The most convenient way to source your new honey bee colony is by ordering a pack of bees from an established breeder. However, not all breeders have the customers’ best interest at heart. You need to guard your investment from breeders who seem to be putting in the least effort in maintaining their apiary. Here are some recommendations for finding a good bee breeder for your honey bee colony in your area:
Check Out Clubs or Your Honey Bee Colony
First off, try to contact any beekeeping club or beekeeping organization in your state, city or town. Beekeeping organizations are a great place to get solid references for good breeders, because such organizations usually promote organic/holistic beekeeping, etc. and they are more than willing to pass along a good reference to anyone who wishes to explore apiculture or beekeeping.
Contact Local Breeders for your Honey Bee Colony
Between a breeder with 15 years of experience in breeding bees and a younger breeder with 1 1/2 years of experience, go with the more experienced breeder. Mastery of beekeeping requires a lot of time, and seasoned breeders are more likely to have more experience in preventing diseases and preserving strong genetic lines.Honey Bee Colony Health: Challenges and Sustainable Solutions (Contemporary Topics in Entomology)
Before buying a honey bee colony from a breeder, ask if the apiary board is aware that the breeder is operating. Next, ask the breeder if regular inspections are carried out (at least on a yearly basis). If such inspections are carried out, year by year, then the bees in the apiary are in good hands.
Next, ask the breeder if the honey bee colony is going to be replaced if there is significant mortality during shipping. If the breeder refuses to give a guarantee, don’t buy your honey bee colony from him.