Recently I was asked on the phone if I sell local bees or bees that come from out of State. I emailed the gentleman back a said that we truck our bees to California to pollinate Almonds. After the bloom is over we then ship the bees back to Colorado typically late March. This did not sit well with him. In fact he mentioned that someone was selling
local bees that over wintered here in Colorado. Now I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person who sells bees, but these indivuals that are selling a “hardy overwintered queen” are in fact selling folks “old queens”. It’s a bad idea and well I think people these people telling folks they have some sort of survivor stock should just stop marketing it that way. That is a false classification of bees and queens. In my opinon this is actually not a hardy bee, nor is a stock anyone should buy. We’ve been bee keeping for over a decade. Although we know a few things about bees, we don’t know it all. Please take these tips as suggestions, and hopefully our logic alines with yours. Here are my top reasons for not buying an over wintered bee hive that is claimed to be a super bee. And buying a package from us shook in warm California make sense.
TOP 5 Reason why NOT to buy a wild “local” queen bee stock, or over wintered queens in hive or nuc.
1. Queen is at least one year old, and may not be able to continue to produce eggs for healthy colony numbers. Final act is now launched. (you will have to re-queen now $$$)
2. Queen will swarm in Spring, giving you a chance of a daughter if your lucky, but you could loose time to mating or she could mate with the wrong drone. Successful mating
with a random drone or drones is not always what your looking for.
3. Feral bees will come back at you in a negative way. If your plan on moving this hive to urban setting you may find her offspring is much more aggressive towards protecting the hive.(for sure not good for beginners or urban homesteaders)
4. Many will swear the bees are “wild local” bees, or “surviovor stock” be aware that many people who bee keep in the area are buying bees with queens raised from valid sources, this is the stock you really want. I often know and see these queens with a long line a genes that give each queen it’s traits. These folks who sell these wild, local bees often described as “wild bees” or “mite tolerante” when in fact the queens they are catching are the queens that were sold the prior year threw a valid source.
5. 98% of the queens swarming every spring are brought in on the trucks of commercial keepers. These bees have benefited from the almonds in California. People who claim to have “local” wild stock are caputring and selling you commercially raised queens in most cases. Don’t be fooled and do your homework.
Top 5 reasons to buy packages and Nucs with spring queens from this calendar year.
1. You will have less then 10% chance of the hive swarming on you in May and June. Bees shook in California are young and ready to go to work for the next 100 days.
2. The newly mated queen will have plenty of fertilized eggs to lay enough workers to collect a honey crop, and build up for the winter to come.
3. New queens are mated to have strong hygenic behavior and great genes. These reduces the chance for deceases that come with smaller colonies.
4. Spring queens come with a mite tollerent gene that helps them live with some levels of mites. Also the behavior of these queens have a much greater chance of being nice and non aggressive.
5. Spring queens give you a fresh start. You wont have to worry about requeen for at least one year. This will save you a great deal of stress.
Before I end, my advice is always make sure you have a spring queen. Always make sure you can ask questions and get real anwsers. And finally please research your source. It seems like almost everyone sees bees come spring. Good luck and we hope you find a great source.
Keeper of the bees
I wanted to share with you how we make nucs and package bees. Both videos are shot and produced by me. I don’t claim to be the best at making these videos but when I started making these videos I was one of the first to do so. I hope you enjoy.
How Apis Hive & Honey Co. makes it’s Package Bees prior to selling them.
How Apis Hive Makes it’s 5 Frame Honey Bee Nucs they sell every spring.