2018 Honeybee Availability

We carry nucleus colonies, honeybee packages, and queen bees. Orders for nucs and packages are taken beginning in December for the following year, and are scheduled for pick-up at the garden center in late April/early May. Queens are available throughout the spring and summer months.

2018 Carniolan Queen - Marked

Queens will be shipped to us at the beginning of the week, and you’ll be notified when they arrive here for pick-up. Because of factors out of our control (like weather or shipping delays) we can’t guarantee a pick-up date, but we’ll make sure we let you know what’s going on!

Queens will arrive in a cage with attendants, and marked with a red colored mark. (The color indicates the year the queen was born. 2018 is red.)

About Carniolan Queens

Carniolan bees originated in Carniola (which is part of Slovenia) and the surrounding regions. They are popular in our area among backyard and hobbyist beekeepers because of their typically gentle disposition and their ability to quickly adjust their population in response to nectar flows. With such a short warm season, this is a critical factor in success of the colony.

Please select the date for the WEEK you would like to pic-up your bees.

Available Week:
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2018 VSH Italian Queen - Marked

Queens will normally arrive here every Thursday morning. Because of factors out of our control (like weather or shipping delays) we can’t guarantee a pick-up day or time, so please call before coming to pick-up your queens to be sure they have arrived on schedule.

Queens will be marked with a red dot to indicate that they were born this year. Each queen will be in a small cage with a candy plug at one end.

About VSH Italian Queens

VSH-Italian queen bees are bred exclusively from instrumentally inseminated VSH breeders, and are selected for mite resistance, gentleness and rapid spring buildup.  VSH stands for Varroa Sensitive Hygiene, and is one of the keys to keeping healthy, mite-resistant colonies.  The VSH trait was originated from USDA stock in Louisiana, and later developed commercially by a number of US commercial queen breeders.

Bees exhibiting the VSH trait interfere with the reproduction of varroa mites by detecting and removing bee pupae that are infested with varroa mites.  This VSH activity slows the spread of varroa, and can help keep mite populations below damaging thresholds for long stretches of time, potentially reducing the need for chemical treatments.  Bees that are bred to have high VSH traits are not only vigilant in their resistance to varroa mites, but they are also super-hygienic in general, which gives them excellent natural resistance against American Foulbrood and Chalkbrood.

Please select the date for the WEEK you would like to pic-up your bees.

Available Week:
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2018 Honeybee Nuc - MAY ORDER

We got lucky and were able to secure a second order of nucs for this spring. Anyone placing an order for this item will get their bees, weather permitting, the second weekend in May.

UPDATE: If you have ordered a nuc(s) for May, the pick up date is tentatively scheduled for Saturday May 19th, 6:30-8:00 am. Please check your email for often for confirmation or any possible changes.

We recommend that new beekeepers begin their adventure by purchasing a nucleus colony, or a "nuc." A nuc is, in simplest terms, a small, portable working colony. This colony is installed into your hive in your apiary and can continue working immediately. The nuc consists of a laying queen, two to three frames with brood in all stages from eggs to hatching workers, two frames of honey and pollen stores.

5+ frame honeybee nucleus colony, including mated queen.

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2018 Honeybee Package

A package of bees is exactly what is sounds like: a package with bees in it. A package comes with approximately 3 pounds of bees, plus a mated Italian queen in a cage, and a food supply for the journey.

Packages are ideal for installation into a dead-out colony or a top bar or warre style hive, as there are no frames. 

After installation, the bees will begin to build comb or use what is existing in the hive. 

Package pick-up day is tentatively scheduled for the first weekend in May, though this is a moving target due to weather. We'll keep you informed via email as we get closer to the pick-up date.

All bee orders are non-refundable.

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What do I do with my bees when I get them home?

We know picking up your first box full of bees can be a little intimidating. We hope to make it as not scary as possible for new beekeepers. Check out our "Nuc Pick-up and Installation Guide" for step by step instructions about what to do before, during and after picking up your bees. 

Nuc Pick-up and Installation Guide