Colony marketing is an important venture in Werieleke district of Tigray region in Ethiopia. This research was conducted in Nebelet and Maikinetal colony market centres of the district to characterize market actors, colonies, the markets and prices by interviewing 120 market actors. This was run for 6 market days at one week interval (July to September in 2010) by interviewing 5 sellers and 5 purchasers from each market daily. The price of colony in Nebelet was significantly higher than that of Maikinetal (P < 0.0001). The highest price was found at the 3rd week of August in Nebelet (925 ± 11.64) and at the 2nd week of August in Maikinetal (596 ± 11.64). Colony marketing had been neglected in the area. Difficulties in determining quality of queen, deserting worker bees, damaging bees by heat and suffocation, comb breakage, lack of awareness on safety, lack of protective are some of the constraints faced. Colonies are flowing from the highlands, which may result in genetic erosion and other problems. Therefore, a law should be established to standardize marketable colonies, conserve bee biodiversity and avoid disease transmission. Beekeepers should be encouraged to multiply their own colonies and rear queens at their specific sites.
Key words: Beekeeping, colony, marketing, queen rearing, price