If you are a new beekeeper we recommend that you attend our 6 week training course where the purchase of your first bees will be covered in detail. A nucleus of bees consisting of a furtile queen and a supply of young bees is a good way to begin beekeeping as you will have a small colony of bees that will increase over the season together with your confidence in handling them. A nucleus of bees costs around £200 and a member of your association will be to recommend a reputable supplier who will ensure you receive healthy bees.
An alternative is to purchase a colony of swarm bees from our association apiary at a nominal charge of £50. We will keep the swarms for 3 weeks to check to make sure the colony is viable with a good laying queen and brood pattern.
Many people have started beekeeping by collecting or being given a swarm of bees. These are free and belong to who ever collects them. Nothing will be known about the age of the queen unless she is colour marked and nothing of the temperement of the bees. It is also possible that the bees could carry disease. This can work but it is a risk for first time beekeepers.