When to get my Bee's

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Drone Bee
Aug 25, 2009
Reaction score
Oswestry, Shropshire, UK
Hive Type
Number of Hives
I am new to beekeeping and was wondering when would be the best time for me to get some Bee's.
I could have my hive within a couple of weeks if i wanted to.

I have done a fair bit of reading up, inc ted Hooper's book and will be attending a course over the winter months.

Problem is, i would love to get started sooner rather than later, would it be foolish or a good idea to get bee's now? or would i be beter in ordering a nuc for the season start? so as i am not going into winter as a novice?

Any advice most welcome.
It is very late for a new beekeeper to start this year.
I know you are impatient- I remember it well:)
You would need to buy a well established colony with 10/11 frames bees and a good queen - (about £170 I think) this year- and it is still risky for a newbee.

I honestly think - spend the winter reading, going to meetings asking lots of questions- and then start in March/April

It would be awful if you spent a load out and they didnt make the winter through.

Thanks heather,
I had a feeling that would be the reply!
I guess if i put my sensible hat on (if i can find it!) then i should have known the answer.
Thanks heather,
I had a feeling that would be the reply!
I guess if i put my sensible hat on (if i can find it!) then i should have known the answer.

I had a call yesterday from someone wanted to buy bees after getting a brand new WBC, had to explain why now is just not a time to buy bees and that maybe the WBC was a mistake
Thanks guys,
If i wanted a nuc for the next season, would i need to order soon?
I would (if I was in your position) get in touch with your local beekeeping association, go to as many of their meetings as possible, get to know a few local beekeepers, ask them about nuc's for the following spring. That way you'll be getting local bees, and possible mentor/s! ;)
the sooner the better realy, also think about putting money as a deposit to prove seriosness rather than being a time waster, and if you what to get your hands on some bees this year find out if anyone near you has bees and go and help him for the winter build up, i played with everyone elses bees when i could not have my own just for fun
and by the way jzed i use 4 wbc, yes there are the biggest pain in the postirie ever but look beautifull if you only have one or two
Thanks tonybloke,
I am in contact with my local association, they are not up to much at this time of year though, I think thats good advice about local bee's and possible mentor/s

Thanks Hedgerow pete,
i guess from what you said about a deposit that there is usually a big demand if buying comercially?
To give you a ball park figure- I am private bee keeper, but sell 5 frame Nucs for about £70 and full colonies -11 frame for £160
I sell swarms (3 frame) that have started to lay well for about £40.

When you finally buy - check there is plenty of brood, especially eggs, and get queen history - don't want an old girl.

Second hand hive? - scrub very well. Buy all new frames.

Hope this gives some indication
Reference new hive: There will be some price reductions at some of the larger suppliers in the winter sales. They may not be first quality, but are usually fit for purpose or can easily be sorted.

Plenty of time to build if bought 'in the flat'.

Get the course under your belt, or at least some experience handling bees, before you start is my advice, unless you have a mentor sorted.

Regards, RAB
My advice would be to try and get the roof off a hive and handle some frames of bees before parting with any money.

I will be doing a list of local beekeeping courses on the forum again for 2010.
My advice would be to join your local association, enjoy the winter meetings, get involved in apiary visits in the spring, to get used to being around bees, get your first bees in May. Nowt wrong with WBCs if you have only one or two colonies and don't want to move your hives around.
should you go the WBC route, (not advised) be very very sure that the lifts are compatible.

Apart from that heads up then same same. Read. Try to get a lookie in a hive with some one experienced to see if you actually ENJOY having them around you as some get freaked.

Best to do that before paying out money.

Heathers prices are a bit low to be honest with you but that's because she is a very generous and helpful lady.

I will be looking for £140 for a five frame Nuc in spring as I am taking the risk in over wintering it.

I know how you feel about being a little impatient about getting your bees, i have been looking for a colony for the last couple of months but with out success.

Although i have been learning with a friends bees since may and have them to guide me through new things like over wintering.
What's wrong with WBCs? I have one in the back garden and it's much nicer as a decoration than a glorified crate. (Plus the wife won't have a national in plain sight).
Apropos 2 previous posts "Tee-Hee". It just means that she thinks the traditional WBC shape looks better at the bottom of the garden.
I have a nice white WBC I do my queen rearing in.
They do seem to be a few weeks ahead in the spring of my other hives.

QUE someone saying I should go down the polyhive route..

Latest posts