Package bees consist of 3 lbs of honey bees in a cage with a naturally mated Italian queen. Package bees are raised in northern California. Packages will arrive in April.
Update 3/27/15: Estimated Arrival Dates have been set. Customers have been assigned to a group (either A or B) and an email notification went out with your assigned group and more information about Bee Day.
Group A estimated arrival date is Wednesday April 15th.
Group B estimated Arrival Date is Wednesday April 22nd.
You may still order package bees. Any new orders coming in will be assigned to Group B only.
Update 4/13/15: Package Bees are still on track for delivery on the dates above.
Update: 4/17/15: Package Bees for Group B are still on track for delivery on 4/22. We have stopped taking orders for packages. To be on a wait list in case there are extra packages available, please email your name and phone # to email@example.com
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 available for $3.00 extra. We are now accepting orders for Queen Bees on a weekly basis through the first part of Sept. Queens typically arrive to our location on Tuesday mornings (by 10:30 am). You must submit your order by Friday (10 am) of the previous week. We do try to order extra queens each week so if you miss the deadline you can always call us to be on the wait list.
2015 Nucleus Hives: Italian or Carniolan (SOLD OUT) SOLD OUT 2015 Spring Nucleus hives. 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 the Spring
Update 3/27/15: Estimated Arrival dates have been set for Nuc Hives. Customers have been assigned to a group (A,B,C,D,E or F) and an email notification went out with your assigned group, pick up date and more information about Bee Day.
Group A Pick Up date: Tuesday April 7th
Group B Pick Up date: Friday April 10th
Group C Pick Up date: Monday April 13th
Group D Pick Up date: Monday April 20th
Group E Pick Up date: Tuesday April 28th
Group F Pick Up date: Friday May 1st
2015 Old Sol Late Season Nucleus Hives
Portland area Old Sol Nucs sold out. You can still contact Old Sol directly to order Nucs. The Nucs consist of 5 deep frames and arrive in a waxed cardboard nuc box. Available with either a Survivor Stock queen or a Caucasian queen. The Nucs are raised in Rogue River in Southern Oregon. If you have ordered an Old Sol Nuc, we will notify you as soon as possible of the arrival date. Exact dates TBD but we expect that the Nucs will be distributed in late May.
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.