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Starter bees

Before beginning beekeeping, decide if bee packages, nucleus hives or swarms are best for your beeyard.

By Alethea Morrison
March 2013

Homegrown Honey Bees (Storey Publishing, 2012) is a novice's guide that obviously describes everything you need to understand on how best to hold bees effectively, from getting your first bees to harvesting your first crop of honey. These excerpt is a guide to starter colonies—a resource for discovering what sort of newbie setups are most effective for you. For more on beginning beekeeping, read .

You should buy this book within the nature Living store: Homegrown Honey Bees

When purchasing Bees, which Starter Colony is the best?

Buy bees from high quality suppliers, essentially from regional resources having bees adjusted to local problems. Discover a bee provider, require recommendations from beekeepers in your town, either through a nearby bee relationship or through the online discussion board at Beesource.com. Resist utilizing an Internet search engine, which won’t filter for good reputation. Ask the provider exactly what the insurance policy is actually for replacing a queen that's missing or lifeless on arrival. A key choice is whether to start with a package, a nucleus hive (also referred to as a nuc), or a-swarm.

Bee Packages

a package is a field which has one mated queen and a lot of bees that have been collected from an assortment of different hives. A typical dimensions for the bundle, which can be offered by fat, is 3 pounds, which about equals ten thousand bees. Since a package does not contain brood, pollen, honey, or attracted comb, the colony is sluggish to create in power and productivity.

Bundle benefits:

• could be introduced to virtually any gear, like method containers, deep containers, or top-bar hives
• more affordable and much more accessible
• No brood diseases

Nucleus Hives

A nuc, quick for nucleus hive, is a totally practical beginner hive that is prepared install within hive human anatomy. It is composed of a laying queen and a small amount of bees on 3 to 5 structures of brood, honey, and pollen.

Your supplier’s equipment must match what you want to make use of. If you would like make use of medium-sized bins for your hive bodies, a top-bar hive, or small-cell structures, like, additionally the only nucs available to you are standard-cell deeps, then a nuc is not the ideal choice.

One downside of a nuc is that you tend to be inheriting structures with-drawn brush and brood, which may include conditions and an increased degree of mites than you’ll get in a package.

Nucs are more difficult discover than bundles. Joining an area bee organization will put you in touch with veteran beekeepers in your area, a number of who might have nucs for sale in the spring.

On the other hand, nucs supply considerable benefits. With a laying queen, building brood, and readily available food shops, your colony will rapidly get energy and efficiency.

Nuc benefits:

• Colony gains strength more quickly and reliably and is almost certainly going to have excess honey at the end of the initial period
• Less potential for losing disoriented bees during set up
• In the event that stock is in your area bred and overwintered, bees are going to be adjusted to environment and forage


Though it's less frequent for beginning beekeepers to begin with swarms, many proponents of all-natural beekeeping swear by all of them while the most suitable choice. By definition, a-swarm is the item of a colony which has vitality adequate to reproduce, enhancing the opportunities your bees have an excellent constitution. Additionally, only a small amount of commercial bee suppliers supply 99 % associated with queens offered in the usa, so that your choice of feral bees will help hereditary diversity. And then there is the obvious benefit that a swarm is no-cost.

Some bee organizations, particularly in western areas, have actually community outreach programs through which they promote a free of charge solution for getting rid of unwanted swarms from exclusive property, thereby preserving the bees from extermination. The association after that finds brand-new or established beekeepers ready to adopt the colony.

Swarm advantages:

• Supports hereditary variety in honey bee populations in the event that colony is feral
• No cost
• arises from local stock healthy enough to replicate on a colony degree

Whenever Should I Install My Bees?

You usually install a new colony of bees when you look at the springtime; the exact timing is determined by your neighborhood. If you work with a nearby provider, they can counsel you. If you are buying your bees by mail, you need to relate with local beekeepers, some of who have the answer for your needs.

Preorder your bees in the winter season, preferably around December or January. Many manufacturers sell out of bees prior to the springtime season, and in the end your anticipation and planning, you don’t desire that sorts of dissatisfaction.

Excerpted from Homegrown Honey Bees © Alethea Morrison, photography © Mars Vilaubi, combined with permission from Storey Publishing. Purchase this guide from our shop: Homegrown Honey Bees

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Do worker bees kill drone bees for laziness? - Quora

Nah, they don't sting them to death just kick them out and don't let them back in. In early winter when bees go into winter mode they want to conserve as much energy and food as they can to make it through the winter. As the queen doesn't lay in the winter the drones have no usefulness so they kick them out into the cold. The hive is the organism and at that point those drones are only a drag.
The drones are bigger and make a much louder buzzing noise. When the ladies start kicking them out you can catch them and have a pet bee as they can't sting you.

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