Buying bees is not a quick task, despite what many may think. Bees take quite some time to build a decent hive. Therefore, you should not expect to buy a swarm of bees today. But that does not mean you cannot buy your own bees at any point in time.
You can purchase bees locally and, perhaps, commercially. Bees come either as an established colony or package bees (a colony of bees). Packaging bees are probably the easiest way of buying bees at that point in time. If you find a reputable supplier who is willing to provide information and show you how to properly package your colony so that it is ready to be sold, then you are on the right track.
When buying bees, you may also consider buying kits. There are quite a few of these available online and in local stores. The benefit of buying a kit is that it will include all the equipment and materials you need to begin beekeeping. Often the kit will come with the beekeeper’s hat, beeswax, frames, bee smoker, and other basic supplies.
Beekeepers who are just starting out should not buy package bees because it will only lead to confusion. They should buy individual pieces one at a time to learn each one of them and how they work. The benefit of buying individually is that you can try out different combinations and see which combination makes the strongest honey. This can make a valuable lesson in beekeeping.
Before buying bees, the beekeeper should consider whether he or she will build the hives at home or rent them from a local rental company. Building a house for the bees can be a very rewarding experience if you take it seriously. The advantage of a beekeeper building his or her own house is that it can be more affordable than buying bees in a package and paying someone to maintain it. Beekeeping equipment is relatively inexpensive, so it won’t break the bank when buying beekeeper supplies. However, there is a big difference between constructing a nice-looking house and keeping bees in a large beehive that could attract predators such as skunks and weasels.
Once the beekeeper has decided to buy bees, the next step is to research local regulations before setting up an established beekeeping business. Check the local wildlife department for any rules or regulations that must be followed when taking care of honey bees. Some areas have restrictions on buying honey bees and on selling beekeeping honey, especially if the local production is greater than the local demand. Local environmental groups can give helpful advice about buying bees and other beekeeping equipment.
Things To Consider
If you are considering buying bees in order to breed your own colonies, the first lesson is the importance of ensuring that your colonies are not overpopulated. There are many species of honey bees, but some require more space than others. An overcrowded colony will reduce their potential for survival, but it can also make collecting honey more difficult. The best way to judge the number of bees in a colony is to inspect the top and bottom board. If the number of honey bees per colony is too high, it may be because the top and bottom boards are covered with either wax or fecal matter.
Apiary workers may not have a sense of responsibility for other colonies, but they do have a sense of safety when it comes to the combs. Bees will tend to fly from combs to nearby hives, so it is important to keep hives in good repair when collecting swarms. If a swarm does happen to fly out of an apiary, the workers should be able to get to the source safely. If a beekeeper does not have a way to quickly relocate a swarm to a safer location, the combs may collect debris and become unhealthy places for bees.