Pushasing populated hives from another beekeeper, through internet ads for instance, requires some careful considerations. If you consider yourself a beginner in beekeeping, it would probably be preferable for you to bring a beekeeper friend to the meeting, so that he or she can gage for the state of the colony and the hive.
Here are a few advices to follow when buying a populated hives:
• The number of bees and the strength of the whole colony highly depends on the season
Therefore, the best time for you to buy a populated hive is at the end of wintering, when the queen starts laying eggs again. Hence, you will easily be able to assess the queen’s vigor and the disease status of the colony. If you are buying your hive from a professional beekeeper, you should expect to see a marked queen, allowing you to know her age.
• The size of the hive and frames should be normalized
Make sure the hive is not « home-made » and shaky. If it is and you do not mind, please ensure that it was made according to the proper and international measurements.
• The builded frames should be fairly recent.
It is a very good indicator of the health and a proper maintenance of the hive. Pushasing an old hive increases the risk of the spread of diseases.
• Hives’ purchasing should always include a sanitary inspection
This step is of extreme importance as it ensures that the hive does not have contagious diseases.