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 shop online.
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Where to Buy Beehives
Buy In Person
Unfortunately, unless you live near a manufacturer, there aren’t many places to buy beehives and beekeeping supplies. 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 live within a reasonable distance to an apiary, you can reach out to them to see if they make and sell hives and accessories. It is very valuable to have a local resource that can support you in beekeeping.
Another option is to buy a beehive from a beekeeper. They may be able to offer you used beehives for sale. 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, smokers, and parts is to order them online. You can even shop for beehives for sale 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.
My favorite place to order beehives online is Galena Farms. Galena farms sells the following beehive brands: Hoover Hives, Busy Bees ‘n’ More, and NuBee, as well as other supplies and accessories. They may not have as large of a selection as Amazon, but they offer high quality bee hives for great prices.
For a more in depth review on Galena Farms, see my review here.
Choosing the Right Bee Hive
How do you choose a beehive? It can seem a little daunting to choose a beehive when there are so many different options. By following the guidelines below you will be sure to find the perfect beehive for you.
What to Look For in a Beehive
- Wax Coating
- Honey Harvesting
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 or garden, and others paint elaborate designs on them.
A great alternative to painting your beehive is to use a wax coating instead. Wax coated beehives are very durable, as the wax coating provides a waterproof layer to the wood. Beekeepers also like wax coated hives because beeswax is used, which is non toxic and good for the bees.
It is difficult to wax coat a beehive yourself, as it requires special equipment. So, if you want to go this route, I suggest buying a hive that has already been dipped in wax. My favorite wax dipped hives are from Hoover Hives.
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. Click here for more information on wood 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.
One of the main benefits of beekeeping is the sweet honey. 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.
Galena Farms, on the other hand offers free shipping for all orders over $50 within the continental United States. So basically, if you order a beehive you will get free shipping.
In my experience, I’ve received my hives from Galena Farms very quickly. They ship out orders within 24 hours, so you can expect to get your items in 2-4 days.
Click here to see Galena Farms
Our Top Beekeeping Picks
|Mann Lake Complete Bee Hive 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||Click Here|
|Top||Hoover Hives Natural Bees Wax Coated 10 Frame Bee Hive||-Wax coated boxes -Food grade plastic foundations||Click Here|
|Honey Keeper Beehive 20 Frame Complete Box Kit||-20-Frame Hive 10 Deep and 10 Medium -Complete kit that is easy to assemble||Click Here|
|VIVO Complete Beekeeping 20 Frame Beehive Box 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||Click Here|
|Flow Hive 2 Cedar 6 Frame||-Easily extract honey without harming bees -Made with high quality materials and construction||Click Here|
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 Hoover Hives Complete Langstroth Beehive is different than the other beehive kits I previously mentioned because it comes with 3 boxes, while most come with 2. This kit comes with 2 deep brood boxes and 1 medium super box.
You can also choose to order a hive that fits either 8 or 10 frames. Depending on what size beehive you choose, either 24 or 30 frames with food grade plastic foundations will also be included. The foundations for the brood frames are black, while the foundations for the super frames are yellow. For your convenience, both 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. This is a great option for beekeepers who would like to avoid using toxic paint on their hives. 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 an attractive, sturdy beehive and a great value for the money. 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.
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 VIVOHOME Beehive comes with 3 boxes and 30 frames. 2 of the boxes are deep brood boxes, while the top one is a medium honey super. This hive is made out of cedar wood and has notched joints for easy assembly.
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.
Also included with this kit are a detachable bottom board, entrance reducer, an inner cover, top cover, queen excluder, 20 deep frames, 10 medium frames and all foundation. It’s a good setup for anyone getting started in beekeeping and experienced beekeepers as well.
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.
I’ve linked the Flow Hive listing on Amazon below, but the hive has been out of stock for several months. In that case, I’d recommend purchasing a Flow Hive directly from their website. You can do so here.
If you are looking for where to buy beehives you have 2 options. You can buy beehives in person or shop online. Most people are not able to buy in person, due to their location, so the best place to purchase beehives is online. Amazon and Galena Farms are great places to buy beehives because they offer many different hives with fast, free shipping and a great return policy.
This post was originally published on November 5, 2019 and was updated on March 2nd, 2022.