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Purchasing Bees

Obviously, if you’ve decided to start beekeeping, you’ll have to obtain bees for your hives. Depending on the area and kind of climate, methods differ among beekeepers, and what works for one may not work the same for another. That’s why it is always a good idea to find a local beekeeper to help you make the best decision.

How to Purchase Bees for Beekeeping

Most beekeepers are in favor of getting bees locally if at all possible. Check to see what methods/suppliers local beekeepers (if any) use. Chances are they know and understand the local environment and know what does/doesn’t work. It’s favorable – if you’re going to order bees – to order them early. Get them reserved. Many beekeepers think it’s better to have to scramble to build more hives than to have hives with no bees!

Some beekeepers set up hives to specifically attract wild bees. There are a wide range of different methods used, and none that every beekeeper will agree upon. This is why it is (again) important that you talk to local beekeepers! Some wild bee attraction methods currently used include:

  • A jar of open honey in the new hive works for some, but others have problems with the attraction of other pests like ants, and non-honey bees.
  • Place a frame of drawn, empty brood comb inside the hive. For best success, use a dead-out hive that has staved over the winter. Do not use this method if temperatures near 80 degrees, as in summer. Wax moths will often get in and destroy the frames.

Other beekeepers put their name on a swarm retrieval list at a local bee supply store. These get their calls from local 911. Many beekeepers get their start using this method!