If you are into beekeeping, you may wonder where to buy bees for a hive. There could be tons of questions on your mind like whether it’s possible to buy queen bees online? Where can I buy bees? Can you buy package bees? Is buying bees easy? And a lot more!
Worry not, you are in the right place. Today you can get some answers to your questions. It’s good to gather answers to your questions, especially when you are new to beekeeping.
Understanding where to buy the bees for beekeeping would help you when you are a beginner. Once you know, it would be easy!
Read on for more information.
How to Buy Bees As A Beekeeper?
If you are wondering how the beekeeper gets the bees, it’s an interesting observation. If you are a beekeeper there would be many questions on your mind. You may even wonder about going to the pet shop. Or you could do your research online and see what options are available to you. It’s always good to gather knowledge especially when you are doing something for the first time.
The beekeepers get bees in three ways:
- They buy bee packages.
- They catch a swarm.
- They purchase a nucleus colony.
The beekeepers can get the bees for free when they catch the swarms. However, it’s a rare find for the beekeepers and thus, most would stick to buying. So, if you are a beekeeper and wondering what works in your favor, then you have to see what’s the most viable option available to you.
So, now you may wonder what place is suitable for buying the bees. Ideally, it’s best if you talk to a beekeeper in your area and see if they are willing to help. You can ask for information and they may guide you in the right direction. It’s vital to ask an expert someone who is already doing that specific task or business so that you would know what’s the most viable option available to you.
Buying The Honey Bees
If they can’t catch a swarm, beekeepers typically buy their bees.
They order the bees from the bee breeders and then this person would ship a box full of bees, usually, it’s a screened box containing up to 10,000 bees. It’s ordering the package of the bees.
Interestingly, the bee package comes with the bee queen. You can easily spot the queen as it would be in a separate cage, so you would know who is the queen here.
Plan to order your bees in the winter to ensure that you will have them in the Spring. It is not uncommon for popular suppliers to run out of bees, so it’s a good idea to order early. Below are some reputable retailers of bees for a hive:
- Flippin Bee Company
- Lanier Bee Barn
- BB Honey Farms
Newly mated queen bees can be bought from a breeder and shipped through the mail.
You can buy queen bees online at:
- Flippin Bee Company
- Wooten’s Queens and Bees
It’s also possible to get the bees from the local beekeepers. You need to ask around and someone would surely help you find and purchase the bees for your beehive.
If you are a beginner, you can order a single package of the bees.
Some beekeepers would buy the nucleus colony and it would be a viable option as it’s less stressful for the bees if you go with this particular option.
There are 3 to 5 frames in the nucleus colony and it’s established. I recommend purchasing a 5-frame nuc, to give you a quicker start.
Getting The Free Bees
You can only get the free honey bees when you catch a swarm, but it would be too hard for a beginner.
It could be hard to guess the bees’ temperament and health when you catch the bee swarm. So, the best thing that you can do at this point is to ask for help. You can ask a professional beekeeper to guide you in the right direction. Managing the whole thing alone could be a little tough for you as a beginner.
Using a swarm trap would help in capturing the bees for your hive.
Can I buy bees online?
Yes, bees are available online for purchase. It’s best to order early as the bee breeders would soon be sold out in the spring season. You can buy a package of bees for the hive. However, when it comes to buying the nucleus colony, it’s best to consider the local options. The reason is the best survival of the bees.
So, you can also try finding the bees locally, and if you can’t find you can ask an expert to guide you. Usually, they would be able to help you and thus, you can find the bees for the beehive.
Can you get bees for free?
The only way to get bees for free is by catching a swarm and that’s tricky for the beginners. Even some expert beekeepers may find it tricky too. If you want to go with the free route, you can ask a professional to guide you in the right direction. You never know if you can get lucky!
Can I buy queen bees online?
Yes, it’s possible to buy the queen bees online. You would notice the bee breeders shipping the queen bees in the mail.
If your beehive is without a queen, it’s best to place an order as soon as you can. However, the queen bee would be in a small cage along with the workers. There would be a hole in the cage and candy plugged. The hive may not accept the queen and chances are that they would kill her. So, first, the hive needs to accept the queen and for that, you have to place the cage in the hive. The queen bee would eat through the candy while the hive would get used to her smell and thus, finally they would accept her as the queen.
Wrapping It Up
If you are a beginner at beekeeping you may wonder about the ways of buying the bees. It’s vital that you know what’s the most viable option available to you. It’s possible to buy bees online, so you need not worry about your beehive. You can even place an order for buying the queen bee online. It’s possible to buy the package of bees, nucleus colony, or go through the free route. Some beekeepers would be lucky to catch the free swarms and thus, they would get the bees for beekeeping. However, it’s tricky!