How to Acquire Bees

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If you are set on starting your own beekeeping hobby, business, side business, or study, then you will have thought about the hives you need, and the equipment, so your next step will be in acquiring the bees, which can be confusing, because there is more than one way of getting these.

-Purchase a Colony-

You can purchase an entire colony either from a local beekeeper or from a beekeeper product supplier. If you are a real beginner, this is probably the easiest way to get your bees, although it is also the most expensive way. The colony will contain a queen, workers, drones, and frames of honeycomb with brood. It will even contain some honey for the bees.

-Purchase a Nucleus-

When you purchase a hive nucleus, you get a queen and a few frames of worker bees with a small foundation. This will consist of three to five frames, which will give your hive a good start, but is a bit slower than if you purchase the entire colony.

-The Package-

This can also be purchased from a local beekeeper or breeder. It will have a queen and about three pounds of worker bees only. This means you will need to feed the bees with some type of syrup until they feel comfortable to work for themselves.

-The Swarm-

This is probably the most economical way of getting your bees, but it is also the riskiest, and hardest way of acquiring them. This is the method where you catch your own swarm. This is probably not the best option for beginners, because you don�t really know how they will react, or whether they have been Africanized, or not. Swarms can carry diseases, or even mites, and these will be hard for a beginner to deal with.

-When Should You Acquire Your Bees?-

The best time to start your hives is around April or May. If you plan on buying them from a commercial supplier, you should order them the fall before, to be delivered in the spring. When you buy bees later than June, then you risk them not having enough time to make enough honey for their winter and thus surviving. This means you will lose the bees and the money you invested.

-The Money You Spend-

Once you have an idea of how the bee keeping process works then you need to do your research as to the cost of bees. This way you can prepare a budget. Generally speaking your start up may run from about $500.00 to over $1,000.00 depending on the bees you buy and the hives you purchase.

-What to Expect?-

You shouldn�t expect to make your money back on that first year�s investment. It is going to take a while for a colony to get big and to build up its strength, and even then not every beekeeper is successful in a year. Sometimes it's just bad luck, so you shouldn�t be afraid of starting over, if you lose the bees. You just have to chuck it up to a learning experience.

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Do you want to learn how to start beekeeping? Are you looking for information on beekeeping for beginners? Visit Ultimate Beekeeping for all the tips, trick and secrets of beekeeping at: www.ultimatebeekeeping.com

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