Terms And Conditions
We will call or email you to advise on despatch of your Queen. Please note for reasons beyond our control we cannot advise prior to delivery, though you may email us at any time to enquire of estimated delivery date. You can choose which delivery method you prefer: First Class post or Special Delivery (next day guaranteed). First Class post is cheap and cheerful and generally arrives the following day (though Royal Mail cannot guarantee this). Special Delivery is more expensive but we strongly recommend it especially when the weather is exceptionally hot, or if you live in an area where your post is delivered very late in the day or if you urgently require a Queen bee the next day. We cannot take responsibility for delays using Royal Mail, therefore if your Queen arrives late, dehydrated or half dead due to delays using 1st class post, you will have to take responsibility for choosing this method of delivery. Special Delivery requires a signature on receipt so please ensure you nominate an appropriate delivery address.
We do not send Queens abroad.
Queens found dead on arrival will be replaced, once, for free, provided you return them to us in the original cage, unopened.
We cannot guarantee total kindness of all our Queens, we are still not able to read Bee codes and the gentle gene in the Bee DNA - but if you do get a snappy Queen send her back to us (we can put her on honey production) and we will happily replace her, free of charge.
We will contact you approximately one week prior to collection to arrange pick up. Nucs are for collection only. We do not send Nucs abroad. All our bees are regularly checked before collection and are also checked by Bee Inspectors as and when required, to ensure that they are in good health. As it is livestock, once it leaves our premises our legal responsibility for the health and well being of the bees will cease. Nucs are non returnable. We advise checking your bees at point of collection. Our staff may not always be available to assist during inspection, therefore please come prepared with protective clothing, boots and veil, to do the inspection alone if necessary.
We reserve the right to alter our Terms and Conditions and our prices at any time. You will be asked to read, accept and agree to the Terms and Conditions prior to placing your order. As soon as you proceed to Order you will receive a reference number with the details of your order, and a written confirmation of your order will be emailed to you. If, for any reason, we are unable to supply you with your order, all monies are fully refundable. Prices include VAT where applicable. For Nucs, deposit required with order and for Queen purchase, full payment with order.
Honey Bee Suppliers are DASH accredited. For more information on the DASH scheme please see www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageid=360
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A nucleus is a well balanced colony between 3-6 British Standard brood combs. It should have bees, food, brood, and a queen as described below. The total number of combs should be stated. For bees on other sizes of frames the buyer and seller should reach agreement. A nucleus should be in a position to expand as soon as purchased, without the risk of starvation. It is not just the number of bees, but the queen and the quantity and age of the brood that is important. The container should have adequate ventilation to allow for transportation.
Combs and Frames
The frames should be securely nailed/pinned and be in sound order. They need not be new but should have been thoroughly cleaned. Combs should be fully built out, i.e. not wax foundation. The outer combs can be food only, especially on the outside faces. There should be no sacrificial drone comb. Combs should be reasonably free of brace comb and the nuclei should be easy to remove from the container to ensure that the bees are not crushed in the
An established young mated laying queen should be present. She may be marked with the 'standard' colour for the year (although it may not be reliable to assume the colour marking will comply with the convention). If unclipped, her wings may be clipped at the request of the purchaser and with the agreement of the supplier. The queen may be transported caged (for safety and proof of delivery) for release at the destination by the beekeeper. In such cases, full instructions should be provided to assist this process to avoid losses. If requested, the supplier should be able to provide purchasers with records of the source of all queens.
At least 3 frames with brood should be present. Brood and eggs in all stages should occupy at least half the total comb area, with no brood cycle break. At least 30% of the total comb area should be sealed brood. No more than 15% of the total comb area should be drone brood. There should be no active queen cells at any stage of development.
It must be accepted that the food requirements of a nucleus can vary considerably. A 3 frame nucleus will require the equivalent of 1 full comb of honey and a half frame of pollen as stores. A 6 frame nucleus will require 2 to 3 combs of honey and a whole frame of pollen.
There should be a good balance of adult bees of different ages and 3-4 frames should be well covered. The bees should be good tempered when handled by a competent handler in suitable conditions. There may be a varying number of drones depending on the time of year.
The brood should be healthy and not show any signs of disease in any stage, except that a small number of cells showing chalk brood is acceptable as this infection is so common in UK colonies. In the adult bees there should be no obvious signs of any disease (for example: acarine which can be cause distinctive “K” wings or crawling bees; deformed wing virus which can cause damaged wings and is associated with heavy Varroa infestation; and, Nosema which can cause dysentery). No wax moth should be visible.
Since bees are living things, it is acceptable for the composition of the nucleus to vary slightly from the description above due to the prevailing conditions and weather at the time of sale and the delivery arrangements. The supplier will be happy to discuss this further with the purchaser.