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Hello all!

I just got my first American Bee Journal and I love it. I like to read the adds first.

Anyway... I was wondering about buying bees. What does one look for when buying bees and queens?

Is the average price $40-50 dollars for a three pound box and queen and about $10 for a queen?

Is it better to go pick up the bees from somewhere somewhat locally or shipped from another company in another state?

should you look to buy cheap?
 

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I look for temperament, hoarding (honey and pollen), hygienic - mite resistance, and winter ability. Price depends what you want from the bees and the type of queen to head them. $500, $250, $75, or an $8 one. Depends what your going to use the queen for. A nice $15 one should be ok.
I would recommend , if you can, to pick up your bees. You know they will be 'fresh' when you put them into the hive. They were not stuck waiting at the dock to be shipped, waiting in the truck to be shipped to your post office, waiting at the post office dock waiting for you to pick them up, all this might also be in the hot sun. Total of maybe 7 days in shipment. That's a long time with no home.
As far as cheap well it's up to you. Any good breeder with quality queens will want to be payed for all his work. I think you would too for your honey and all the work that went into it. Remember you get what you pay for.
Dan
 

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I got my first package this spring thru Draper super bees. I think I paid about $85.00 for a marked queen and a 3lb package of all americans including shipping. They arrived well and they built up pretty quickly.

On 7-24-04 I split the hive cause they were going ganbuster, and were going to swarm.

I ordered a laying Carnie queen from MB, $32.00 including shipping. She arrived nicely. I introduced her using the push in method on 7-29 and released her on 8-04. I checked the hive today, 8-10, there are tons of eggs. I removed 8 large brood and 6 medium brood frames when I did the split, and replaced it with bare foundation. They have a good start already at rebuilding. And although I am not going to harvest any honey this year, I am pretty sure they will have enough stores for winter, and if all goes well I believe next spring I will have two strong hives to start with.

I do not know if I just got lucky, or if this is true for the all americans, and for the carni I got from MB, but if I go to buy bees or queens next year I am planning on dealing with the same people, and hope I do just as well.

Good luck
 

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Price isn't the only criteria. A cheap queen might be good and she might not. An expensive one may be good and may not. If you order packages I would consider the distance they travel. The further they travel usually the less well they arrive.

I bought from B. Weaver for years (well it was Weaver when I started and it split to R. and B. Weaver). They weren't the cheapest, but they were a shorter distance to ship and I had good luck with them.

If you can find local nucs or local packages that are shipped in on a truck by your local bee supply place or your local club, they always arrive better than the USPS.

I'd probably be looking at packages from California or local nucs if it was me and I was in your location.
 

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>Is the average price $40-50 dollars for a three pound box and queen and about $10 for a queen?

Don't forget shipping costs, you can buy nice bees locally and probably save money doing it. I've bought bees from both Ruhl's and Foothills Honey and been pleased with both. The Oregon Beekeepers website lists other bee sellers (some in southern WA) but I have no experience with any of them. http://www.orsba.org/beesale.htm
Portland Area Beekeepers http://www.orsba.org/pdx.htm had their annual Bee Day at Foothills Honey (Colton, OR about 20 mi. south of Portland)last spring; nucs and singles were available for pickup at very good prices. IIRC 5 frame nucs were $38 with a return of the nuc and singles were $48 with no return of equipment. Nucs and singles included new queens.
George
 
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