Looking at bee hives for sale in your local newspaper? Take a look at these quick tips before you buy.
Please note that clicking on the links opens a new window.
Are you a member of a beekeeping association? If you are, it may be
that they have set up a deal with some suppliers, so that you can gain a
discount from the price if you order through them.
2. Are you thinking of buying second-hand? If so, be cautious, and see this link about purchasing and cleaning used beekeeping equipment.
Do remember to ask why the beekeeper wished to sell, and why not ask outright if there were any diseases in the hive?
This is a question you could ask over the phone before journeying out to take a look at it. Depending on what is said, you may prefer not to bother. However, if you are still interested, has the
bee hive been properly cleaned and scorched with a blow torch?
Then again, if you are going to purchase second hand, it will be worth you giving the equipment another clean anyway, to be doubly sure everything really is tip top.
Avoid purchasing second-hand frames, as the risk of transmitting the diseases is not worth it. Cleaning them is difficult, (dismantling, thoroughly cleaning joints etc).
If you are keen to save money, then consider building your own bee hive, and complete kits are available.
3. Could you make your own bee hive and save cash? Take a look at these free
bee hive plans.
You may be able to construct a new honey bee hive from off cuts of wood in the garage.
4. Are you aware of all of the different types of bee hives available? Here is a quick introduction to available models on my page Honey Bee Hives . It includes top bar hives (including Warre), national hives, WBC hives and so on.
Also, before purchasing your bee hive, consider that it has to be light enough for you to lift, yet strong enough to take the weight of the honey.
Take into account that a super will weigh around 26 – 34 lbs / 12 – 15 kilograms. Do you have back problems? You need to ensure you can lift this kind of weight without damaging yourself.
If you are concerned about back problems and weight, a top bar hive may be more appropriate for you.
5. Again, if you are starting beekeeping for the first time, be sure that keeping bees is wise for you. Is there sufficient forage in the area? Are pesticides widely used in the vicinity? Do you or anyone in your family have an allergy to stings?
6. It is possible to purchase hives made from wood sourced sustainably. Don’t assume they are going to be more expensive than other bee hives. Why not ask the supplier about the origin of the wood they have used?
7. Plan ahead. Give yourself time to shop around and acquire what you need, familiarise yourself with your equipment, and place your hive in a suitable location before introducing the bees: i.e. position the hive with the entrance facing away from strong prevailing winds. Ensure you have easy access to the hive.