Getting Bees

Sourcing Bees

It is ALWAYS better to source your bees locally. Glasgow & District Beekeepers Association members feel so strongly about this that a statement was made at the 2015 AGM and the SBA were contacted to ensure that the matter would be discussed at the Scottish Beekeepers Association AGM.

Glasgow & District Beekeepers’ Association strongly advises its members not to import bees from

outwith the British Isles,

from south of the border,

or from the East of Scotland due to the risk of infection by AFB, EFB and SHB

Many producers of nucs are more likely to sell to people who are members of a Local Association or those who have completed a course of Basic Beekeeping. Beekeepers care for their bees and they do not want to sell them to someone who has insufficient experience or who does not have the backup and support of other beekeepers to help deal with questions or problems when they arise.

Contact the secretary of your local Association as they may have a list of people in the Association who plan to raise and supply nucs.

The cost of a nucleus colony (nuc) is dependant on many factors, not least the weather and the level of demand and supply. As such it would not be appropriate to dictate prices.

Buying a nuc is a personal agreement between the buyer and the seller. However, it is estimated that in 2014 the average price for a nuc was between £100 and £200.

What constitutes a Nuc?

The Scottish Beekeepers' Association (SBA) gives the following description:

  • Specification - A Good 5 Deep Frame Nucleus will:
  • Have a good quality, young laying queen – ideally from your area.
  • Have all stages of brood.
  • Have at least 3 frames with brood.
  • Be free of signs of disease (ask advice of your local Bee Inspector).
  • Have at least 4 frames covered with bees.
  • Have the equivalent of a full comb of stored honey and half a frame of pollen.
  • Have good quality frames and all frames fully drawn out.
  • Have been examined by a competent person prior to purchase.
  • Include a statement of what varroa treatments, if any, have been given.

For the full SBA description please check the SBA Website.