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. The norm is British Standard deep brood frame with either standard national self-spacing (Hoffman) DN4 side bars, or spacers to suit DN1 side bars. You should  check with suppliers on this specification as there are frames for different hive types and with different spacing. Ensure that the nucleus you are buying is compatible with the hive type you have or plan to buy.

  2. Minimum of 3 frames of brood at all stages and 2 of stores, bees covering all frames. All the brood must have been produced by the queen present
  3. Laying queen, with evidence of newly laid eggs, should be marked cleanly on thorax, with the colour appropriate for the year she emerged: Red 2013 – Green 2014 – Blue 2015 – White 2016 – Yellow 2017.
  4. Queen should have emerged in current or previous year. The queen should not have had her wing(s) clipped unless this was specified by you. Bees and brood must be healthy and show no visible signs of brood disease or pests, 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.

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.


SCBKA Committee.  Date of publication March 2011

Updated 04/03/2016