Season Update: Collecting Your Nuc During a Pandemic

Many of our customers will have received an email from us regarding the current status of nuc orders in regards to Covid-19. We fully intend to supply everyone who has ordered a nuc with us. Though we do understand that a huge amount of people are worried about coming into contact with others and potentially spreading coronavirus so we’ve put together our protocol to ensure that everyone feels comfortable when collecting and travelling with their nuc.

We have to emphasize that historically we have always recommended that our customers collect their nucs due to the welfare of the bees, in these unexpected times we find that this is even more important than ever. We do not want to put any additional pressure on our postal system who are already overrun with deliveries and working whilst understaffed. In addition to this, we want to minimize the amount of possible people handling the nucs to reduce any risk to you. We completely understand that collection is not an option to everyone, however we must keep in mind any changes to Royal Mail’s service due to their increased demand and each order will be considered with your circumstances in mind.

Our Collection Process

All of our nucs will now only be available in our correx box aside from the 14 x 12 nucs. When you come to collect your nuc from our office, your nuc will be in a shaded area, the exact location will be explained to you before your arrival. If you have any trouble at all, there will be someone available in the office who you can call upon, proper social distancing measures will be enforced if for any reason we do have to meet face to face.

Your nuc will have your initial, surname and order number written on the top of the box, if there is an ‘X’ in the top right corner, this means that the team did not see the queen during the boxing up process and you should follow the guidelines explained in the care notes. On the bottom back of the box, an ‘X’ will indicate the entrance.

When physically picking up your nuc, please ensure you handle the box carefully and do not push in the inside of the handles with force as this may give bees the opportunity to climb over the frames and escape via the handles even though there are two layers of correx preventing this possibility. Instead, please rest your fingers underneath, or alternatively pick them up from the bottom of the nuc box. I will just mention that you really would have to be quite rough/forceful for this to happen but we have mentioned it because it is a possibility.

Rest the tips of your fingers under the handle

You can see the inside of the correx box here, and how the bees would be able to escape.

Don’t do this!

The best place to put your nuc is in the footwell of your car. As you can see the top, front and back of the correx box has meshed holes for ventilation, please ensure that these are left uncovered as much as possible as it would risk the bees overheating.

Make sure it is fit snugly and has very little movement but not blocking the ventilation

Otherwise you can place the nuc in the boot of your car, but please take the parcel shelf/boot cover off to help with ventilation. You may also need a few items to hold the nuc in place, ideally the item is not something that will hold a lot of warmth, for example, a box.

You may need a few more items as Sian’s car is tiny!

Where possible place the nuc with the frames parallel to you (this isn’t possible in smaller cars like Sian’s), this will reduce the risk of the frames rocking when braking sharply, the frames are quite snugly fit in the correx box, so it’s really just an extra precaution.

You may choose to travel this way, but make sure the seatbelt is pulled tightly, with the seat pushed forward as much as possible to pinch the nuc in place. There is more of a risk of movement here, so you must drive with more caution.

Though I’m sure it goes without saying to drive conscientiously knowing that you have a box of bees in the car with you! Unfortunately a couple of years ago our Rob and Sian were in a little car accident and when the first response arrived she happened to be severely allergic to honeybees.

Keep the bees cool, turn on your air con if you car has the facility, or drive with your windows down. Bees are hardy when it comes to the cold and can survive pretty low temperatures, the biggest risk is overheating during transport which is a very real possibility. Come prepared with a jumper if you’re sensitive to the cold.

Signs your Bees may be Overheating

We recommend that whilst you drive back, every now and then turn your radio/music down, if you hear your bees fanning their wings furiously this may be a sign that they are very hot. Pull over where you can safely, put your hand on all sides of the box to feel any indication of spots overheating, the temperature will be unmistakable.

You may need to change the position of the nuc in the car to ensure that they are getting proper ventilation. Check which side the sun is shining, make sure your bees are on the shady side of the car.

We Are Here For You

Although we are trying our best to avoid any physical encounters with our customers please know that if you are having trouble with the collection or transporting of your nuc, a member of the team will be able to guide you over the phone. Most of our customers collect their own bees and travel with them encountering no problems so we are confident that this year will be no different. One of the reasons we have changed all orders to the correx box is because of the extra ventillation this box gives. It is the same box we use when we send the bees out with the couriers.

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