When starting a beekeeping operation, ordering the bees themselves is the final step, and you have many online and mail-order sites to choose from. You can order package bees or nucs from most of these sources, but you should also check with your local beekeeping association since it is sometimes easier and less expensive to obtain your bees from local sources.
It's best to order your bees in the winter for shipment in March through May. Sometimes package bees sell out, so avoid problems by... ordering early.
Here is a list of online bee suppliers who will ship bees to you; many also have bees available for pickup. There are many more suppliers who have websites, but some of these may not ship the bees, requiring that you pick them up yourself.
01 of 07
Draper's is located in Pennsylvania and sells package bees and queens as well as a selection of beekeeping supplies. They sometimes have nucs available for pickup only. They offer Italian, Italian/Russian, Carniolan, and Minnesota Hygienic/Carniolan bees.
02 of 07
Kelley Bees, located in Clarkson, Kentucky and in business since 1924, sells Italian and Russian package bees and beekeeping supplies such as frames, hive kits, protective clothing, traps and lures and extraction supplies.
03 of 07
Long Lane Honey Bee Farms is a family business located in Illinois and sells nucs as well as package bees. They also offer bees as part of their beginner beekeeping kits. Supplies include hives, tools and smokers, protective clothing, queen-rearing equipment, and honey extraction equipment.
04 of 07
Rossman Apiaries in Georgia is a family business that was established in 1936. It sells package bees, queens, and beekeeping supplies and equipment including hives made of cypress wood. They offer supplements, feeding supplies, tools and smokers, and beekeeping books.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
BeeWeaver is another family business, this one dating back to 1888. The company sells package bees, queens, and breeder queens for the beekeeper who wants to raise his or her own queens. They are located in Austin, Texas, but ship all over the United States. Their BeeWeaver queens are a combination of Buckfast, BeeSMaRT, and AllStar lines and are bred to be resistant to varroa and to have high honey production and produce strong colonies.
06 of 07
Founded in 1975 in Houston, Minnesota, B & B Honey Farm initially sold bees in a limited regional area, but now ships to any buyer in USDA hardiness zones 2 to 5.
B & B Honey Farm sells package bees, queens, and a wide range of beekeeping supplies.
07 of 07
Located in northeast Georgia, Sweet Mountain honey specializes in Italian package bees, and ships to 31 states: AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IN, IA, IL, KY, LA, MA, ME, MI, MD, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT and WV. It also sells to pick up customers.
Sweet Mountain Honey sells package bees and queens, as well as nucs, as well as hives and other supplies.