Beginning beekeepers come to us with many questions about starting beekeeping, find answers to those questions here, from where to buy bees, to how much honey & more!
Where do you buy honey bees, where can I buy a bee hive, or where can I find honey bees for sale?
There are many suppliers that sell packages of honey bees and honey bee nucs. Read our article about shipping honey bees and why it's a good idea to pick the bees up from a supplier close to you. You can usually find bee suppliers by searching for honey bees for sale near me, packaged honey bees for sale, or where can I buy honey bees.
How do I buy honey bees?
Honey bees are most commonly available to buy in a 2 pound, 3 pound, and sometimes in a 4 pound package, or in a nucleus colony (or a "nuc" for short). The most common sizes of nucs are 4 frames or 5 frames. Each nuc or package will contain a mixture of nurse bees, forager bees, guard bees and drone bees, and each will also include a young, mated queen.
Why do you need to purchase honey bees?
There are a number of reasons why you would need to purchase honey bees: if you are a new beekeeper starting beekeeping; if you are a current beekeeper, adding to your number of colonies; or if you are a current beekeeper, replacing hives that died over the winter. There is a way to get honey bees without having to buy them: set your bee hive out and see if you can catch a swarm. Although they are "free"bees, there could be some problems with catching the swarm. If it is a small swarm, or late in the summer, the bees won't be able to build up enough to make it through the winter. There could be a problem with the queen that will prevent her from starting to lay eggs, or there might not even be a queen with them at all. You may not even be able to have a swarm move in.
When do you need to order honey bees?
Bee suppliers usually start taking orders for packages and nucs after the first of the year, and the bees will usually come in around April - May. Please keep in mind, though, that most bee suppliers sell out of bees fairly quickly, so the earlier you get your order in, the better chance you will have at being able to get your packages for the year. The best month to get your order placed is throughout the month of January. The sooner you can start your bees after April 1st, the longer they will be able to build up and have a bigger workforce when the first honey flow starts.
How much do bees cost?
Honey bee prices vary from supplier to supplier, and are based on the size of the package or nuc. Usually 2 pound packages are between $95 - $135, 3 pound packages are between $130 - $160, and nucs usually are between $150 - $300.
What is the difference between a 2 pound and a 3 pound package of bees, and how many bees are in a pound?
There are approximately 3,000 to 4,000 bees in 1 pound, so a 2 pound package will contain around 7,000 bees and a 3 pound package will contain around 10,000 bees. Each pound of bees will cover 1 frame in the bee hive, so if you get a 3 pound package of bees you should have about 3 frames of bees, and are starting out with a stronger work force.
How many bees are in a bee hive?
A strong healthy bee hive usually has around 50,000 bees in it during the height of the honey flow, but those numbers will drop back down to around half that amount, or even less, during the winter months.
What is included in a package of honey bees?
Inside a package of bees is anywhere from 2 to 4 pounds of bees (depending on the size of package you purchased), which includes forager, nurse and drone bees, and a young, mated queen will be hanging inside in a queen cage seperately from the worker bees.
How do you start beekeeping?
Start by taking a beekeeping class, reading beekeeping books, or talking to beekeepers in your area by joining a beekeeping club to get an idea of what is involved with beekeeping. Invest money in your beehive(s), beekeeping supplies, protective clothing, and of course, place your order for your bees.
How many beehives should I start with?
Start with however many you would like to, or however many your budget can afford. We always advise new beekeepers to start out with at least 2 or 3 bee hives - that way you can compare them with each other for strength and activity; you can swap frames around with some of them to help strengthen a hive up, and if you lose 1 hive during the winter, you'll still have the other hives instead of having to start over again with no bees.
How do I put my package of bees into my bee hive?
We have a page here where you can find an article regarding putting packaged honey bees into the hive, and you can find an article here about putting a honey bee nuc into a hive.
How much honey can you get from a hive?
The amount of honey that you can get from your honey bees can vary from hive to hive. A smaller, weak colony can barely make enough honey to get them through the winter, while a strong healthy colony can make around 250 pounds of honey, or more.
Do honey bees fly in the winter?
Bees stay in their bee hive in the winter, although they do not hibernate. They gather together in a cluster to produce enough heat to keep from freezing. Bees will come out on warm enough days, though, to do a cleansing flight.
How much are honey bees worth to the economy?
From all of us here at Lappe's Bee Supply and Honey Farm LLC,
Are you looking for where to buy honey bees? Lappe's Bee Supply & Honey Farm LLC is a company supplier of free shipped Italian, Carniolan and Saskatraz queen honey bees around the following United States listings: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. We offer package honey bees for sale in Iowa & around the surrounding states. For shipping packages of honey bees & nucs, and why we suggest you pick up your packaged bees from a local honey package bees supplier near you, please see our article here. Place your orders online, or give us a call to place your order directly with us. We offer free shipping on orders over $100 to every state in the USA, and carry an extensive line of beginning beekeeping supplies, bee hives, beekeeping equipment, and everything else you would need during your beekeeping adventure!