What should you pay attention to when buying bees?
- Ask the beekeeper who is selling you the bees what exactly you get for the price you pay. You should get:
1Completely formed bee colony in a hive of two boxes with a built-in honeycomb.
2An extra honey super with a built-in honeycomb.
3It would be good if you to get a queen excluder as well.
- A beekeeper who wants to sell you a bee hive should open that hive to you, show you and guarantee that the bee colony is healthy.
- He should show you a queen or at least open and closed brood.
If the hive has eggs, an open and closed brood it means that the mated queen is in the hive.
Even if you still do not know anything about beekeeping, you should see that at least two boxes are full of bees.
When the beekeeper opens the box for you to look you should see a lot of bees at the top of the frames.
The best time for buying bees
Find a beekeeper who is willing to sell you his beehives and talk to him about what he thinks is the best time to buy bees.
You can buy a fully developed colony of bees throughout the spring and summer, but the price may vary.
- If you buy bee colonies in the spring before the honey harvest
The bee colony purchased before the honey harvest can have a higher price than a bee colony that is bought after the honey harvest, but you can also harvest some honey from it.
- Buying bees after honey harvest
The bee colony you buy after the main honey flow, when a beekeeper has already harvested honey from it, is often cheaper, but you probably can't get your honey from it before next year.
- Buying a colony of bees in autumn
There is a possibility to arrange with a beekeeper and buy beehives in autumn, but leave them with him during the winter, and bring them to your apiary in the early spring.
This may be the best choice as an experienced beekeeper will provide everything that is necessary so that the bee colony is safe during the winter. So you can also watch and learn from him how to properly prepare colonies for the winter.
And you get your bee colonies early in the spring and have the ability to monitor their development throughout the year.
When transporting a hive with bees, the bees are closed in it. This will be done by the beekeeper from whom you bought the hive by closing the hive entrance.
When you bring a beehive to your apiary:
1Place the hive on the stand that you made in advance.
2Do not open the hive entrance for several hours to allow the bees to calm down.
3It's best to open it in the evening. That way the bees will have the whole night to adjust.
How to open the beehive entrance?
Beekeeping equipment you need:
1Beekeeping protective suit
Steps to open the beehive entrance:
1Light the beekeeping smoker
2Put on a protective suit and beekeeping gloves
Always start the smoker first. And only then put on your protective suit. Otherwise, heat or some spark may damage the veil that protects the face and makes a hole in it. You do not want any bee to enter under your veil!
3Open the beehive entrance.
The entrance is at the bottom of the front side of the hive. A beekeeper who sold you a hive will tell you how he closed the hive and how to open it.
4Use the beekeeping smoker.
When you open the beehive entrance, upset bees will start to get out of the hive. Place a beekeeping smoker near the entrance and press the bellows several times (3-4 times) so that the smoke enters the hive to make the bees calm down a little.
5Leave the beehive until the next day for the bees to accustom themselves to a new environment.
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