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Nuc Box Reviews

Now that I have convinced you that you need a nuc box (or 10), here are some tried and true reviews to help you decide which nuc box(es) you need. Still not convinced? Go back and read my last blog post again!

We currently use four different types of nuc boxes:

  1. Painted wooden 5-frames by Dadant(or many other manufacturers)

  2. Wax-dipped wooden 6-frames by Lewis & Sons

  3. Polystyrene 6-frames by Lyson

  4. Plastic Pro-Nuc boxes by Dadant

I just about froze my keister off making this video comparing the different boxes. I might have to remake this one in the summer when the wind is not blasting.

Here it all is in neat-and-tidy list form if that's more your style:

Painted Wooden 5-Frame Nuc Boxes


  • Easy to find, many manufacturers

  • Components are all familiar (most similar to 10-frame equipment)

  • Paint holds up well to weather

  • Metal telescopic lid stays put

  • Good for queen rearing


  • No bucket feeding or top feeding unless you rig up a mason jar

  • Frame feeders require you to remove 2 frames, leaving only 3 frames of bees

  • Big leap to move from 5 frame to 10 frame equipment

Wax-Dipped 6-Frame Nuc Boxes


  • Weather well without painting

  • Come assembled

  • Easy move from 6 to 10 frame

  • Hole for bucket feeding

  • Cheapest option

  • Sloped bottom board

  • Can add honey supers


  • Needs entrance reducer (very high entrance)

  • No telescopic lid (need brick)

  • Shows aging more than paint

Polystyrene 6-Frame Nuc Boxes


  • Very lightweight

  • Buckles keep everything in place

  • Built in top feeder

  • Warm in winter

  • Tons of ventilation

  • Built in mouse guard and entrance reducer


  • More fragile than wood

  • Not yet sure about durability

  • Higher humidity than wood

  • Expensive

  • Don't break down or nest to ship or store

Plastic Pro-Nuc Box

This one should be on everyone's wish list.

  • Cheap and lightweight

  • Works as temporary nuc box

  • Handy for hive inspections

  • Great for catching swarms

  • Good for moving bees

  • Seals up completely

*Note: this is NOT meant to be a long-term nuc box, but works for a short time while you round up more equipment.

Which nuc boxes do you think you'll try out this season? Do you already have experience with this type or some other type? Let me know!

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