We are sorry to announce that the auction scheduled for Saturday 25th April 2020 has been postponed until further notice.
During the Coronavirus situation, beekeepers will still want to sell bees and prospective buyers purchase them. Clearly this is dependent on any movement controls for the public, either imposed centrally or individually.
The Association is happy to provide neutral and independent advice to prospective buyers and sellers over the phone, especially in relation to pest and disease issues that new beekeepers should be aware of.
Questions that buyers may consider asking might include:
- Have the bees been treated with any chemicals and if so is there a record?
- Is there any sign of disease e.g. Foul Brood, Varroa, Deformed Wing Virus, Chalkbrood or other?
- What age is the Queen?
- Is she marked and / or clipped?
- What is the temperament of the colony?
If buying ‘Bees on Frames’ then the seller will provide the colony in some form of package, usually in a nucleus or complete hive, the purchaser would collect or have it delivered, all frames and bees would be transferred to the purchasers own hive and the hardware returned to the seller.
Some sellers will be happy to sell the complete hive including the bees, just be clear about what you are buying / selling.
In terms of equipment, understand its condition.
- Check whether a hive has a solid or ventilated floor [ventilated is preferable].
- If a wooden hive then the majority of hives are made from Cedar, far more preferable to those made of softwood, not only for longevity, but also as softwoods tend to sweat which is not good for the bees. [Supers can be made of softwood, as they are only on the hive for the summer months]
- If Poly hives, then check for any splits, joints breaking down and general cleanliness [poly hives are more difficult to clean than cedar, as the latter can be blow torched, not advisable for a poly hive [!], where caustic soda or similar needs to be used – very carefully].
As a service to members, the Association will be happy to host a ‘virtual marketplace’ for bees and equipment. Preparations for this are underway so check the website for updates.
At present it is not clear whether our seasonal bee inspectors will be authorized to be out and about checking colonies. We will keep members informed via the website.
For advice and guidance, phone:
Jeremy on 07799 698 568
Alan on 07867 988597
Paul on 07988 037571