Buying Bees

buying beesBees can be purchased in several different ways. One option is to buy a complete colony with ten to twelve combs, a queen that is fertile, workers, brood, food stores, and possibly drones. The availability of drones is dependent on the time of year. Another, smaller option is available in the form of a ‘nucleus’ (which includes 5 to 7 combs), a fertile queen, workers, stores, brood, and again, possibly drones. With a nucleus, the number of bees is smaller and is more suitable for a first-time beekeeper. Natural swarms may be found in the wild, but it is often difficult to have success with them as there is no way of knowing if they are disease-free and whether the queen with the swarm is new and has not been mated yet.

It is also possible to purchase bees directly from a beekeeper. Bees are sold by the pound and are usually sold in 2 or 3 pound boxes. Typically, there are between 3,000-4,000 bees per pound, so be prepared. It’s also possible to send bees via mail, but it is safer for the bees (fewer will die) if you are able to pick them up from the beekeeper yourself. View our recommended beekeeping supplies stores for options to buy bees or search via Google or Bing for bees available in your area.

Next: Feeding Bees