More and more people are getting into the practice of beekeeping because they have realized its benefits and the advantages of homegrown honey. Scientific studies suggest that sweetening food with honey is much healthier than with processed sugar. Natural honey has numerous health benefits and that is why you should consider beekeeping to harvest your own honey for your own use (or to sell, at a profit). You should also know that honey bees on the pollination of crops. The importance of bees has led to many cities around the world rethinking their ban on the practice. Once you have decided that you are going into beekeeping, and you have purchased all the necessary equipment, your next question will naturally be, where to buy bees?
Below are sources from which you can purchase your bees:
From your local beekeepers’ association
Different localities where beekeeping is legalized usually have beekeeping associations that deal with bee related matters. Usually, most beekeeping association deal with promotion of beekeeping amongst their members. Additionally, such associations also engage in economical activities like the selling of bees. If there’s a beekeeping association in your area, you can visit their offices to find out if they have bees for sale.
Buying bees from your local beekeepers association will offer you the following benefits:
- Because such associations deal with matters related to bees, they will teach you about the importance of bees to the environment and also about their economic viability.
- You will also be taught about how to care for the bees, how to feed them, and what to feed them with.
From another beekeeper
People keep bees for a number of reasons, there those who keep them to help with crop pollination, those who keep them as a hobby, those keep them to get honey from them, and those who keep them to sell to others. You can opt to buy your first bees from another beekeeper who keeps bees for sale. Buying bees that have been bred in your locality is better than buying those bred overseas. The reason for this is because bees that have been locally bred are usually used to the local environment and will easily adapt. Buying bees which have been bred in a totally different environment from your own may not work well for you in the long run.
Factors to consider when buying bees
Choose a reputable bee seller
Checking the details and credentials of the bee seller before buying bees from them is advisable. Choosing a bee seller who is experienced in handling, packaging and shipping of bees will be advantageous to you in the long run. You can get such information of the particular bee seller from reviews about them online and also from their websites. You wouldn’t want to buy bees from suppliers who have negative reviews from customers, either for not fulfilling their guarantee promises, or for their poor shipping services.
It is better to buy bees in an established colony from a local beekeeper
Bees are social insects that live together in one colony and their survival is usually dependent on each other. Buying an already established colony makes sense in that it will be easy for the bees to multiply faster and also survive. It is even better to buy at least two colonies and place them in different hives. This will come in handy for you in the event that one of the colonies becomes weak as it will be easy for you to help boost it with the other.
Check the shipment boxes to ensure they are free of mites
Before placing your newly bought bees right into your bee hive, it is advisable that you ascertain that they are free of mites or ants. It is important to note that mites and ants usually feed on honey and larvae of the bees – something that can cause the whole colony to shift to a new location.
It is advisable to buy bees in the nucleus or starter hives
A nucleus of the bee hive consists of the worker bees, the queen and may take up about 4 to 5 frames. This will ensure that the colony is complete with the queen, workers and the drone and once placed in a new hive they will be good to go. Compared to packaged bees, nucs have been found to have a greater chance of survival.
More people are taking up the activity of beekeeping because they are beginning to understand the great benefits that beekeeping brings. Honey bees help to pollinate crops and also provide people with honey. Once you have decided to get involved in beekeeping and you have already bought all the required equipment, the next thing you will consider is where to buy your bees. There are two good places that you can buy bees from which are from your local beekeepers association and also from a local beekeeper who sells them. Buying locally bred bees is considered better than buying bees which have been bred abroad. The reason for this is the fact that locally bred bees are usually easily adapted to the local environment than those bred elsewhere. Before setting up your bee hive in your backyard or wherever place you choose, ensure that your local government approves beekeeping by individuals.