How to Buy Package Bees

how to buy a package of bees

There are dozens of package suppliers in the United States. Most of them are located in climates with mild winters in the south. While we prefer to populate our hives with swarms and splits, reserving a bee package ensures you will have bees to start with that year.

While there are a lot of options when buying bees, we strongly recommend you consider the following criteria for buying quality bees.

1) LOCAL
Seek out bee package suppliers out first. This will minimize the environmental impact of trucking or flying them across the country, and provide you with bees that may be better acclimated to your local climate.

2) HYGIENIC

In today's world of Varroa mites, small hive beetles, Nosema, IAPV and other problems, you want bees that can take care of themselves. Bees that are genetically disposed to groom themselves and the rest of the hive of mites will have a significant advantage over bees that aren't. Look for Russian or Suppressed Mite Reproduction (SMR) honeybee breeds or hybrids for this behavior.  Our packaged bees are hybrid Carniolian and Russian honeybees from a reputable supplier we trust in California. 

3) TREATMENT FREE

Determine whether the package supplier is treatment free. While it's not likely that they are, it's a good question to ask. If they do use treatments, find out which ones they are using. Cutting a colony off from treatments cold turkey when they’ve been relying on them for years can be deadly. If you plan on going treatment free, ween them off the chemicals slowly.

4) BUY EARLY

Packages can be hard to come by unless you order early. We recommend reserving or pre-ordering your packages by January to ensure they are still available.  

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