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San Francisco Bay Area Nucleus Hives and Bees for Sale

5 Frame Nucleus Hive


The perfect hive to start your beekeeping journey OR grow an existing apiary. Includes the corrugated plastic 5 frame nuc box in price.

New orders will now be filled at the beginning of May. Orders will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Orders must be picked up at our facility at 6503 Calaveras Road, Sunol, unless prior arrangements were made.

A 5 frame nuc is an established hive with a queen, worker bees, eggs, brood, larvae and resource frames. 


  • Higher chance of success compared to package bees
  • Established queen
  • Drawn frames allow the queen to lay eggs and worker bees to collect resources immediately
  • Grows quickly in spring for prompt transfer to full box
  • More likely to have a first year honey crop


How it Works

Once you place your nucleus hive preorder, we will contact you via email when your nucleus hive is ready to be picked up. Pick up instructions will be included in the email. We recommend pick up be made in a truck if available. Delivery is possible in some circumstances with prior arrangement and a possible delivery fee. Contact info@piratecreekbees.com for more information. 

Availability of nucleus hives will be dependent on queen production. 


Hive Set Up

Minimal Required Equipment:

  • Bee Suit
  • Smoker
  • Hive Tool
  • Hive Body
  • Honey Super
  • Frames (5 frames will be included in nucleus hive)
  • Gloves (optional but highly recommended)

Basic Set up Instructions:

Colony must be transferred to a full hive box (8 or 10 frame) shortly after acquiring the nuc. Your new hive will grow quickly in the 5 frame nucleus box and will swarm if not transferred before they outgrow the nuc box.

If not transferring the nuc immediately, place your nuc in the exact spot you plan to house your hive long term. If you place your nuc in a different spot, your bees will return to where your nuc was.

To transfer, place the frames from the nuc in the middle of your 8 or 10 frame body. Distribute the empty frames on either side of the 5 frames from your nuc. It is very important that you place all 5 frames from the nuc together and in the same order.