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Beekeeping

Buying, Raising, and Keeping Bees

Honey Bees for Sale

When purchasing honey bees, it is important to find a high-quality queen bee. This can be determined by monitoring how frequently and successfully she reproduces to ensure a resplendent cycle. Spring and summer are the ideal seasons to purchase honey bees and will reduce initial feeding costs during the cold winter months when honey reserves are low.

Bees for Sale

Bees can be purchased from a number of places including online vendors, specialty stores and local beekeepers. These insects are typically sold together as a package, each including a queen bee and worker bees. Many different types of bees are available for sale; the taste of honey varies among species. Alternatively, wild bees can be captured with bee boxes.

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Queen Bees for Sale

A bee breeder who is reputable and has experience breeding healthy, fertile queen bees can be a great resource in finding your own queen bee. Ideally, a mature queen who has a distinguished reproduction pattern will ensure optimum results. If the queen will be used for breeding, it is possible to research her linage prior to purchase.

Queen Rearing

Queen rearing is a great way to preserve a desirable characteristic from current stock. It can also help generate an income, as many people pay top dollar for an esteemed queen. Rearing can also save money, prevent pests or cross-infection of castes, and is an interesting process for those who are keen to learn more about this species and their life cycle.

Ordering Bees

When buying honey bees, it is important to research the hive and breeder from which they originate. Harness the qualities you desire for your hive from a reputable breeder. When purchasing honey bees online, look for recommendations or reviews from other buyers to ensure a quality product and service.

Packaged Bees for Sale

Most standard packages come in three-pound packs. These packs include a queen bee, worker bees and usually a can of syrup for the bees to feed on while in transit. Local, American-bred bees can be purchased, or alternatively, bees can be ordered internationally depending on preference and budget.

Packaged Bees

There are plenty of packaged bees available for sale. There are a variety of established colonies available for prime order, and this method is a great way for beginners to start beekeeping. Purchasing packaged bees may also include the added benefit of years of breeding. It is important to ensure purchase of a package that has desirable characteristics, but more so to find a breeder with a great reputation. Online packages are usually shipped with syrup as a food source and instructions on how to install and care for the newly acquired bees.

Bee Hives for Sale

There are many different types of beehives for sale. Depending on the size and availability of your location, you can choose from small, discrete windowpane options to industrial-sized hives that produce vast amounts of honey. Beehives come in a variety of prices and materials and can be bought online or through specialist stores. The best way to assess which type of beehive is ideal is by gauging the desired amount of honey as well as the space available to accommodate the hive and the price range of investment.

Honey bees Bee Keeping

Honey bees are a popular choice of bees. Their honey may vary in flavor and quantity depending on the quality and types of flowers they feed upon, but they are usually very desirable due to their consistent results. Due to their popularity, honey bees are typically easy to raise, as they have been bred with reliable genetics and characteristics in mind.

Beekeeping for Beginners

Beekeepers come in all shapes and sizes. There are many guides on how to keep bees, and for the most part, they can be very simple creatures to care for. The only requirements are a bee box to keep them in, a few pieces of protective clothing and a hive tool to inspect the hive and adjust the lids. The level of experience and participation is entirely dependent upon the keeper, as is the level of time and money invested.

Live Honey Bees

The first step to raising honey bees is deciding the hive population size and how much space is available. Next, protective equipment and a bee box should be purchased. Once everything is situated, it is time to order the bee package. Once they arrive, the bees will need time to settle into their new home. The providing breeder should offer follow-up information the best way to allow for this, as the process is specific to each caste.

Raising Bees

Raising honey bees may include breeding, also known as rearing, the queen bee, bottling honey for consumption or sale and generally maintaining a clean and hygienic hive. Many people ask how to keep bees, but the truth is, bees can look after themselves for the most part. With a little maintenance, consideration of their quality of food and cleanliness of the hive, attention to detail can help craft a superior caste with a delectable honey product, both of which may last for many years to come.

Where to Buy Honey Bees

Local beekeepers who may be selling honey bees are a great place to start. Bees can also be purchased in packages online that are available for direct shipment. These packages come complete with syrup, included as a food source for transit, and are usually from a premium breeder. Fore best results, purchase packages from someone who has experience in breeding and rearing queen honey bees.

Beekeeper Supplies

There is a variety of bee equipment readily available for budding beekeepers. Traditionally, a beekeeper's suit, hive tool and bee box is all that is needed to start a collection, but there are many extras that may be of interest to enthusiasts. Gloves, suits and other accessories may also be purchased, and are recommended for safety and convenience. Hive boxes and tools can also be purchased or made at home. Bee smokers are a great way to prevent swarms, and electric smokers are also available to those who are uncomfortable lighting fires. In the case of a limited budget, a bee mask or hat should also be obtained.

Bee Suit

Many beekeepers choose to wear bee suits. These protective suits typically cover the entire body and are a pale color that deters bees. These suits usually come complete with hats and gloves to ensure optional coverage. Protective clothing is important when working with bees, and attention should be given to the neck and facial areas. Bee suits should be cleaned regularly in a vinegar bath to reduce attraction and to remove any old stingers that may have been lodged in the thick padding.

Beekeeper Hats

A hat, or veil, is an easily identifiable part of all beekeepers' uniforms. In the past these items consisted of a large, white canvas that had a veil to allow for the protection of the neck, face and eyes. Today, hats often follow this trend but might also be woven from a light weight canvas with a traditional veil. For full protection, beekeeper hats should be tucked into the neckline of clothing or worn over existing clothes with an excess flap of material; this will help prevent bees from entering under the hat and causing potential problems.

Beekeeping Gloves

Specialized beekeeping gloves may be worn to protect the hands and wrists from an unwelcome sting. These gloves are flexible but, some experienced beekeepers skip this accessory and work without gloves in exchange for better agility.

Bee Boxes

Certain bees do not live in hives or nests, but instead prefer the comfort of a large, wooden box. These bee boxes replicate the natural environment of certain species, such as the Orchard Mason bee. These boxes allow for the management and capture of wild bees and may be bought from specialty stores or made at home from scrap lumbar.

Bee Smoker

A bee smoker may be used as a defense mechanism by beekeepers. Smoke is a great deterrent for bees, as it triggers the creatures' natural instinct for detecting a fire. This will cause the bee to protect the hive rather than attack intruders. A smoker is a device that uses fuel or “liquid-smoke” to produce the illusion of a fire. While this allows for a mostly effective tool in maintaining the hive, it may not offer full protection if the bees swarm.

Bee Smoker Fuel

Hessian, twine, burlap, and even cardboard may be some of the fuels used in a bee smoker. Both chemical and organic materials are available for this purpose depending on preference. Torpor is a chilled carbon dioxide that is sometimes used to calm bees. Surmac is recommended by some beekeepers due to its odorless smoke. Bee smoker fuel may be purchased at specialty stores or crafted at home.

Electric Bee Smoker

These smokers operate slightly differently than a traditional smoker. An electronic system is used to light the fuel, rather than manually lighting with a match or torch. Despite the higher cost of these devices, they may be preferable in cases of frequent use of a smoker or if safety concerns exist. They are typically battery powered and can be re-used.

Hive Tool

A hive tool is a common piece of equipment used to lift frames and maneuver the bees. It is important to sterilize and maintain good cleanliness of hive tools. They can spread disease and may become sticky or dirty with honey resin and debris that may attach itself to these long sticks.

Honey Bottling

Honey bottling enables the preservation of honey. It can be taken from the hive in a variety of ways, but is typically bottled or placed in a jar where it can be stored in a pantry or cool place. Bottled honey has a long shelf life and adds a delicious addition to many recipes.

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