So you think you’d like to keep bees! Whether you’re a new or experienced beekeeper, you’ve come to the right place to buy your bees and to learn about beekeeping. In future blogs, we’ll discuss bees, beekeeping, honey and bee products. The best time to begin keeping bees is in the spring; when flowers are blooming, nectar is flowing, and pollen is gathered. Now is the time to prepare the hive and order your bees. Honey bees are in short supply; we suggest you order them now. By the time spring rolls around, honey bees will be in high demand and they will sell out. You don't want to end up bee-less in bee-season!
We offer three ways you can obtain your honey bees:
Packaged Bees ($125): One good way of starting a new beehive is by purchasing a package of bees with a queen. Our packages have 3 pounds of bees (approximately 10,000 worker bees) in a screened cage. The bees are taken from an existing, gentle, working hive from Northern California. Our VSH Italian Queens are produced and mated in Northern California where there are no Africanized genetics ensuring gentle behaving offspring. Yes, they can still sting! The queen is in a small separate screened cage. Sugar syrup is included so the bees have something to feed on until they are installed in their new hive. You will need to have an empty hive body ready to install your bees. (Available April 2016)
A Nuc or Nucleus Colony ($190): Another way to establish a hive that is gentle, hearty, and productive is with a starter nuc. A nuc is a very small colony of honey bees and a VSH Italian Queen. A nuc (pronounced nuke) is created from a larger working colony. The term ‘nuc’ is short for nucleus colony and refers both to the smaller size box and the colony of honey bees within it. The name is derived from the fact that a nuc hive is centered on a queen, the nucleus of the honey bee colony. Our nucs will have a minimum of 3 frames with brood in all stages of development, from egg to hatching bees, and 2 more frames with honey and pollen (bee food) to sustain the colony while it grows. All our nucs contain ‘Italian’ queens with the same genetics as our packages. Nucs take the guess work out of introducing a queen to a package of bees and ensures a queen with proven egg laying performance. We suggest you order a ‘marked’ queen. Then, if you observe an unmarked queen you will know if your hive has swarmed. Colonies that swarm, produce a new queen that will mate with local drones, some of which will be Africanized. Resulting offspring will be more aggressive. Bring your deep or medium box to us with attached bottom board and lid and extra frames to fill out the box. We will place the nucleus colony in your box, reduce the entrance, and screen the remaining opening so you can easily transport the whole hive home in your vehicle. (Available May 2016)
A Complete Hive ($290): is the Nucleus colony described above that includes a painted deep hive body, bottom board fastened to the box and lid plus 5 additional undrawn new frames to fill out the box. You may choose to substitute an internal frame style feeder (with cap and ladders) for 3 of the undrawn frames. (Available May 2016)
Queen Marking Cost $5: When you purchase one of our VSH-Italian mated queens, you can have your queen 'marked' for an additional $5.
Availability: We will contact you near the latter part of March for a firm date of pick up for packages and the latter part of April for a pick-up date for nucs. You will need to pick up your bees at our Bill's Bees Location: 12640 Little Tujunga Canyon Road, Lakeview Terrace, CA 91342.
The honey bees we have for sale are limited, so we suggest you 'Buy Now' to avoid bee-ing disappointed. You can purchase online, right here at our Bill’s Bees website. Or, you may place your order by contacting us through our Contact Us Form, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or (818) 312-1691.
If you are new to beekeeping, aspire to being a backyard beekeeper, or already an experienced beekeeper who would like to continue learning about bees and beekeeping, come to our Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association Beekeeping Class 101. For over ten years, we have hosted the LACBA Beekeeping Class 101 at Bill's Bees Bee Farm. We teach responsible beekeeping for an urban environment, adhering to Best Management Practices for the bees, beekeepers, and the general public. Our classes are ideal for Backyard Beekeeping in Los Angeles.
Welcome to the grand adventure of keeping bees!
Bill & Clyde