Buying bees

Where to Buy 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 SCBKA members wishing to sell and purchase bees. Ring David on 01978 854484  Email 

Our 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:
    White     2016.
    Yellow    2017.                                                                                                                          Red         2018.                                                                                                                          Green     2019.                                                                                                                          Blue        2020.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  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.                                                                                                                                                        .
  4. 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.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 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, quality, 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.
  • Buyers bringing in bees from outside the local area are advised to ensure that they come from a reliable source. Advice should be sought from experienced beekeepers/mentors/executive committee members.  We strongly advise that bees should not be purchased via the internet or abroad. Further information may be found in this document from The National Bee Unit.

Steve Rose

Dec 2017.