If you are a first time beekeeper, there are various ways in which you can acquire bees. There are several important factors you need to consider when it comes to buying bees.
If you are new to the whole process, it is better to buy packaged bees. The packaged bees contain three to five pounds of clustered bees with a queen in a different cage. The bees are fed on sugar syrup while bringing home to make sure that they are not hungry on the way home.
Buying packaged bees come with the advantage that they have details about their history and are generally disease free. Since the bees have no brood, they take some time to establish a colony.
You can also buy fully established colony, which are comparatively more expensive. In an established colony you will find active hive with fully installed bees together with fully developed brood. It is harvested before being delivered to you. You have to wait until the next harvest when the honey bees have produced sufficient honey for harvest.
When you buy an established colony, you might face problems such as parasites, diseases, and the queen might be quite aged, which means you might have to look for a younger queen. So, the simplest way to buy bees when you are a newbie is to get expert advice from the professionals. Experts can detect the pros and cons and make sure that you get the best value for your money.
Getting a nuc is another way of arranging a hive that contains several brood frames, a functioning queen, sufficient brood with honey, pollen, and 10,000 worker bees. Nuc’s are sold locally and so you need not worry about adjustment in the new environment.
The benefit of buying a nuc lies in the fact that the queen is fairly young and by looking at the brood you can find out for yourself how productive the queen is. Once the bees are transferred to the new hive, there are chances for you to see good harvest from your colony in the very first year.
Swarming is another method of acquiring bees. However, this process is not very suitable for an amateur beekeeper. If you are an experienced beekeeper, it is certainly one of the best ways to get bees. Additionally, you can enjoy the lovely experience of collecting a swarm.
If you follow this method for getting bees, you need to be careful about getting the diseased bees, as these won’t have any history of health or origin. This method can be suitable for you only in case you are comfortable with the bees. You should keep in mind the fact that honey bees are gentle, but these can be dangerous as well. So, make sure to treat them with the respect they deserve.
So, these are the different options for buying bees that you can consider, but make sure to keep in mind the aforementioned aspects.