Package bees consist of 3 lbs of honey bees in a cage with a naturally mated Italian queen. The bees are raised in northern California. Packages are distributed in April. Order here.
Estimated arrival dates:
Group 1 pick up date: April 13, 2016 (7:00 am- 7:00 pm)
Group 2 pick up date: April 20, 2016 (7:00 am- 7:00 pm)
Nuc Hives consist of 4 deep frames of honey bees and brood in a wood nuc box. The queen is a young, naturally mated queen that has already been introduced into the hive. Nucleus Hives are raised in Colton, Oregon. Nucs are distributed over a few week period in April. For more details visit the online store.
Estimated arrival dates:
Group 1 pick up date: April 8, 2016 (8:00 am - 12:00 pm) SOLD OUT
Group 2 pick up date: April 22, 2016 (8:00 am - 12:00 pm) Available
Group 3 pick up date: April 29, 2016 (8:00 am - 12:00 pm) Available
5 Deep frame nucleus hive from Old Sol Apiaries. Queens are Survivor Stock. The 5 frames include: 2 frames capped brood, 1 frame open brood, 1 frame of stores/feed and 1 frame to grow on. Order here
Estimated arrival date:
May 6, 2016 (8:00 am - 12:00 pm)
Queen Bees (available starting April 2016)
Queen bees will be available weekly from approximately April-early September. Queens are naturally mated. They come in a 3-hole cage and have attendants and a food supply. Varieties are Italian and New World Carniolan. Both are bred for hygienic behavior. Marked queens are $3.00 extra.
About Italian and Carniolan bees:
Colony behavior can vary significantly from hive to hive. Further, bee behavior can change by selective breeding within the race. Keep in mind that bee traits you see described on websites and in beekeping books are often citing the traits of the original stock (from Italy or Slovenia, for example) but these European (old world) bees have been selectively bred in North America (new world) for specific traits since they were first introduced here from Europe. So they might deviate in behavior from the old world stock.
The Italian bee is generally described as gentle and productive. We handle thousands of colonies, and we find this to be true. We consider the Italian bee to be great for suburban beekeeping because of its gentle characteristics combined with good honey productivity. The New World Carniolan bee is thought to do well in colder, more mountainous climates. But, in our experience, the New World Carniolan tends to be quicker to defend its hive, so is perhaps less well suited to backyard beekeeping where you have close neighbors. Carniolans also tend to maintain a smaller cluster during the winter, and are late to build up brood in the spring--great traits for mountain foothill bee survival. However, the increase is quick when it happens, which can lead to unexpected swarming early in the season.