Wanted: Experienced Nucs
One of the challenges in beekeeping is labelling. There's a tendency to try to divide beekeepers into categories; hobby and commercial, mentor and mentee, beginning and advanced - all terms attempting to define a level of experience that has no industry standard but means well.
At one of our state fall beekeeping conferences, I heard one of the speakers describe an experienced beekeeper as someone with at least 7 years experience keeping bees while another one said an experienced beekeeper was one with at least 5 years. During a question and answer period, someone asked the two about the difference in their definition and there ensured a lively interesting discussion about how long does it take for the average beekeeper, who has a pretty steep learning curve, to pick up enough of the basic lessons to be able to say they know the fundamentals.
No beekeeper, by the way, will every claim they will know it all because the final teachers are the bees themselves and no two years of beekeeping are ever the same.
As I was leaving this interesting discussion, I headed for the vendor area and found a pile of used nucleus boxes in a corner for sale. I had thought about picking up a couple for swarm-catching but put off hauling these nursery boxes back to my room until later.
The next day, I was back to see if there were any left and laughed. I had missed the original sign that said "experienced nucs," and this time the price had been slashed in half. Regardless of the label, the half price was certainly right!