Where to buy bee colonies

It is best to purchase bees directly from a local beekeeper as these bees are already used to local conditions. In addition, you can immediately see what you are buying and from whom. But if it is not possible, bees can be ordered online as well.

     

bee colony

  

You can buy the entire bee hive, nucleus or package bees. 

 

For a beginner it is best to buy an entire beehive with a whole well-formed colony inside. It costs more but the risk that such a bee colony fails is much smaller.

   

  

Entire beehive with bee colony

  • If you are buying a whole beehive with already developed bee colony you should get two brood boxes + one honey super per bee colony.
  • If you buy bee colony before honey harvest then you can harvest your own honey this same year.
  • If the main honey flow is over then your first honey harvest will be next year. Ask the beekeeper (from whom you buy bees) about honey harvest.

 

Price may be higher if you buy a colony before the honey flow but you can have your own honey.

  

Nucleus

Nucleus is a small hive with 4 or 6 frames with a small bee colony that needs to develop and grow.

  • It takes a year for a colony from the nucleus to develop and shift into full size beehive.
  • There is no honey harvest in the first year.

 

Package bees

When you buy package bees you only get bees and a queen without a hive.

  • You have to buy a hive separately.
  • It takes about two months (if everything is ok) for a colony from package bees to make honeycomb in a new hive, and to stabilize.
  • It takes a year for a colony from the package bees to fully develop.
  • There is no honey harvest in the first year.

 

Package bees are the most difficult to maintain for beginners without experience and there are so many things that can cause that colony to fail.

    

   

How many bee hives to buy?

 

It's best to start with 3 hives.

 

When a beekeeper gains a little bit of experience, he can increase the number of beehives.

You can increase the number of colonies by making a new one from those you already have. Or you can buy new ones.

 

It is not very good to buy only one bee colony.

 

Each bee colony is different. So if you have 3 bee colonies, you can compare them with each other and learn that way. In addition, if something happens to one of the bee colonies you have several options to save that colony with the help of the other two. Or if one of the colonies fail, you still have two others, and you can even make a new one.

 

A larger number of hives would be difficult to maintain for the beginner beekeeper.

 

 

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