Oklahoma - Starting a hive - bee sourcing


I have been researching starting a hive for a while now and had a question that I hope a local Oklahoman (or nearby state) could answer. Is late July (middle of summer) too late to start a hive? I haven’t been able to find much info on this, but it looks like most recommended spring. I would really like to start bee keeping, but it’s since it’s already July I am not sure if it’s too late? Also, I haven’t really found any sources selling bees right now (which is why I am asking about timing) so any tips on finding bees would be fantastic! I am very new at this and still continuing research into all topics around bees. Thanks I’m advance!

Hi there and welcome Carmine! I’m not an Oklahoman but I once enjoyed a serene and spooky all-night drive across the panhandle into Texas in an RV.

Try putting Oklahoma into the search here on the forum, and you’ll see several posts - you could try contacting those members directly.

Meanwhile, I found this info on nectar and pollen sources in OK that might be helpful in your decision. It shows not only the types of forage that are most common but when they bloom. The major variable is always going to be how much rainfall you’re getting through each season, which has a big impact on the nectar production of those flowers. They might be blooming but could be pretty unrewarding for bees in drier years.

In my area, it would be very unusual to find a split for sale now, because it’s dearth and even though we can often expect a late summer/early fall ‘mini-flow’ from asters and goldenrod, etc, our colonies are not expanding at this point. I’m not sure but that could be why you aren’t having any luck finding a package or split. If you’re hellbent on starting this year, check for bee clubs near you and see if a local beek would sell you a full colony or a split. Better yet, get to know the folks and see if you can hang out and watch during inspections for this season and be that much more ready for this intensive and fascinating learning experience next year.

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