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How To Get Bees And Establish A Colony

How To Get Bees & Establish a Colony

best to start in spring thats when colonies would be establishing themselves naturally via swarming
colonies started later in the yer may struggle and will likely need feeding
need a good supply of nectar & pollen, like in spring and early summer to build up colony
this way working with bees much easier to succeed

most ideal are bees from your area so that you know they are adapted to the local conditions

Catching a swarm (recommended but pros and cons)

pros – free well adapted perhaps small cell bees and loads of fun to do, starts gentle, knowledge grows with bees
cons – can have diseases unknown origin and behaviour – best to quarantine
– spring and early summer
– usually in morning or early afternoon
– free bees
– doing a public service, often pay to have them poisoned
– very exciting and addictive
– mostly settle near hive, sit for a while, then fly further away and sit whilst scouts find a home
– a swarm can be collected anytime it is clustered
– should be as quick as possible as they can take off at any time
– usually quiet, placid and easy to handle, only concentrating on finding a home
– straight into a hive is the easiest but never with foundation frames, they like to cluster

Established colony
– can buy a colony already in full swing
– not so important what time of year but difficult to diagnose disease in cold times, difficult to inspect an may not be brood to look for brood disease
– buyer beware
– should be a strong colony
– make sure queen is laying (fresh eggs – still standing = less than 3 days)