Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.

Purchasing honey bees and equipment

WARNING! IT IS ILLEGAL TO IMPORT HONEY BEES AND USED BEEKEEPING EQUIPMENT OF ANY KIND INTO NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR WITHOUT GOVERNMENT PERMIT. THE NLBKA STRONGLY ENDORSES THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT'S IMPORTATION RESTRICTIONS. THEIR PURPOSE IS TO KEEP VARROA MITES, TRACHAEL MITES, WAX MOTHS, SMALL HIVE BEETLES AND OTHER EXOTIC PATHOGENS AND PESTS OUT OF THE PROVINCE.  LET'S WORK TOGETHER TO KEEP THESE PATHOGENS, PESTS AND ASSOCIATED DISEASES AWAY FROM OUR BEES!

USED BEEKEEPING EQUIPMENT SUCH AS HIVE BOXES, FRAMES,  AND OLD COMB MAY BE INFECTED/INFESTED WITH AMERICAN FOULBROOD, SMALL HIVE BEETLES, WAX MOTHS, EXOTIC VIRUSES AND OTHER PATHOGENS AND PESTS. PLEASE PURCHASE YOUR EQUIPMENT NEW FROM RELIABLE RETAILERS. NEVER USE IMPORTED RAW BEESWAX TO COAT FOUNDATION, AND NEVER FEED IMPORTED HONEY OR POLLEN TO YOUR HONEY BEES!

 

Where to buy honey bees

The best way to start your own apiary is to purchase a nucleus colony (a “nuc”) from established suppliers such as Exploits Meadow Farm or the Newfoundland Bee Company (nfbeeco@gmail.com). Call first thing in early January to order your nucleus colony because they may be in short supply depending on winter and early spring conditions. Please be patient as our honey bee suppliers may not know until June whether they will have any nucs for sale, and if so, in what numbers.

Some people get “splits” or swarms from other beekeepers, but we don’t advise this for beginners because the characteristics of the honey bees, especially Queens, from such sources may be problematic (e.g., the Queen may not have been well mated).

Are you buying nucs this spring?

Here's NLBKA's guidelines regarding nucleus colony specifications (click here).Established Newfoundland and Labrador honey bee suppliers adhere to the definition of a nucleus colony provided here, but there may be some variations. Ask questions before you purchase! Know what you should expect!

 Where to buy equipment

 We recommend that you work out a good beekeeping equipment strategy well in advance of obtaining your first nucleus colony.   It is generally recommended that you start with a Langstroth hive because they are relatively easy to inspect, and facilitate good hive management through frame manipulation, and other ways of building colony strength.  Also, Langstroth hives allow proven swarm control methods.

 

Beekeeping equipment can be obtained from the following Canadian sources.