Any Beekeepers??? Help

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Unregistered-1427815803, Mar 12, 2004.

  1. I am searching for a supplier of bee packages in the midwest to restock a few hives that winter killed. I am having a hard time finding reasonably priced packages in our area. I have never had bees shipped before, we went to a local area supplier to pick them up when packages came in, but that is one weekend, and that weekend I cannot go. Help! Have any of you shipped from California suppliers? How did the packages tolerate the long ship? Any leads for suppliers you could share? Thanks so much!! BTW I am located in Nebraska.
     
  2. Annie in S.E. Ohio

    Annie in S.E. Ohio Active Member

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    Jun 17, 2002
    Location:
    SE Ohio
    Brushy Mountain Bee Farm, Inc. has some of the best prices around, and they ship bees anywhere. 1-800-233-7929, I don't know if they have a website.
     

  3. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    I prefer to buy my queens/packages locally. If they are being shipped to you then I would make sure you have arrangements made in advance. For example, if it is going USPS, speak with your local postmaster beforehand. Give him/her a phone number you can be reached at when they arrive. The idea is to minimize the stress on the bees.

    Good Luck.

    Mike
     
  4. xbeeman412

    xbeeman412 Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2002
    I would be more inclined to start my own nuces rather than buying package bees. Start feeding any remaning hives now to stimulate the queen to start laying. Once she has started a good laying patern take 2 frames of brood and bees and move them to a hivebody with a frame or 2 of honey and pollen. You can start your own queen cells by taking the queen to the new hive with only capped brood and leaving the fresh eggs in the old hive. with in 10 days you will have a whole lot of queen cells drawn in the queenless hive. These can be made into more neucs.

    Hope this may be a help to You.

    God Bless and have a great weekend.
     
  5. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    xbeeman,

    I thought of recommending splitting the remaining hives but if he only has a few hives it will cut into his honey production and the amount of money on the table isn't all that much.

    I do splits on our own hives but because we are growing our business we also buy packages. It's not always easy to predict what your overwinter losses are going to be. Past years I have used 25% losses (including weak hives that I merge into another one) for financial purposes. This year I figured it was going to be higher and used 50% for planning purposes. In NE Ohio we had an early frost in September that basically eliminated the late honey flow from goldenrod. A lot of beekeepers had high losses last winter. With all the rain over the summer I didn't feel like the hives were looking as strong as I would like. So I ordered 10 packages. Part of this has to do with my desire to only run carnolians at our new apiary. I'll do splits off of existing hives at our current apiary to make up for any losses there. The 10 packages I get I'll build up this year and then do splits (probably get 3 out of each hive) next year from the best looking hives. If they build fast and look really good I might split them this year.

    Another thing to do is to try and get on the swarm list with your area bee club. Have some inexpensive cards made for you at www.vistaprint.com and give them to the local police, sheriff, etc. Tell them that you will get swarms (free bees! Only downside is you won't have a clue about the genetics of the bees).

    As usual, just my 2 cents.

    Mike
     
  6. Thanks for the input. Mike, last year I caught 3 swarms in neighboring towns and one of the swarms was soooo aggresive. I requeened that hive and it helped only a little. Thankfully that was one of the hives that winter killed!!! So, I am looking for some gentle package bees!
     
  7. Lou

    Lou Member

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    Oct 27, 2002
    Location:
    Mississippi

    http://www.beeequipment.com/

    1-800-BEESWAX
     
  8. Buffy in Dallas

    Buffy in Dallas Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Location:
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    I don't think I would trust wild bees unless you are absolutly sure you are Nowhere Near an area that has killer bees. (like 3 to 4 hundred miles) Those things are MEAN!