So the big day is approaching and the bees are almost ready to hand over.   What can be expected?    Well, all orders are dealt with in the order that they are received. Once we get to your order we will contact you via email and/or telephone.    

We have a number of 'bee collection' weeks throughout the year and you will be able to book in your preferred day from a number of different days during the week, including Saturday morning.  Ideal time for collection is between 9-11am.    Please do not get here before 9am as we will be busy preparing your bees and it will only delay the collections as we stop to welcome you.   If you are going to be after 11am, then please do let us know roughly what time you are expecting to get to us so we can ensure your bees are in the best health when you do arrive.

On arrival, we will run through the instructions, making sure everyone knows what to do with their bees, answering any questions at the end.   We will then take any final payments due and any equipment orders wanted before showing you to your bees.

Collection point is from Paynes Bee Farm Ltd, Wickham Hill, Hassocks, West Sussex, BN6 9NP.   Our equipment shop will be open at the same time for any other supplies you may need and we have a tea/coffee machine for your use too.

You should not need any beekeeping equipment with you, however it is probably best to travel with a spare beesuit in the car, just in case.   On hot days, and if your journey is more than a few hours, we would advise a water sprayer or water bottle so you can give the bees a drink if they need it.   Short journeys and colder days are not a problem for this.

Some days can be very busy with collections.   Please be patient with us and other beekeepers while we see to everyone.   Because of parking we will try and serve everyone in the order they arrive.    Collecting days are very exciting for many new beekeepers getting their first colony of bees; you can help make their first beekeeping experience enjoyable too.

we are able to post 6 frame nucs of bees.   These are sent at your risk!    Queen bees are also able to be posted.


What if i don't know the first thing about bees?
Althought we don't make it a requirement before buying bees from us, we strongly recommend that you join your local beekeeping association and start reading lots of beekeeping books.   You can find a list of local associations by clicking here.

Why can't you give me an accurate delivery date straight away?
As you will learn, when it comes to beekeeping, there are many things out of our control. Bees and the weather work to their own timetable. We will not supply the colony until we are satisfied that the bees are fit, healthy and strong with a properly laying Queen and has brood in all stages. We understand that this can be frustrating when you are waiting for your first colony of bees, but we check and double-check the nucs and we aren't satisfied until we know they are ready.    As the season progresses, we will update your expected delivery date on the website as soon as we have a better understanding of times.

Can you post bees to me?
Yes, although we prefer to see you in person to advise and make sure you know what to do with the bees when you get them and to ensure the bees are in the best condition for you.   Bees posted are sent via Parcelforce, pre-9am delivery or AM delivery if that is not available.    THEY ARE POSTED AT YOUR RISK and we cannot accept responsiblility if anything happens to them during transit.

Queens can be posted via Royal Mail standard post with no problems, price shown is free delivery.  There is an option to have them sent Recorded for an extra £6.00.

When do I pay for my bees?
For Nucs and Full Colonies, you will be required to place a non-refundable deposit (see terms & conditions for further details) when you place your order.     The remainer is paid on collection.
For Queens, you will pay the full price upon purchase.

What happens when the bees are ready for collection?
Estimated timescales are shown on the website.    There will be general updates on the homepage informing you what the bees are doing.   When the bees are ready, you will be emailed and/or telephoned to arrange a day for collection.    Collections take place about 9am in the morning, although other times can be arranged.   There is normally a group of you collecting, one of our staff will walk you through the instructions making sure you understand what you need to do and to answer any questions that you may have.   You will be given an opportunity to view the nucs through the clear plastic crownboards before purchase.    Any final, remaining payment will be taken on the day.

If I keep bees, will I get stung?
Unfortunately, no matter how careful you are, there is always a risk of getting stung.  Our stock of bees are bred to be gentle and placid, however, we would always recommend that you inspect your colonies wearing your veil and with a smoker.    Like humans, bees have bad days too.

How do I introduce a Queen into my hive?
The first thing to remember is that Queen Introduction never 100% safe and no matter what you do there is ALWAYS A CHANCE the worker bees you are introducing her too will reject her, resulting in the Queens death.

A Queen is more readily accepted by introducing her into a Nucleus rather than a full size colony.    You can also increase the chances of success by feeding at the same time.

  1. Make sure your nuc or colony is queenless for at least 48 hours.   You can also start feeding during this time.

  2. The cage that the Queen has arrived in will have a ‘break away’ tab next to the candy compartment.   Leave this in place for the moment.

  3. Place the cage (with queen) between 2 frames in the middle of the cluster, using a matchstick or cocktail stick passed through the hanging loop and resting on the tops of the adjacent frames for support.   Leave her for 24-48 hours to give the bees time to become accustomed to the new queens scent.

  4. After the 24-48 hour period, break off the plastic tab to the cage and reposition the cage between the frames.    The bees will now start eating through the candy and release the queen.

  5. After about 7 days, check the queen has been successfully released from the cage.   Check for eggs being laid in the combs.   However don’t panic if there aren’t any, it can take longer sometimes.