Are you a budding apiarist that would like to start a beehive? You probably already know this, but beekeeping offers many wonderful benefits and is such a fun hobby overall. If you are new to beekeeping the first thing you must consider is where to buy beehives.
If you live in an urban area, chances are that you don’t live in close proximity to a store containing beehives and beekeeping supplies. But don’t let that deter you! Nowadays, the best way to buy a beehive is to order one online.
Where to Buy Beehives
Unfortunately, there aren’t many places to buy beehives. Stores don’t usually carry them, so if you’d like to buy one in person you need to find another beekeeper to sell one to you. If you’d like to go this route, I’d suggest contacting your local beekeeping association. However, there is a risk to buying used beekeeping equipment. Used hives can possible contain diseases that would be deadly to your colony.
That being said, it is recommended that new beekeepers start with brand new equipment, and the easiest way to buy beehives is to order them online, particularly on Amazon. Many beehive manufacturers sell beehives through Amazon, so there is a good variety to choose from.
A good thing about buying beehives from Amazon is that they have fast, free shipping and a great return policy. But how do you choose a beehive? By following the guidelines below you will be sure to find the perfect beehive for you.
What to Look For in a Beehive
Assembled or Unassembled
Would you prefer for your beehive to arrive assembled or unassembled? Of course the benefits of an assembled beehive is that it’s a lot faster and easier. Assembled beehives are ready to go straight out of the box.
For those that would enjoy putting together a beehive with their own hands, unassembled is the way to go. Unassembled beehives arrive with all the parts pre-cut, so it’s a nice, fun project that should typically take around 2 hours, depending on your level of expertise.
Would you like your beehive to arrive painted or unpainted? Some beehives arrive already painted, so you don’t have to paint it yourself and wait for it to dry and off-gassing. However, many beekeepers enjoy painting their hives on their own. Some choose colors to match their house, and other paint elaborate designs on them.
You need to be sure that your beehive is constructed of a strong, durable material. Pine, cedar, and fir are all good choices for beehives.
Choose a well designed beehive that will protect your colony from the elements and allow the bees to thrive and grow. Ventilated, gabled roofs are great if you live in an area with a lot of rain. The shape of the roof will make the rain drip away from the rest of the hive, and of course proper ventilation is always important.
Also consider the weight of the hive. Some beehives are heavier than others, and this makes a difference if you plan to stack them.
Honey can be harvested either the traditional way via a honey extractor, or through a tap on a special beehive. While a majority of beekeepers harvest honey using an extractor, hives with a tap are becoming increasingly popular.
Of course budget is an important factor in where to buy beehives. You can find beehives for sale from $100 to $1,000 so you should easily be able to find one that fits your budget.
If you’re like me you love free shipping. I found that Amazon offers free shipping for many of their beehives. I did notice though, that some hives are not able to ship to some states due to size and weight, so make sure to check that the beehive will ship to you.
Our Top Picks
|Mann Lake Basic Beehive Kit||-Completely assembled, painted and ready for bees|
-Made in the USA with quality pine
-Includes assembled wood frames with waxed yellow Rite-Cell foundation
|Honey Keeper 20 Frame Complete Box Kit||-20-Frame Hive 10 Deep and 10 Medium|
-Complete kit that is easy to assemble
|Vivo Complete Beekeeping Kit||-Langstroth style beehive box kit with 10 medium frames and 10 deep frames|
-Easy to assemble box kit comes with all the necessary hardware for sturdy construction and a step-by-step manual
|Flow Hive||-Easily extract honey without harming bees|
-Made with high quality materials and construction
|Hoover Hives Complete Langstroth Beehive||-Wax coated boxes|
-Food grade plastic foundations
The Mann Lake Complete Beehive Kit appears on a few of our top picks lists for good reason. It is a sturdy, simple hive that would be great for both beginners and seasoned beekeepers. It is also one of the only beehives that will arrive completely assembled and painted. That is a huge plus in my book because that means that I will be able to use my beehive much sooner.
Made in the USA, this kit includes 1 painted box and 10 assembled frames. Each frame is coated with yellow RiteCell wax foundation. This gives the bees a foundation on which to build their honeycomb. Without it, bees may build comb outside of the frames, making frame removal difficult.
Measurements for this hive are 22-inch length by 18-1/2-inch width by 13-1/7-inch height.
Also included is a telescoping cover, an inner cover, painted bottom board, and an entrance reducer. This beehive is made out of pine wood, and many customers have been impressed by it’s solid construction.
Start your bee colony off in this box, and once the bees have drawn out most of the foundation, add a second hive body on top. This beehive requires minimal effort and produces fantastic results.
The Honey Keeper Beehive comes with 2 boxes and 20 frames. With the Mann Lake hive you’ll need to buy a second box once your colony grows, but Honey Keeper already provides you with the extra box and frames. That is really useful for beekeepers who like to plan ahead, or if they anticipate having a large colony.
This beehive is not assembled, however, so expect to spend a couple of hours putting it together. Beekeepers who have this hive say that using wood glue (not included) is a must. The Honey Keeper Beehive is made out of fir wood and measures 18-1/4-inches in width by 19-3/4 inches in height when assembled.
Other things included with this kit are a solid bottom board, entrance reducer, inner cover, metal telescoping roof, and a queen excluder. Pre-cut finger joints and heavy duty nails make this hive easy to assemble. The wood is not painted or treated in any way, so it is recommended that you either paint or stain the hive to protect it from the elements.
Overall, a really good beehive, as long as you are up to the task of assembling and painting it.
The Vivo Complete Beekeeping Box Kit comes with 2 boxes and 20 frames. As you can see in the picture, the boxes are different sizes, so you will receive 10 medium and 10 deep frames to fit the appropriate boxes. For your convenience, each frame also includes hexagonal surface foundation sheets.
The 2 hive boxes are made of quality untreated pine wood. Since the wood is untreated, it is recommended that you stain or paint this hive for added protection. Not only does this hive look great stained, customers have found it to be easy to assemble, thanks to the included step by step manual and tight fitting pieces. All necessary hardware is also included with this kit.
It’s also worth mentioning that VIVO also makes a great hive stand that fits this hive perfectly. It’s important to keep your beehives elevated off the ground, so no matter what hive you choose, I’d recommend getting or building a hive stand.
Probably the most aesthetic of all the hives, the Flow Hive is also designed differently than the traditional Langstroth beehive. The main feature of the flow hive is that it has a tap, which allows honey to flow out of it. This is a completely new way to harvest honey which eliminates the need for a honey extractor.
The design looks more complicated than other hives, and that may intimidate new beekeepers, but many beginner beekeepers have enjoyed using the Flow hive. You may also notice that the Flow Hive costs more than other beehives, but that is because of it’s patented revolutionary honey harvesting method. Think of it as an investment, because when properly taken care of, the Flow hive will last you for years to come.
Not only is this way of retrieving honey good for beekeepers, it is also beneficial for the bees. The hive doesn’t even need to be opened to harvest honey, which means that the bees are safe and unbothered.
Flow hives are also made with high quality materials in the US and Australia. All plastics used are BPA and BPS free food grade plastic, keeping the bees healthy and their honey pure. Premium western red cedar is the wood used to construct this hive.
Overall, the Flow hive offers an amazing way to harvest honey that no other beehive can replicate. You really must see it for yourself.
The Hoover Hives Complete Langstroth Beehive is different than the other beehive kits I previously mentioned because it comes with 3 boxes. 2 of them are deep brood boxes and 1 is a medium super box. These boxes are made to fit 8 frames, instead of 10 like the Mann Lake, Honey Keeper, and VIVO beehives. 24 frames with food grade plastic foundations are also included. The foundations are already coated with beeswax.
Other things included with this hive kit are a metal telescoping top cover, solid bottom board, inner cover, queen excluder, and entrance reducer. This beehive does require assembly and a detailed instruction manual is included with the hive. All parts are precut with tight fitting dovetail joints. The boxes are made of high quality fir, while the frames are made of pine.
While this beehive is not painted, it is wax coated so it will be naturally protected from the elements. Painting and staining this beehive is not necessary. Do not get this beehive if you prefer to paint designs on your hive, as the waxed boxes will make painting difficult.
Overall, this is a great, sturdy beehive. While it does require assembly, you do not have to paint it. The waxed wood looks attractive, as it shows off the natural grain of the wood.
If you are looking for where to buy beehives you have 2 options. You can buy beehives in person or online. Most people are not able to buy in person, due to their location, so the best place to purchase beehives is online. Amazon is a great place to buy beehives because they offer many different hives with fast, free shipping and a great return policy.