Variety of bees for next spring start off

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Drone Bee
Oct 18, 2010
Reaction score
Devon & Dorset
Hive Type
Number of Hives
Polystyrene & lots more next year again hopefully
Hi to all.

Has anybody any thoughts on what would be:

An appropriate mix if any, of package bees, say for 10 hives next year.

Would it be better to stick with single Carniolan, Italiian, local what ever.

About local - there's a lot of teeth sucking and mention of 'all sold out but shouldn't buy foreigners' when asking for local packages. Which reminds me FERA became almost incandescent when I mentioned importing from the EU.

Also the important bit - WHERE to buy some in the South West - recommendations very welcome.

Thanks in anticipation.
best bet is usually to join local beekeeping association, they should be able to point in right direction for supply bees
and, try to source local strains of bee.
Try to if pos source local as Tony said However if you're stuck I can give names of people who can/should be able to supply Italians & Greek. Both in Cornwall. But do try for local to you:.)

Locals for me every time.

I got my first colony from a split that one of my assoc members gave me. I've built up with artificial swarms. Next year I'm having a go at raising my own queens and lots of drones from my best colonies.
10 hives is almost a commercial excercise.
Have seen advertised a complete set up from a firm around the Bristol area, hives,bees hats, shoes, socks, gloves, smoker,hivetool, and video on how to keep bees!
May have been on fleaBuy.

Don't know where in Devon you are ... and its a BIG County!

I managed to get a Nuc of Newzealand/Carniolian crossed bees at a very fair price, and must admit I am going to attempt to requeen with them next year, calm, gentle friendly bees, unlike the vicious bad tempered Itialians I had some time back! must have been a bad sport!
Firm is in Gloucester called squeeziebees or something similar!... 25 Nationals with bees £6250 collection only

Best join your local beegroup!
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The vendor is well known, for a variety of reasons. Carniolans are very calm etc., etc., but also very swarmy. High maintenance and very good at producing bees. Keeping them from wanting to swarm requires lots of luck and equipment.

I have mainly Carniolan colonies, but next year I will be increasing my stocks of Buckfast or other queens. I don't want meteoric expansion, but a solid honey crop without spending my life in the workshop building boxes; much as I love it.
Depends how far west you are, Hivemaker on this forum sells nucs, (Exmoor) very highly recommended and very helpful beekeeper.
Thanks to all for the help and will be back if I have no joy with the local supplies.

I'm happy to travel to pick up but nervous of Cornwall, well Bodmin area due to AFB.

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