There are many places to find bee hives for sale. A new beekeeper might consult with a established local beekeeper or with a beekeeping organization or hobby group. Bee hives and bee hive packages are also found for sale in the backs of beekeeping journals.
A good way to acquire a hive of bees is to buy one, bees and all, from a local beekeeper. The colony of bees will be established and local. Before doing this, the novice apiarist should do his homework. He will want to know what a healthy hive looks like. No apiarist needs to bring hives full of brood disease or wax moth larvae into the area he wants to establish his apiary. This should be taken into consideration when deciding whether to purchase local hives and bees or to buy new hives and package bees.
When inspecting the hives before purchase, the beekeeper needs to check and see if each super has at least nine frames of comb. Looking into deep supers allows for inspecting brood for quality. Brood that’s capped should be tan or brown in colour. If there’s a good queen in the hive, she will have at least five or six combs full of brood. Good queens also lay their eggs in a solid pattern. This results in some cells that are skipped.
Good hives are well kept by the beekeeper. They will not look rotten or have chipped or peeling paint. If the apiarist isn’t taking good care of the outside of the hive, he’s probably not taking good care of the inside of the hive!
When the decision is made to buy from a local beekeeper, there’s always the problem of how to get a colony of bees, in their hive, to the hive’s new home.
The best time to move a full hive is during the winter. They’re lighter and the population of bees is low, as drones die off in the winter. It will take at least two people to move a hive. The hive entrance should be closed with a piece of screening. Any other cracks in the hive can be covered with duct tape. Supers need to be fastened to each other and to the bottom board. When it’s certain that the bees are not able to leave the hive, the hive can be picked up and tied down in a truck or in a trailer. Once the new hive is unloaded onto its new location, the screening keeping the bees inside can be removed.
A new beekeeper might also want to look for new bee hives for sale, buy a couple, and then buy packaged bees and queens. In that way, the new apiarist is getting all new equipment, so diseases and pests will not be present in the new hive. Both bee hives and packaged bees can be bought through local farm stores, or places recommended by local beekeepers or beekeeping organizations. Packaged bees can also be bought through the mail but the costs associated with that can be prohibitive.
In the eastern United States, many bees are “grown” in Georgia and then shipped to pickup places. If buying bees from a local farm store, a new apiarist will place his order and then all of the stores shipment of bees will come in on a truck and the apiarist can pick them up and install them in their new hive.
About the Author: Nancy Ketner has been fascinated by Bees for as long as she can remember. Buying Bees as a beginner can be difficult. That is why she started Beekeeper Central as a free resource for others who wish to explore Beekeeping as a hobby or small business venture so people can get the most enjoyment they can from Honey Bees.Ton understand where to source bee hives for sale come to BeekeeperCentral.com and sign up to our FREE mini Beekeeping Course e-course.