Honey Rich, House Pour


The Central Kitchen honeybees live in a golden hive nuc. Nuc is short for nucleus and refers to both the diminutive structure of the hive (this one is just six frames, as compared to the typical 18 found in a full size golden hive), as well as the transitional intent behind putting bees into one of these. This nuc was started with a swarm we caught in Ingleside Terrace in spring 2013. They’ve thrived in these tight quarters despite their humble beginnings as a third or fourth swarm cast from a cramped hive, with no mated queen, in temporary quarters. They’ve since been moved from one rooftop to another and now rest directly above the dry goods rack of the 2nd floor kitchen. (Ed: “rest” is an interesting choice of verb in a discussion of honeybees.)  They have stored away a relatively large amount of honey in this drought year.

Nucs are temporary quarters for minimally viable honeybee colonies. They are meant to be transformed into fully fledged beehives, usually within a year or so of their move-in date, by transferring their frames into a larger space, like the full size golden hive on F+W’s rooftop. A baker might think of a nuc as the sourdough starter for future loaves of San Francisco’s signature bread. It’s a bank the apiculturist can draw upon when they need the resources. This bank deposit has gone well past it’s maturity date and is due for withdrawal. Had something been amiss with the F+W bees, this nuc might be our fix, but, since both of these 20th Street colonies are thriving, the nuc will be moved out of the tenement and into spacious quarters. We’re currently targeting early spring 2015 for the move, and still debating whether to stick with the golden hive configuration or move to the honey-production oriented Langstroth hive design. Watch this space for news of their move, and if you have an opinion on which type of hive they should get, please weigh in here.

#goldenhive #nuc #CentralKitchen #20thStreet

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