British Beekeepers Association


British Beekeepers Association

Where do I get my bees?

When buying your honey bees you need to consider a number of factors...

As a member of a local association you may be able to buy your bees locally from a fellow beekeeper. Later in the year, you may be lucky enough to acquire a swarm from a local collector within your association.

Early in the season, you will be able to buy a 5- or 6-frame nucleus of bees (5 or 6 frames of honey bees, with brood, food and the all important queen). These are usually called 'nucs' by beekeepers.

We recommend that you buy bees that have been bred locally or within the UK rather than imported queens.

You can buy bees from a reputable bee breeder. Ask local beekeepers for recommendations or see the beekeeping magazines.

See 'Further Reading' for BBKA guidance on nuclei.

Various equipment suppliers also sell nuclei of honey bees as well as complete colonies. 

Further Reading