Have questions? We've got answers! This time of year, our phones are ringing off the hook. To get the fastest answers to your simplest questions, check out this list of FAQs!
As a reminder, please note that all reservations must be done on the phone or in-store, as online bee-purchases are not yet available.
Haven't bought your bees yet? Visit our BUY BEES page to learn more,
then stop by the store or give us a call to reserve!
Q: Where do I pick up my bees?
A: TBA ~ don't worry, you will receive an email as SOON as we know!
Q: What if I'm not available on the date of pick up?
A: Our pick up works in waves. If you're not available during the first wave, we'll push your name to the top of the list of the second, and then so forth until there are no more waves left.
Unfortunately, there is no way for us to save your nuc for you if you cannot pick up on any of these days. Our best advice is to ask a friend (perhaps from your local bee club) to pick it up on your behalf and have them do the initial installation for you.
Q: I want to have someone mark my queen. How do I go about doing this?
A: Queen-Marking services are available first-come, first-serve on the day of pick up, and can be paid in cash or check. The fee this year will be $7.00.
Q: Can I keep the cardboard nuc box?
A: Unfortunately we must ask for these waxed cardboard boxes to be returned. However, if you want to keep them we will need to charge $6.00 to your account. (These boxes normally cost $8.00 retail.)
Q: Can I leave my bees in their nuc box?
A: No. If you leave them in their nuc box too long, they will swarm.
Q: What breeds of bees are available?
A: The bees from our supplier are Italians or Carniolans, or a hybrid of the two.
Q: What if I want a specific breed of bees?
A: Unfortunately, you can't request a specific breed at this time– we suggest you reserve an italian or carniolan queen, which is possible with us, to guarantee a breed. You will have to requeen your hive yourself, as we will be unable to replace your queen in your nuc ahead of time.
Q: How do I install my nuc?
A: Before the day of pick up, make sure your bee yard, bear fence, and hive are bee-ready. (For example, it may be a good idea to paint your bee-boxes ahead of time, as after your bees arrive, it will be quite difficult to do!) If you're a first timer, you may want to have your bee-mentor or a friend from your bee club assist you in installation. Your steps will essentially consist of a night-before prep for feeding, picking up your bees, putting them in the hive, and observing as things go forward.
The Night Before:
Prep a sugar syrup with a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water for feeding when your bees arrive.
The Day of:
Pick up your bees as early as possible– the longer they're locked in their nuc box, the more bees' lives are at risk from overheating. Make sure the screened entrance is secure so they won't escape in the car, and that they won't tip over or be overheated in the journey home so they arrive unagitated. Once at the bee yard, light up your smoker. Put on your entrance reducer and open your hive by taking off your telescoping top and inner cover and leave your brood box accessible. (If you have a deep, all you have to take off are these covers. If you have double mediums, or have extra honey supers, take off all the supers.)
Remove the center five frames in your hive. Open your nuc box and lightly smoke your bees. Replace these frames, one at a time, where you removed the five empty frames in your box, in the same order that they were in the nuc box, checking that you have a queen, and removing any queen cells as you go. After putting the bees in the hive, make sure to feed your bees with whatever method you've chosen (we don't suggest entrance feeders at this time or for beginning beekeepers as they can cause robbing). Close up the hive and leave the nuc box out and open nearby, so any straggling bees can fly into their new home as evening falls.
Your bees have taken up residence at your hive! Do not disturb your bees for at least a week, letting them acclimate to their new home in peace.