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Where to get a nucleus of bees?

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Beezy 

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Hi all,

I'm going to be a new beekeeper and have ordered hive and all essentials online which will arrive in 8 weeks. The question I have is where to get a nucleus of bees? I'm in South London.

I've heard lots of horror stories about disreputable suppliers, and obviously want to try and get a good quality/nice natured bees. I'm going to join my local BBKA but having spoken to them I think it's unlikely they are going to have available for a while. Would you recommend me acquiring some online from places such as Thorne or Easy Bee? Easy Bee's queens don't seem to come from the UK though - would this mean that they would find it hard to cope with our weather?

Thanks v much - all advice appreciated! :)
 

Poly Hive 

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******* bees manage our climate just fine.

It is ideal yes to get local bees if you can. However that can be easier said than done.

Once you actually have bees it is much easier to change things about to suit.

PH
 

Adam 

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******* bees manage our climate just fine.

It is ideal yes to get local bees if you can. However that can be easier said than done.

Once you actually have bees it is much easier to change things about to suit.

PH
Have you tried East Surrey Bees? Run by a local SBI and his queens are locally bred. You should be able to find them if you search on google.

Alternatively, try Alastair Welch - I think he advertises in BBKA news as "surrey nucleas" or something like that.

Adam
 
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rae 

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8 and 3 nucs...it's swarm time...
Our two colonies were Easy Bee nucs last year - they're fine. If you have a local provider (who has capacity) that would be good because they will be in a position to help out if something goes wrong. The problem we had last year was getting bees from anywhere!
 

Hivemaker. 

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Not so sure about Australian queens doing well in this country,the only two i know of in this area are deceased.Apart from Poly Hive, who else has Aus queens that they can tell us about how well they are doing.
 
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grizzly 

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It would be good to know Hivemaker, best result would be for Customs to turn the shipments away.
 

Somerford 

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Not so sure about Australian queens doing well in this country,the only two i know of in this area are deceased.Apart from Poly Hive, who else has Aus queens that they can tell us about how well they are doing.
A nuc I got from Easy*ee in late september to sort out a drone layer is doing splendidly.

regards

S
 

Hivemaker. 

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A nuc I got from Easy*ee in late september to sort out a drone layer is doing splendidly.

regards

S
And has it got an Australian queen,as these are only imported in early spring,or Carniolan.
 
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MuswellMetro 

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why is it taking 8 weeks to get a hive? hivemaker in the west country or tom bick in Hounslow could give you one of the shelf...for a fair price and better than most others....



EDITED OUT

"$sorry does forgot Admin them as well$"
 
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grizzly 

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Ive heard that you do a good Queen tho.
:p
 

Beezy 

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Hi,

So some people's Easy Bee queens seem to be doing well then...the EB queens are Carnolian (I googled it and that means from Slovenia). Maybe I should wait for a bit and see if anyone from my local BBKA has some available before committing to imported ones...

I ordered a budget flat pack hive from Thorne and the wait is 8 weeks. I don't know why it's so long but it includes all the equipment I need to start out plus a Cedar National hive. It's cheaper than buying one already assembled.
 

admin 

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I would expect the Thornes budget range to be seconds with a few knots in them?
 

Beezy 

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Yep, it's the budget one. I checked with the guy who ran my bee course and he said it looked fine. Do you think it may be a problem then?
 
T

Tom Bick 

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The budget hives from thorns are ok just expect a few knots and parts may be a bit warped its the price you pay for it to be a bit cheaper
 

OXFORDBEE 

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Not wot it says on a certain web site....
 

Hivemaker. 

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Depends where you look.

This part states no particular breed of queens.

We import a large amount of queens for early April to replace the overwinterd queens in our breeding hives we buy the best Queens money can buy.
 

thedeaddiplomat 

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I started beekeeping last year with a Thorne's budget hive. It was absolutely fine. And it has got through the winter without trouble too. Certainly no complaints about it from a hyperactive colony of bees!
 

MuswellMetro 

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The budget hives from thorns are ok just expect a few knots and parts may be a bit warped its the price you pay for it to be a bit cheaper
Tom

I prefer to buy at least the Brood from you, you cannot compare yours to Thornes even their firsts!!

Beezy,

they will be alright for the first years Beekeepeing and some.. but store the parts outside before you biuld the hive as they can distort/dry out and warp in dry central heated houses ( Done That). Also remember Bees live in the brood box 365 days a year, if you need to change a brood say to 14x12, buy the best brood you can..

Tom is near you and is located close to the A4 between Hounslow and Isleworth not far from Junction 3 of the M4
 

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