Here we tell about how to buy honey bees. Saying “cheap and nasty” is nowhere justified, as when buying beehive.
Do not buy the thin family for brood, even mediocre, but choose the best as far as possible, even if you had to pay three times more. From a good family, in one year you can do two or three the same, three thin will not give new ones, perhaps, no one survives.
Do not buy a large apiary immediately before you have obtained a sufficient theoretical knowledge and experience, otherwise you will not be able to navigate and lose money, if you do not have a good, knowledgeable beekeeper. Start with a few families, learn beekeeping and then a small number can become large apiary.
From the beginning, try to get a good bee hive, known by experience their good honey collection. Choose small bee (but keep in mind that smaller bees can be a consequence of their breeding in the cells of the reduced size of the old combs) and black.
Do not buy young swarms because for beginners it is very risky: who knows, can they spend the winter? If you buy a swarm, then buy at least early and strong. Buying bees in fall also risky for a beginner, because you can not vouch for the winter. Even worse to buy bees in the winter, when they do not fly, because it means buying with closed eyes.
The best time to buy them is spring, when the bees are already in the field and bring the pollen. Buying bees in the spring, especially pay attention to those bees that go into the field a lot, smartly, smoothly, with some singing, and often come back with thick pollen on the legs. The family that brings thick pollen is healthy, but if it does not bring it or bring subtle, then it’s probably something lacking. Notice the power of the family by the flight. If during the willow flourish bees go in the box so thick that several bees constantly fly there and back and the entrance is blackened from the bees, then this family has a great power. This flight one must watch before noon, at about 10, but not in the afternoon, because during afternoon poor family may seem strong.
Best of all you can know about bees on a warm day, when they go into the field. If you have to choose on a day when they do not fly, you should pay attention to the following criteria:
If the bees in hive firmly entrench, humming smoothly, the same voice, and some lifting up the rear, waving its wings, it is a good family. If it is cold and you can not see bees, then lightly knock the hive and attach the ear, after that if bees noise strongly and smoothly – in unison, and this noise is constantly reinforced, and the bees come to the hole heavily – the family is good. If, however, the bees do not noise and respond unevenly, with different voices, and some sort of squeaking – then this is bad: the family probably has no queen. If the bees reverberate to the knock with faint hissing and then suddenly calm down, this is also not a good sign: a family is very hungry or has a very small force, and even worse, if the bees do not respond even after repeated tapping. If on a cold day or after a cold night a mildew is visible in the tap hole, when you approach hands to the tap hole – warm air comes out of the hive, and, moreover, can be heard even, harmonic hum of bees – this is also a good sign. If possible, try to raise the hive by hand: heavy in the head – there is honey, light – hungry.
These are the external signs of good family. However, if time is patient, do not trust them completely, but try to look in the middle.
If the bees are already fly under frames and sit quietly beneath a heap, then this means that the family has power and it is in good shape. However, in early spring the family can be good and strong, though not yet sat down, unless the hive is large and there is a large drift. In this case, pay attention to the noise of bees, as well as on how thick they get out of mid drift. If they are heard very little and little seen – the force is negligible. If, during the opening and smoking bees start to noise very loud and go in the middle of the reservoir, if only before the opening of the hive bees do not sit in groups, but run on the frames and are scattered throughout the hive, – then do not buy such a family, because it is probably without a queen. If the family has updated bee frames, then it is good and certainly has the queen, brood, honey and good strength.
Do not buy a family in which the larvae or the web of motylitsu is on the bottom of the hive, especially if it is not very strong, who knows what is in the nest. Do not buy a family that strongly soiled or contaminated in the middle of notches, for such a family probably without a queen. Do not buy the family which has a smell or a sharp acid, because it is rotting brood, or it strongly stained. The greatest danger is buying a sick bee colonies, infecting successful apiary or locality.The family of bees (females) should have a veterinary certificate.
Do not buy a family if it did not banish drones in fall, for such a family has usually no queen. Also do not buy one that has a small drones bastard, because it is without a queen or queen is bad. Do not buy a family where thieves prowl – this family is very often without a queen. Finally, if you have a choice, do not buy the bees in the narrow, small and thin hives - they are of little use, choose a large and warm hives.
Three conditions guarantee the kindness of the family: it has a good fetal queen, good power and, finally, an adequate supply of honey.
Most attention is ought to be paid to the power of the queen, for which you buy the queen, such you will have a family. Buy a good queen – and you will have a good family and a good income from it, buy old or weak fertility, or at all the barren queen- you just throw money in vain, at least swarm has a surplus of honey. So choose, especially those families who have young queen, from last year, hence buy for the brood those families who swarmed in the past year, for they have young queen, from which you can likely expect brood. Families that did not swarm at last year, you do not buy if they do not show in the spring the great strength, because who knows what is their mother?
Do not buy last year’s, because although they are young, but the queen is old. Two-three-year’s already swarmed family – is the best for the brood. Do not particularly pay attention a lot to youth and amount of honey, because the cell, although old, do not interfere, and if in the spring there is not enough honey, they can add it, but pay more attention to the quality of the queen and on the power because, the family is difficult to correct in this respect. Do not buy impotent family because she does not soon recover, and the queen is probably not the best, if the power is low.
Thumbs up as well, if, the family, having the good queen, has enough honey so you do not have to feed it. If by the weight of the family or by looking through the shutter you can not know the presence of the honey, try a stick sharpened at the end, sticking it between cells. But again, do not buy for brood too heavy families in spring, because these are often without queens. Better to buy a hungry family, which you easily can help than without a queen, from which nothing can be done.
Do not be afraid to buy beehives left after the dead, it is no more than a prejudice: if a family is good – and it will go fine.
In winter, you can buy bees in the vicinity, even in the same area where you get a beehive, but in the spring, when they are already flied, you can not buy them as close to a distance of 2 km from the place of your apiary or many bees will return to its original place and die there unfruitful, and your family will faint.
Take home purchased bees immediately, or at least mark them in a header and slide, unless you have business with the man, known by his honesty, for the seller, received the money, can borrow honey and even bees from the sold family.
If you are inexperienced and do not know it, invite any experienced beekeeper, because mistakes in this case are very dangerous.