Four Tips To Consider Before You Buy Bees For Your Hive

Four Tips To Consider Before You Buy Bees For Your Hive

Article by Rodolf Stinger

If you’d like to start a beekeeping hobby or may be take it one notch up and make it a profitable side business, then it’s safe to say that you have done your standard research about bees and hives you need to get going, including the equipment and protective gear required in beekeeping. The next things to acquire are the stars of the show which are the bees themselves.

Buying bees can be can be a bit confusing for a newbie as there are many variables to getting the best for your buck and there are various ways of acquiring bees.

1. You may purchase a colony if you’re totally starting out; this is probably the easiest way to go about as it will come with everything you need. You’ll get a Queen bee, the Drones and worker bees, also included with the colony will be frames of honeycomb that have brood that still has some honey for your bees and that will help get them settled quickly in their new environment or home.

You can get the colony from your local beekeeper or from a beekeeper product supplier. I want to advise all newbies to register with their local beekeeping association, so they can get information on the best, reliable and ethical suppliers in their area to do business with.

2. You can purchase a nucleus which will have a Queen and a few frames of worker bees with a foundation. Usually the frames of a nucleus consist of three to five frames and these provide a good start for you to build on so that you can have a grasp on the trade.

3. The next alternative is Packaged bees, also attainable form beekeeping supplier or breeder it will consist of the Queen and approximately three to five pounds of worker bees. The advantage to packaged bees is that they have a clearly documented history and they have a good bill of health, they are easily treated to avoided mite infestation. However these are available seasonally and they come with no brood.

4. The swarm is probably the cheapest way of acquiring bees however this method has a list of risks attached to it and it’s a bit difficult if you have no experience with bees. Swarming is simply catching your own bees (N:B this is not advisable for beginners because bees can be dangerous for the one who doesn’t know how to handle them.)

The down side of swarming is that the bees may carry diseases or mites and if you’re still inexperienced to quickly identify and treat these your colony can be wiped out.

The best time to set your first hive is in the last month of winter so that when spring starts your bees are already a couple of weeks in their new home and have acclimatized. This is to ensure that you don’t risk them not having sufficient honey so they can survive the first winter months in the new environment.

It’s important to keep in mind that in first year won’t be so much about making money but ensuring that you get a good grasp on beekeeping. Should you do well in the first twelve months it highly probable that your harvests thereafter could be profitable and that will greatly boost your confidence going forward.

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