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What Bees to Buy?

Many customers ask us which type of live bees they should purchase. If you aren’t sure, below are the details about the three live bee products we supply. Remember, honey bees are living creatures that need the proper management, nutrients, and care.

We want you to have a good experience with your investment in beekeeping, and that’s why Hiveworld’s Live Bees come with our Live Bees Guarantee that outlines our quality guarantee and insurance options.

Package Bees

Package Bees

See “Which Hive to Purchase?” to get started in beekeeping.

WHAT ARE PACKAGE BEES?

A package of bees contains 2.2 lbs of live bees, a wooden shipping box or tub and a feeding can. The queen is isolated in a cage that the bees cluster around. There are no frames, hive boxes, or anything else besides the bees and queen!

Hiveworld package bees come with:

  • 3.0 lbs (1.36kg) Package. The total weight includes all of the packaging, feeding can and bees (approx. 2.2 lbs live bees or 8,000 bees)
  • Carniolan mated queen bee in isolation cage
  • Feeding can

WHO SHOULD BUY PACKAGE BEES?

As the demand for nucs is increasing, it's become harder for beekeepers to secure nucs for the upcoming season. We ideally recommend package bees for commercial beekeepers who have experienced overwintering losses or beekeepers who use Warre or top bar hives. We believe, with the right tools and knowledge, beginner beekeepers can have a successful, established colony with the packages.

Some things to be aware of when purchasing a package:

  1. Package bees are available early in the season and take dedication and knowledge to establish. April and May can bring variable weather and package bees are very vulnerable until the queen begins to lay and new brood begins to hatch 21 days later. If you have not taken a beekeeping course, you can go here to purchase one of our courses. Alternatively, ask your local beekeeping association about their educational opportunities.
  2. The first three weeks are crucial in making sure your colony succeeds. Frequent hive checks will be needed to make sure your bees have enough syrup, the queen is alive and laying eggs, and that there is consistent brood pattern.
  3. All our live bees come with a 30-day guarantee that the colony will succeed. At any point within those 30 days you can contact us and ask questions or express your concerns. We will be there to help you and assist the best way we can.

AVAILABILITY

Package bees are available for pick-up in April for BC, late April or early May for AB, and May for SK.

DELIVERY OPTIONS: PICK-UP ONLY

Package bees are only available for pick-up in Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan at the following locations:

  • AB - Grande Prairie, Fox Creek, Edmonton, Peace River, Red Deer, Calgary, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat
  • BC - Victoria, Mill Bay, Nanaimo, Courtney, Campbell River, YVR Airport, Langley, Chilliwack, Vernon, Kelowna, Whistler, Williams Lake, 100 Mile House, Prince George, Fort St. John
  • SK - Regina, Swift Current, Moosejaw, Vegreville, North Battleford, Saskatoon, Lloydminster

There is no flexibility for alternate pick up dates once confirmed. Pick-up dates will be confirmed in March, 2022.

5-Frame Nucs

5-Frame Nucs

Nucs are not available for the 2022 season.

See “Which Hive to Purchase?” to get started in beekeeping.

WHAT IS A 5-FRAME NUCLEUS? (NUC)

Nucs are Hiveworld’s signature product! A nucleus is a miniature version of a full-size bee colony. Our nucs are established the summer before they are made available. In the spring, we monitor nucs for  normal development. Once the weather warms up in April, we watch three to four cycles of brood emerge and then make them available for sale

Hiveworld nucs include:

  • Marked, laying, Saskatraz queen* (hardy for AB winters and increased resistance to varroa mites)
  • 5 deep frames
  • Capped brood (6-8 sides of frames)
  • 8-10” diameter of brood on some frames
  • Frames have brood, pollen, larvae, eggs and honey stores

*On rare occasions, if weather or quality affect our ability to provide a Saskatraz queen, we will contact you to inform you of any changes.

Bees arrive in a nuc box for you to keep. Bees can be kept in the box for three days, but then must be placed in a 8 or 10 frame deep brood box immediately upon delivery.

If managed properly, your hive will build up enough comb and store additional honey to carry them through their first winter with you.

See how to install a nuc here.

WHERE DO OUR BEES COME FROM?

Hiveworld’s nucs are established from strong colonies in the summer, overwintered and made available in the spring. Our bees are acclimatized and ready to build a summer colony.

WHO SHOULD BUY A 5-FRAME NUC?

Nucs are recommended for beginners and beyond. Buying a 5-frame nuc is the preferred method to begin beekeeping and establish a colony. The nuc expands rapidly, and within 40 days  the bees are working on 10+ frames. The bees busily build and expand the hive getting ready for the main flow at the beginning of July.

At Hiveworld, we take special care to ensure our 5-frame nucs are supplied to you with the right weight and quantity of bees. This supports normal development that allows for the population to peak right before the main nectar flow in July.

Nucs generated and overwintered within your province provide you with bees that are acclimatized to the weather and ready to flourish.

AVAILABILITY

Nucs are not available for the 2022 season.

5-frame nucs are available in BC in April and May in AB (weather permitting). Pre-ordering begins in September in preparation for the next season. Hiveworld nucs sell out quickly after Christmas. Typically beekeepers place orders early, but add orders once they establish overwintering losses in January or February. Hiveworld nucs can sell out quickly after Christmas.

PRICING

Nucs are not available for the 2022 season.

ORDERING

Nucs are not available for the 2022 season.

Orders can be placed September onwards (for the upcoming season). Each year we sell out earlier and earlier, so we recommend pre-ordering to avoid disappointment.

As soon as you place your order for bees, it will be confirmed with an automatic email reply. There is no need for any further confirmation. If we are unable to fulfill your order due to weather or supply, we will refund you in full by July 31, 2022.

DELIVERY OPTIONS: SHIPPING AND PICK UP

Nucs are not available for the 2022 season.

Shipping! We can ship nucs to you anywhere in Canada! We ship our bees through Canada Post. Our Live Bees Guarantee insures your bees arrive healthy to your door. 

Pick-up! Pick-up dates are confirmed with customers one month prior. Nucs not collected on the set pick-up date will not be refunded. You can pick up nucs in the following locations: Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Grand Prairie, Kamploops, Victoria, Abbotsford, Hope and Kelowna.

Shipment and pick-up schedule.

Starter Hives With Live Bees

Starter Hives With Live Bees

See “Which Hive to Purchase?” to get started in beekeeping.

WHAT IS A 10-FRAME STARTER HIVE?

A 10-frame starter hive is a healthy bee colony. It is ready to go with brood at all stages, frames with some honey stores, and space for the colony to grow. Bought in June, these starter hives require you to immediately add supers for brood development. If managed properly, these hives could produce honey in their first season. The hive is a standard Langstroth size.

WHAT IS A 10-FRAME STARTER HIVE?

Hiveworld 10-frame starter hives include:

  • Marked, laying, Carniolan queen* (hardy for AB winters and short honey flow in the summer)
  • 10 deep frames
  • frames have brood, pollen, larvae, eggs and honey stores
  • Screened bottom board with tray for pest management
  • Metal telescoping lid
  • Inner cover with feeding hole and top entrance
  • Entrance reducer

The bees are confined in the hive box when you pick up. Once you set the hive in its final location, you remove the screens.

*On rare occasions, if weather or quality affect our ability to provide the hives we will contact you to inform you of any changes.

WHERE DO OUR BEES COME FROM?

Hiveworld shakes out the packaged bees from Chile into new equipment. We then manage them until they are ready to be picked up in June. Bees are acclimatized and ready to grow and produce honey.

WHO SHOULD BUY A 10-FRAME STARTER HIVE?

Buying a 10-frame hive in June is great for beginners and beyond. It is also great for golf courses or other public places where a beehive would be an attraction for patrons. Your colony will be visibly active during daytime flying hours.

AVAILABILITY

10-frame hives are available in June.

PRICING

Current pricing on Starter Hives With Live Bees

ORDERING

10-frame hives are available for order from February onwards (for the upcoming season). Order early to avoid disappointment.

As soon as you place your order for bees, it will be confirmed with an automatic email reply. There is no need for any further confirmation. If we are unable to fulfill your order due to weather or supply, we will refund you in full by July 31, 2022.

DELIVERY OPTIONS: PICK-UP ONLY

Pick up in Edmonton Only! 10-frame hives are heavy, weighing 70-80 lbs. You need to be physically capable of lifting and transporting your hive(s) or bring a helper! You also need a proper vehicle to transport them in.

Shipment and pick-up schedule.