What Should I Expect When I Buy Live Bees?

What Should I Expect When I Buy Live Bees?

What can you expect from your first time buying live bees? It can be a bit intimidating for new beekeepers, so we'll break it down for you.

Buying bees is like having a baby! Honeybees are live animals, and we are at the whims of the weather and their life cycles when it comes to timing their delivery and pickup. If we experience a cold winter, your bees may arrive in late spring. If we have a warm season, they may arrive earlier. 


Order Early

Most places selling live bees begin taking preorders in December or January, but the bees won't be ready to pick up until springtime - usually sometime between March and April. If you wait too long, you might miss your chance to place your reservation.


Order Confidently

Most venues selling bees do not offer refunds on bee preorders. Bees are live creatures and are not returnable, so you must be sure of what you are doing before placing your order.


Prepare your Apiary

You'll want to have everything ready to receive your bees! Use the wintertime to gather your necessary equipment, assemble and paint your hives, set them in place, and ensure you are prepared by attending beekeeping classes or beekeeper association meetings


Don't Take A Vacation!

Bees are wild animals, and Mother Nature determines the timing of their arrival! The honeybees don't care about your planned vacation, family wedding, or other springtime event - only about finding their safe, new home.


It's hard to determine the arrival times of the Nucs or Packages, but we do our best to communicate with our bee purchasers. We will give customers as much notice as possible, but we ask that you remain flexible. Weekend delivery is not guaranteed, so have someone available to cover you and pick up your bees if you have to work. 


Install your Bees Immediately

Nucs must be picked up in the early morning and immediately taken to their new home. A nucleus colony is closed into a box, and it generates so much heat that the honeybees can perish if they are not opened and installed within an hour or so. 


If you order a package, you will generally have a 1-2 day window for pick-up. The longer they sit, the more bee mortality you will see. It is best to install them promptly so that they can get settled and start building out frames and finding forage!


This is why you must have your hives and equipment prepared! You'll also want to make sugar water in advance for immediate feeding. Packaged bees especially need a few weeks of feeding as they work hard to draw out comb and get established. 


If you have any questions or concerns, give us a call (828) 484-9466 or email us at [email protected]. We're happy to help!


Links for Beginner Beekeepers:

**How Do I Install a Package of Bees?

**A Beekeeper's Year - Early Spring

**Spring Feeding - How and When Should I Feed My Bees?


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