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“Are you a beginner beekeeper ready to take the exciting step of purchasing your first bees? Making informed decisions is crucial for the success of your beekeeping journey. Here are some essential questions to ask when purchasing bees.

Step one, research your local bee suppliers. Look up their websites for product information, customer reviews, and any affiliations with reputable beekeeping associations. Take note of the supplier’s contact information, as you may need to inquire about specific details.

Step two, understand what you’re getting. Ask about the type of product available – packages, nucleus colonies, or full deep hives. Inquire about inclusions, such as the number of bees and resources, to ensure you are adequately prepared for their arrival. Understand the pricing factors and why certain bees may cost more, as it can indicate better genetic traits or address bee shortages.

Step three, prioritize health and safety. Ensure the equipment the bees arrive in is new to prevent potential disease transfer. Ask about the age of the comb, as younger combs are preferable to prevent bioaccumulation of harmful chemicals. Consider requesting a sample of wax and dead bees for testing to assess the hive’s health before making a purchase.

Step four, inquire about integrated pest management. Request proof of inspection for the supplier’s apiary, ensuring it has been evaluated by a provincial inspector. Understand the supplier’s approach to pest control, such as past treatments and preventive measures, to assess potential risks and hive health.

Step five, be prepared for beekeeping. Set up a suitable apiary location with adequate sunlight and protection from strong winds. Educate yourself on beekeeping practices, hive management, and bee behavior to be ready for the responsibilities of caring for your bees. Regularly monitor hive health, practice good hygiene, and have supplementary feeding prepared if needed.

Armed with this knowledge, you’re ready to make the best decisions for your beekeeping adventure. Remember, informed choices lead to thriving and successful beekeeping.”

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