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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 lbs (1.36kg) Bees (Approximately 10,000.)
  • Mated queen bee in isolation cage
  • Feeding can

WHERE DO OUR BEES COME FROM?

Hiveworld’s package bees come from world renowned StrongBee in Chile. StrongBee is well known for their excellent quality of bees, mated queens and shipping practices. Hiveworld is the Alberta supplier for StrongBee.

WHO SHOULD BUY PACKAGE BEES?

We recommend package bees for commercial beekeepers who have experienced overwintering losses or beekeepers who use Warre or Top Bar hives. We do not recommend package bees for new beekeepers starting a colony, here’s why:

  1. Package bees are available early in the season and take some knowledge and expertise to establish. April can bring variable weather, and package bees are very vulnerable until the queen has begun to lay and new brood begins to hatch 21 days later.
  2. Because a package of bees is not a ‘swarm’, it is a very unnatural beginning for bees. Approximately 40% of packages placed in a hive will lose their queen in the first 30 days. The bees age too quickly and fail to keep the queen alive. There are strategies to mitigate this from happening, but it requires experience.
  3. After 21 days, the bees are put in a stressful situation. Normally bees live for 3 to 4 weeks in a hive. With a package of bees, the bees are working hard to establish a new colony, but are growing older as they do. At the 21 day mark, there are not enough new bees to take over the tasks of rearing brood, and more importantly – attending to the queen. The queen requires royal jelly produced by the glands of new bees. As the bees near the end of their life, it diminishes their ability to feed the queen, and she begins to fail. The queen’s ability to produce pheromones is reduced and it triggers a response in the bees to replace her.

AVAILABILITY

Package bees are available for pick-up in March for BC and April for AB on set dates. See the link to the schedule below.

PRICING

ORDERING


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

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

Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Grande Prairie and Fraser Valley.

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

Pick-up schedule

5-Frame Nucs

5-Frame Nucs

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

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

For current pricing see our Live Bees collection.

ORDERING

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

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, you can expect an average crop of honey (100-150 kg). The hive is a standard Langstroth size.

WHAT IS A 10-FRAME STARTER HIVE?

Hiveworld 10-frame starter hives include:

  • Marked, laying, Saskatraz queen* (hardy for AB winters and increased resistance to Varroa Mites)
  • 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 a Saskatraz queen we will contact you to inform you of any changes.

WHERE DO OUR BEES COME FROM?

Hiveworld’s hives are established during the summer, overwintered and made available in the spring. Bees are acclimatized and ready to grow and make 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 September 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.