Saturday, August 7, 2021

What to expect when picking up bees for the very first time

What can you expect when picking up bees for the first time?

Googling Sunset Perth:

Well for starters bees are being picked up after dark. We usually tell people to  Google Sunset Perth, then add about 15 minutes to the received answer of google indicating the pickup time. We will send you pickup instructions a few days prior and ensure everything is lined up for the desired night.

Ute or Trailer:

We ask customers to pick up bees with either a Ute or a trailer and in larger quantities with a combination of both. We do sell additional "travel bags" into which we wrap the NUCs for transport, this to avoid escaping bees from the NUCs, however they are not a 100% guarantee.
Our transport bags however have indeed helped customers in the past when taking a roundabout a bit to fast, tipping their NUCs over in the back of the boot and the NUC opening, and keeping the bees contained in the bag. However as mentioned we recommend keeping the bees outside of your drivers cab for obvious safety reasons. Especially if you are new to bees, having bees crawl over you while driving can get new-bees freaked out, hence we ask you to bring a Ute along and place the bees on the tray.

If you are really new to beekeeping you may want to have a read of the following blog entry: 


Using red lights for shifting bees:

On the night of the pickup we will most likely be illuminating the work and loading area using red LED lights while trying to avoid any white light sources such as car lights, lampposts etc, this as bees do not see red light and do not start flying while we humans can see where we are going. (Using red light to shift bees

Driving long distances on hot nights:

If you are planning to drive long distances, and picking up bees for a long drive to your destination, you may need to stop several times and give the NUCs a quick spray down with a water bottle to cool them down and give the bees access to some moisture.

Tools and PPE:

Also we recommend having a smoker with you, with some smoker fuel and a fire lighter ready, just in case you have an unforeseen incident and need to do some manipulation with your NUC while you travel. We would  also ask you to have a bee suit , gloves and a hive tool with you, not that it will be required during the pickup, it rather is for your sake and to be able to react to any unexpected issues until you arrive at the destination. We will shut the hive entrance after dark just shortly prior your arrival and try to avoid having any loose passengers crawling around the box, however it is bees you are picking up and there is possibility for the individual bees to crawl around.

Tie down and road safety:

Please ensure you have the correct length straps and ratchets handy to correctly tie down the NUCs either on the Ute's tray or trailer, keep in mind that ropes are not a legally approved tie down option on Australia's roads.

Arriving at the destination:

Once you arrive at your destination move the NUC colony right next to the intended hive location within the same night and open up the hive entrance facing the intended side. The bees will most likely start crawling out the front door fairly fast once you open it up, so its best to just open up, and stand back and watch them flood out, preferably using a red light torch a few meters away.  On the next day, around mid day you will then have your first true beekeeping experience in transferring your NUC into the bee hive.  If you think this may be an overwhelming initial task I would propose to consult a bee buddy in your area as well as joining the, there is heaps of experienced amateur beekeeper who are happy to give you a hand.

We have  a dedicated blog entry in regards to how to transfer a NUC into a bee hive found here.


Click here to order your first set of bees!

Happy beekeeping!



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