Buying and Selling Bees

At SCBKA we are passionate about locally adapted bees. Not only will they have a better chance of survival but they are likely to stay gentle for longer and our specification for your nucleus ensures you have the best bees at a fair price from the start.

Our Nuc co-ordinator David Roberts brings together buyers with SCBKA members wishing to sell nuclei and queens. Ring David on 01978 854484 Email:

Criteria for Selling Bees

Our Nucleus Specification

  1. Frame of bees with marked queen
    Frame of bees with marked queen

    Minimum of 5 frames of wired full drawn comb in good condition. Norm is British Standard deep brood frame with either standard national self-spacing ( Hoffman) DN4 side bars, or spacers to suit DN1 side bars.

    Buyers must check with suppliers on this specification as there are frames for different hive types and with different spacing. Buyers must ensure that the nucleus they are buying is compatible with the hive type they have or plan to buy.

  2. Brood of all stages should be present and found on at least 3 frames. 2 frames must contain stores and worker bees should be on at least 4 frames.  Some of the sealed brood must have been produced by the present queen.
  3. A laying queen, with evidence of newly laid eggs, should be marked cleanly on thorax, with the colour appropriate for the year she emerged:
    1. White 2021, 2026, 2031 etc
    2. Yellow 2022, 2027, 2032 etc
    3. Red 2023, 2028, 2033 etc
    4. Green 2024, 2029, 2034 etc
    5. Blue 2025, 2030, 2035 etc
  4. The Queen should have emerged in current or previous year. She should not have had her wing(s) clipped unless this was specified by the buyer.
  5. Bees and brood must be healthy and show no visible signs of brood disease, pests or viruses. New beekeepers are advised to contact their local bee inspector to arrange an inspection after they have transferred the nucleus colony to its permanent hive. Contact details can be found through the internet by searching on BeeBase.
  6. The seller must be able to specify the provenance of the queen and which colony and apiary she emerged from, the date, the method of rearing e.g. split, grafting, cup kit. together with the postcode of the mating site

Queen Rearing

SCBKA operates a thriving queen rearing group which aims to provide virgin, mated queens and nuclei colonies with AMM (native honey bee ) traits.

SCBKA Nucleus Coordinator Role

Our aim, as far as practically possible, is to ensure those beekeepers participating in this endeavour comply with the stated values of SCBKA. The co-ordinator is not responsible for pricing, delivery, or post-delivery service. These guidelines comply with the values of SCBKA and rely on the goodwill of buyers and sellers. Whilst every effort is made to ensure compliance with this guidance it is the responsibility of the purchaser to ensure that the bees they buy meet their requirements.

Seller Please sign the declaration (Download here) and return to Dave Roberts: