is it possible to start off a hive using just a mated queen, or do you have tobuy a nuc?
You can’t do it with just a queen, she needs foragers and attendants or she will starve and have nowhere to lay eggs. You can do it with a nucleus, a package or a captured swarm.
Thanks for that. having problems finding local suppliers as I have no transport
If you tell us where “local” is for you, we might be able to help more. I checked your profile, and you don’t give a location. We have people on this forum in Europe, US, Australia, NZ, Africa, SE Asia etc, so we can’t guess where you are!
We may also be able to hook you up with a local beekeeper or club, who can advise and support you.
Hey Jon - some suppliers will ship you a package of bees, again, depending on your location. Maybe ask around at a garden or farm supply center if there’s one near you?
Aah sorry, I joined quickly tonight. I’m in County Durham, North East England
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Well, there are plenty of UK beekeepers on this Forum, but I am not sure about County Durham. This is not the time of year to be setting up a hive in the UK anyway, but you could certainly join a local club and get some info. If they like you, you may get to go on a swarm hunt next Spring with an experienced beekeeper, and may even get free bees with transport included - all depends on the characters involved. Either way, you could learn a lot, and see whether beekeeping is practical for you.