Overwintered Vs Spring Nuc for first time hive

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New Bee
Nov 27, 2023
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So, i have decided that come spring, the best bet to start will be a nuc.

I have found alocal reputable producer, who has nuc's available in langstroth (the hive i am planning on using).

It appears i have a choice....

1) An overwintered nuc with a 2023 queen to arrive around April
2) A spring nuc with a 2024 queen to arrive end of may to mid July

Which one would you choose for a first time hive and why?
the overwintered nuc should go off with a bang so as a novice you may be struggling to keep up with the bees as they expand.
A made up spring nuc would probably expand a bit slower so you and the bees can grow and develop together
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I'd personally go for the overwintered nuc althou as jbm has said there will be more for you to wrestle with if you choose that route.. But my thinking is that if you're waiting till mid July (not what I'd class as spring) then you've lost most of the season and you'll soon realise how little hands on experience you're able to get in any one year and, I reckon, be only marginally more experienced to handle a full colony in spring 25 so the learning curve will have just moved down the road.
realise how little hands on experience you're able to get in any one year
Which one would you choose
The one that gives you experience soonest: the over-wintered nuc.

Bear in mind that the seasonal window of opportunity to embed learning is narrow and that you will need three seasons to get the basics in order.

On the other hand, JBM makes a good case for a mid-summer nuc; your temperament and eagerness will lead to a decision.

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