Nucleus, or "nuc" colonies, are small honey bee colonies created from larger bee colonies. The term refers both to the smaller box and the colony of honeybees within it. A nucleus hive has all the features of a standards beehive, except with a reduced width. A nucleus colony can be used to stop overcrowding in a larger, healthy colony by splitting some of the population off to raise a new colony. They can also be used to care for spare queens. Painting with water based paint will improves its durability.