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How careful to be with bee sources?

864 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  FlowerPlanter
I have a couple of hives I started from packages this year and they're doing pretty well. I wouldn't want anything potentially hurt them. I occasionally see bees (packages, nucs, caught swarms) listed for sale locally on Craig's list. Should I be concerned about my existing bees getting some disease or parasite when buying from unknown sources like this?

As always thanks for any advice.
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your bees will get parasites no matter where you buy your bees. I always like to inspect a nuc before I buy it, and packages only come from reputable breeders. you will want to familiarize what some of the common treatments are for and ask what treatments they use, if you plan to treat. If you don't plan on treating, I would suggest buying treatment free bees from a reputable source, even if you have to pass up a good deal on others.

Edited for clarification.
the last I heard there was a craig's list nuc scam going on about 70 miles north of me. the prepay and disappear deal.. it is cheap to say "treatment free". know who you are dealing with in advance. prepay equals extreme caution. 4 nuc growers in the last 3 years have just told me to pay at pick-up... I did get some packages from mann-lake this year, I did prepay they are an honorable outfit. the bees are so good I would have to be hard up to go elsewhere for packages. before you put up money think more than twice.
I would do as other recommend pay when you pick up. Or maybe a credit card no more than 30 days before. And inspect before you leave.

Know your diseases and how to spot them especially EFB and AFB.

Packages can have EFB and AFB and show up 5 week later and spread to your other hives. Packages are often made in bee factories with inferior queens and bees that may not live in the north. There are so many middlemen handling your package that they are not fresh (25% dead on delivery is considered acceptable). Every spring Bee Source gets flooded with threads from problems with packages.

For those reasons I would not buy a package. Only nucs or hives.

Better yet make swarm traps, and catch local feral survivors for FREE!
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