Agriculture

How can I start raising honey bees?

Question

I want to put some honey bees on my land but I don’t know where to start. I don’t know anyone with bees; can you help?

Answer

Depending on where you live, there may be a nearby beekeeper from whom you can learn the basics.

You can also take a short course for beginners at any of several beekeeping clubs in West Virginia. Usually the same clubs help beekeepers to buy packages of honey bees and to install them.

A list of local bee clubs and beekeepers is typically available from your county Extension office. Or, you can contact a state apiarist, by way of the W.Va. Department of Agriculture.

In mid-summer, you can buy nukes from established beekeepers for about $75-$100.

You can subscribe to W.Va. Department of Agriculture Market Bulletin where you can find information about sales of used beehives. The Market Bulletin also features many articles on bees.

You can also contact the W.Va. Beekeepers Association. Some local beekeeper associations, have Web sites you can browse online.

James Amrine
Professor Emeritus, Entomology
West Virginia University Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry, & Consumer Sciences