Sometimes there’s a ornamental barrel, empty planter, bird box or owl box which has a beehive in it. This is not the ideal way of starting a bee hive or starting beekeeping. So look for beehives for sale from a reputable beekeeper.
While this seem like a great idea, I think it’s a good idea to consider carefully. If you’re intending to take beekeeping seriously and make it a long term pursuit it’s worth starting off in a way which is going to make it interesting and fun, not a painful nightmare. Leave the extraction of honey bee from such places to the experts, it’s a whole specialist subset of beekeeping.
Join a local beekeeping group, or find an experienced beekeeper. There’s nothing like a hands-on demonstration. Even if there isn’t anyone locally, join an online forum like www.beesource.com. Read the posts and even post questions, people are usually happy to help and pass on their experiences and expertise. Click here to pass on yours.
One beehive is never enough, there are lots of reasons why two or more is a good idea, so start off right. But be very cautious of the ‘Bee Hives for Sale’ sign. You might consider it’s a good idea to build a beehive. If you do decide to build a bee hive, go here for some ideas.
I would strongly advise you to consider having at least on Kenya Top Bar Hive. Many people are using these as they offer a more natural environment for the bees. Of course there are pros and cons, but certainly offer an interesting alternative to the more traditional type like the Langstroth. The Top Bar Hive does have the disadvantage that it is much more difficult to move from one location to another. You’re unlikely to see a KTBH bee hive for sale, so you’ll probably have to buy a kit or build your own from scratch.
Either buy a strong hive from a reputable beekeeper. One who is prepared to help you move it, site it, and be available to give advice, at least over the phone, in the future. Or buy a new hive and frames, along with a beesuit, gloves, smoker and hive tool.
Assemble and paint the outside of the hive and site the hive in a place where it’s appropriate. When you’re comfortable, order a package of bees and follow the instructions on how to install them in the hive.
Don’t forget to get some protective clothing, a bee suit and a pair of bee gloves is a great investment, especially for a beginner here is some information beekeeper clothing.
Taking this approach will help you avoid many problems of disease, the colony becoming queenless and aggressive bees which can make beekeeping difficult at best, frightening at worst.