How Do I Get my Bees? - North 40 Life

How Do I Get my Bees?

Whether you’re looking to increase the robustness of your garden or you’re harvesting the honey flow, when you’re dealing with thousands of bees, you have to pay attention. Bees are sophisticated. (One glance into the core of a nest and you can see the layers of organization and the strategy it takes to build it.) At the same time, however, with some planning and research, bees are also really manageable, and we can help you get started.


There are many ways to get bees. You can catch a swarm, split them from an established hive, or order a new colony. At North 40, depending on the time of year, we offer our customers the opportunity to pre-book orders of three-pound packages of Italian Carniolan Hybrid bees at four of our store locations; Lewiston, Coeur d'Alene, Omak, and Great Falls. In this video, we explain common ways to get bees and when is the best time to introduce them to the hive.


Video Transcription

Different Ways to Get Bees

All right, so there's a couple of ways to get bees. You can first, if you want, you can try and catch a wild swarm. Not the easiest method, but it does work. The other way is take an existing hive that you've overwintered and split it. Or take a friend's hive and split their hive. Also not the easiest way, but pretty manageable. The third way, and probably the best way to get bees if you're starting out as a new beekeeper, is to buy a package of bees.


What Comes With a Bee Package

Okay, so the simplest way to get bees if you're a new beekeeper is to simply order a new package. A new package will be approximately three pounds of bees, with an unmarked mated queen. There are different varieties. The variety we carry is going to be an Italian Carniola hybrid.


If you have any more questions about beekeeping, or you're looking to start your own hive and get some equipment, go to or visit any of our locations.

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We’re people who work and live in the uppermost regions of the Northwestern United States. Beautiful country and wonderful people. This land and these animals are a big part of who we are, how we work and how we play. North 40 Outfitters works hard to offer products and services that fit your lifestyle.

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