. You will need to leave the adequate space for them in the new hive (so for example, if it is a 4-frame nuc you will have 4 frames of space free inside of the receiving box). The frames being received should  typically be placed right in the middle of the receiving hive box, and the nuc frames should be placed in the same order they were in the nuc box.

We will provide detailed installation instructions, tips and suggestions via email prior to pick-up, including video reference(s).

Nuc installation is a relatively straightforward process, but if you are a new beekeeper you will want to take time to make sure you have everything you'll need ready to go. Ideally you will have already taken a beginner beekeeping course, or at least will be doing so soon after installation.

On the day of installation you will want to have with you:

It is usually safe for our nucs to travel with you inside of an enclosed vehicle. The nuc boxes we intend to use are built to be fully contained and are intended to be shippable, so there is minimal risk of bee escape unless the nuc is damaged.

However in the interest of simple caution we encourage customers to bring their protective bee clothing with them, as well as a light blanket or sheet that could be put over a nuc if needed. This ensures you will have options in case of unlikely scenarios such as accidental damage to the nuc or attracted bees on the outside of nucs (the smell of a nuc can sometimes be attractive to bees flying in the area and they ).

If you are picking up in a truck and will be transporting nucs in the truck bed, you will want to have a way to keep them securely in place such as a strap or rope.

With all types of transportation ventilation will need to be maintained (no blocking of air flow), and temperatures kept cool rather than warm. This is especially important for longer distances of travel, so if you are coming from out-of-town and/or will be travelling for multiple hours with your nucs, please keep these needs in mind.

Due to risks to honeybee health and limited options for extended care of honeybees already sealed in nucs we strongly encourage customers to make every effort to arrange for pick-up within the determined dates and times of pick-up. Our policies below for extended holding are based on the presumption of customer obligation for making pick-up arrangements for livestock in a timely manner.

If after a set pick-up period we still have nucs and have not been able to establish contact with the reserving customers we will attempt to re-sell them as quickly as possible to ensure quick hiving, and we do not guarantee any amount of refund to the initial customer. If a customer misses the pick-up dates and times this will result in a total release of all liability and obligation by us to this customer with regards to the health of the nucs held, and any ill effect observed after this time will not result in any compensation or supplementation.

If due to exceptional last-minute circumstances you are unable to pick-up during the set pick-up period and you have contacted us as soon as possible we may agree to accommodate an extended holding period. However we will insist on total release of all liability and obligation with regards to the health of the nucs held, and any ill effect observed after this time will not result in any compensation or supplementation.

Notwithstanding the release of liability and obligation above we always strive to maintain the health of nucs kept in storage and attempt to ensure their comfort and proper ventilation. This care will of course extend to nucs held beyond the set pick-up time.

Please note that while we can occasionally accommodate customers due to exceptional circumstances that come up last minute, we will not knowingly arrange an extended holding period in advanced.

Each nuc will include a queen, so there is no need to purchase a queen separately or install her. This queen will already be loose in the nuc, so be very gentle and careful when installing your nuc so as to ensure she is not dropped or bumped during the process.

Queens present in nucs are already mated, proven and actively laying in the nuc colony.

Please note that upon introducing your nuc you will typically want to introduce sugar syrup feed and pollen patty. Sugar syrup will be particularly helpful to the colony in the case of a brand new hive with no drawn wax on the frames as it will very significantly help the colony in building out this comb, which is a very time and energy intensive activity. The providing of supplement pollen will help your colony build-up brood more rapidly, which is very helpful as nucs arrive already late into the year.

We recommend feeding even if you have irradiated honey and pollen frames available as this will stimulate the colony to build up and increase queen laying. It significantly reduces stress on a colony, including resilience to sickness and unfavourable weather conditions at time of install.

Rates for nucs with local queens:

  • QTY 1-9 nucs: $315 each, all payment types
  • QTY 10-19 nucs: $310 credit card$305 cash/cheque/debit/e-transfer
  • QTY 20-39 nucs: $305 credit card$300 cash/cheque/debit/e-transfer
  • QTY 40+ nucs: $295 credit card, $290 cash/cheque/debit/e-transfer

Proceeding with an order for nucs is taken as acknowledgement that the below terms and conditions have been understood and that you are in agreement with them.

If you are reserving before our nuc options and pricing is confirmed, you will be required to pay just a $30 deposit amount to reserve a spot for our nucs. Once we confirm details, approximate pick-up times and prices you will be contacted, and you will have 2 weeks to pay the remaining amount owing for that nuc. Please note that for 20-49 nucs only 50% of the total cost will be due, and for 50+ nucs no further payment is required until just prior to nuc pick-up. Upon receiving payment your reservation will be confirmed, and after the 2 week notice period all $30 deposit amounts become non-refundable (see more details regarding cancellations after this point below).

If after you receive notice of the nuc  we do not hear back from you within 2 weeks, your deposit becomes non-refundable and we have the option to cancel your reservation.

You also have the option once you receive notice of nuc details, approximate pick-up dates and prices to cancel your reservation. You have 2 weeks to do so to be provided a full refund for your deposit. However after 2 weeks the deposit becomes non-refundable.

Once we have set our pricing for nucs all future reservations will require full pre-payment to reserve. Please note that for certain quantities different pre-payment amounts may be required.

Once we post confirmed nuc details and prices all new reservations will include a $30 non-refundable deposit per nuc. If you have to cancel a nuc reservation with us, we will grant a refund for each nuc reservation canceled minus the $30 deposit for each nuc. For example, if you reserved 2 nucs at $265 each for a total of $530, and later cancel your reservation for both nucs we will provide a refund for $470 and retain the $60 non-refundable deposit amount.

At all quantities ordered, barring special alternative terms being established at the time of ordering or an exception provided by Urban Bee Supplies staff, full payment must be received no later than 3 days before the set expected date of delivery. After this time if payment has not been received we reserve the right to cancel a nuc reservation order either partially or fully and/or require renegotiation of terms of sale including pricing.

Upon receiving the required pre-payment amount for your given quantity of nucs ordered we consider you to have reserved a spot for the selected nuc shipment. Upon providing this pre-payment we will provide confirmation of your reservation and we will begin providing updates via email as we get closer to the delivery date. Although we will set more specific dates as time goes on, at no point can we guarantee that the expected delivery dates will not change. This is due to the nature of livestock production and the transporation process involved.

If a delivery date has been set, and you cancel less than 14 days prior to delivery, we reserve the right to provide only a refund of 50% of the total cost of the quantity of nucs ordered. If you cancel your order less than 4 days before the nuc pick-up dates we reserve the right to provide no refund and fully retain the pre-paid amount. If you order and pre-pay for nucs and they are not picked-up within the set pick-up dates we reserve the right to provide no refund and fully retain your payment.

If you cancel a nuc reservation and a refund is issued to you, and then at a later date you reserve nucs with us again for the same shipment, we will require payment in full again. We will not provide a credit for any amounts withheld from prior cancellations.

Upon nuc arrival, we will make nucs available for pick-up for a specified length of time; this time frame will be provided as far in advanced as possible once we receive expected delivery dates of the nucs to us. We provide no guarantees as to the exact delivery dates and times, and these set times are subject to change at any time including up to and past the date of their arrival into our care.

We will provide nucs the best care we can until they are picked up. If you choose to pick them up after the designated pick-up period we will continue to care for them but we DO NOT guarantee their health and if colonies begin to experience attrition (such as some amount of colony loss, stress-related symptoms such as dysentery, etc.) we will not provide any form of refund or supplementation. We highly encourage customers to pick-up in the set time frame. We will provide extended hours as appropriate, depending upon the date of delivery.

If your bees arrive and are not picked-up, and we have not heard from you by the end of the designated pick-up period after attempting to contact you, we may attempt to supply the nucs to another customer or otherwise utilize them for our own purposes.

We are released of all liability and obligation with regards to the health of honeybee nucs if they are not picked-up within the pre-established pick-up time frame, and any ill health effects observed after this time will not result in any compensation or supplementation.

If a customer does not receive communications from us despite our attempts using the contact information we were provided we will not at a later date provide refunds, credits, supplementation of nucs or compensations for any costs incurred that directly or indirectly resulted from communication non-receipt. This includes the missing of nuc pick-up dates, payment deadlines, etc.

Due to the realities of livestock production we cannot guarantee the number of nucs ordered by us will always be provided. Although unlikely, the possibility of production issues on our supplier’s side may result in some amount of our order being cancelled. In the very unlikely circumstance this does occur we will provide customers with the option of switching to another delivery and/or receiving full refunds.

Once nucs are being transported to us by our supplier we DO NOT guarantee their safe arrival. There is always a possibility of losses in transit, and while losses in transit are rare they can & do occur. This is an unavoidable risk of livestock transportation, though very rare for nucs. If losses do occur, we will supply to as many customers as possible nucs that are in good health. If we are unable to supply to some customers, we will work to the best of our ability to arrange for a supplementary shipment or transfer their reservation to an upcoming shipment. In the unlikely scenario we are unable to secure supplemental nucs to customers to their satisfaction, we will provide a full refund including the non-refundable deposit.

Once nucs are picked-up the conditions they experience are no longer in our control. If nucs appeared healthy upon pick-up and at any later time or date negative health effects occur we do not guarantee any form of compensation or supplementation.

We will not provide any amount of refund or supplementation in cases where nucs have non-optimal outcomes after installation; for example: slowness to build-up, queens with non-optimal laying patterns, early queen supercedure, the appearance of dysentry or other symptoms of stress or illness or infestation, low productivity, etc.

While Urban Bee Supplies may provide recommendations and suggestions for the handling and installation of livestock, proceeding with the order of any livestock products from Urban Bee Supplies is taken as full acknowledgement by the customer that handling and installation of livestock products and any outcomes is fully of customer responsibility. Due to the possibility of misunderstanding and/or exceptional circumstances Urban Bee Supplies is acknowledged by proceeding with any livestock order as having no liability or obligation with regards to the handling and installation process, and any instructions provided are understood by the customer as suggestions to the best of staff knowledge and as having been provided separately (not as a part of) the livestock product itself.

Proceeding with the order of any livestock products from Urban Bee Supplies is taken as fully acknowledging the inherent risks of livestock proximity, engagement and handling (including stings and/or any other possible injury), and the customer fully taking responsibility for these possible outcomes resulting from their engagement, proximity and handling of these livestock products. This includes acknowledging the possibility of exposure to contact with livestock where attempts have been made to minimize or eliminate such direct contact, for example in the case of packages where they are meant to be fully enclosed and self-contained. This also includes acknowledging the inherent risks in transporting of livestock and the customers full responsibility for addressing these risks.


Due to time constraints we have just started on this sections and will be adding as time goes on and we encounter questions. In the meantime we are happy to answer any questions you may have directly! Please feel free to reach us here:

Additional information


2021 Nuc Deposit – Local ONLY, 2021 Nuc Deposit – Local or Non-local, 4-Frame Local Nucs, SHIPPED 4-Frame Local Nucs (BC ONLY)