1. Where do the Bees come from? We get our bees from McMinnville, OR. A similar climate as ours in the North West.
2. Are they Almond Bees? They have been off the Almond pollination for three weeks or more. Giving them a rest and chance to raise new nurse bees.
3. Where are the Queens from? We get our Spring Queens from Northern California.
4. How are they transported? They are transported in the early morning from McMinnville, OR. North. They are in an enclosed trailer with a soft ride suspension. There are fans installed in the trailer and several fresh air vents to keep the bees cool. NOTE: It's not the outside of the stack of bees that get hot, it's the middle bottom portion of the stack of bees. There are also air vents to let the air out. We keep the Bees cool. If they are flying in the cages they get hot and over heat and die. The ride has to be soft. Reason not many know this but the bees can only get knocked down from a bump in the road two times. They get to weak to climb back up and they get hot and throw up and get all wet and die in a heap at the bottom of the cage.
5. How long have the bees been in the package? Not long by the time you receive them. Approximately 12 hours. We package them in the afternoon, then store them in a cool dark warehouse to get them clustered up real tight for the travel. We don't sit the bees outside in the sun. If they are going to Alaska, I take them to Portland Airport immediately after they are installed in the packages. Upon arrival there we check them in at the freight shed and they go into a cooler. A hot bee is an unhappy bee. This cooler is 50 degrees with air circulating to keep the bees cool. Less Stress, also forming a tighter cluster. It is OK for the bees to be in the cage for a few days. They will need fed as there is only enough food for transportation to the customer. Our feed cans are designed to be opened at the top and more food 1-1 Sugar Syrup poured into the can. White Refined Sugar Only!!
6. How long before I can release the Queen? Or expose the candy plug? Four days should be just right, five if you like.
7. I've heard of a "direct release", what is that and should I do it? It's when the queen is let loose without letting the nurse bees chew Threw the candy plug. Someone came up with the bright idea to do this to get her into the population and laying quicker. DO NOT DO THIS!!! She will fly away and die. They will also BALL her. Then you're looking around for another queen. The package you receive from Northwest Bee Supply have not been with the queen for days like California packages. DO NOT DO THIS!! If you insist I have Queens for 28.00 plus shipping. There is always someone every year that does this. Please don't do this.
8. Do I need to feed the bees? Yes, feed them like crazy. Use "Complete Bee" at least two feedings. Complete Bee comes in 100ml bottles. It's the finest product on the market. Others are trying to copy Complete, but the formula is proprietary. The Bees eat a lot of syrup and if you're building comb they eat even more. Feed 1:1 Sugar Syrup in the spring mixed with Complete. See our link on mixing instructions. If you are not going to hive them for a day please feed the Bees as they only have enough food for one day in the can. Make sure you put a Pollen patty on the bees as well. Without pollen the bees can not feed the brood properly. The bees need extra pollen during the build up of young. It's pretty simple, no pollen no brood. Lots of pollen lots more brood.
9. Can I get a marked Queen? No. This is the number one reason queens die. I don't want to be replacing dozens of queens because they were marked. If you mark the queen all of my Queen replacement responsibilities are null and void. I will not replace your queen if you mark her when she dies later! If I have an extra ones, they are 28.00 plus shipping when you get your friend to mark her and she dies. This happens every year.
10. What is the acceptable amount of dead bees in a package? One inch. We strive for "0" but sometimes we get a few. If there is one inch before we load them rest assured we have put one half pound more bees in. We always give more bees than you bargained for.
11. How many bees are in a pound of bees? 5000 bees to the pound. More or Less.
12. Why get a Four Pound Package of bees here in the North West? Because a Four pound package will be able to keep more brood warm. The queen then will lay eggs. The bees will kill the brood they can't keep warm. A three pound hive will dwindle down to 10,000 bees in the first month before the new ones hatch. That's a minimum amount of bees in a cool climate. If you get a four pound package there will be 15000 bees at the end of the month. The brood hatches and your on your way to a strong hive of 60,000 bees by the time come the nectar flow arrives. You must feed and pollen patty the new package.
13. I'm new will you answer questions? Sure will! I spend about two months on the phone before the bees are delivered. I will come to your club and talk as well. Donations are greatly appreciated.
14. Will you come to speak at our club? Yes. I will speak for 20.00 per person, plus expenses.
15. How many packages should I start out with? I always recommend two. WHY? If you lose one you have another hive. If a queen dies you have another hive to combine them with. You will get more honey. You'll get to see how different they are. 'll learn twice as fast. I got two the first time Myself. WHY? Because the package supplier that knew more about bees than me said and.
16. How often should I inspect the hive? Every seven to ten days. That being said: don't go in an look for the queen. Look for where she has been. Look for eggs, brood, and capped brood. If you see her it's should be a surprise! Now, if you do see her place the frame carefully back into the hive and close it up and leave them alone for as long as you can stand it. 7 days. Feed often every other day when building up comb. Every time you feed don't tear the hive up looking at things. You take a Hugh chance of rolling (killing) her.
17. What is Megabee and how to make it? I sell it by the pound and ready made. I have a great recipe and the bees eat it up.
18. What is and how to make 1:1 sugar syrup.
19. How often do you fed the bees? I check the food every three days. I don't want them to run out of food when building comb or when building brood. Just a note: Don't use any brown, organic sugars thinking you are doing the bees a favor by feeding them ORGANIC food. They get dysentery on these foods. The Particles are to big to digest and they eat and don't gain weight and die. Use Complete Bee food supplement for the best results. Complete Bee is a new product. Get it and use it as directions say. Your bees will live longer and have more vitality. Complete Bee is being used in 30 countries where the government certifies the product. It must work and be natural or it is not allowed to be sold.
20. I see drones in the package. Yes there are drones in there. It's the way we set up our hives and the way we package them. The drones will help keep the brood warm. The hive wants a certain percentage of drones anyway. But cause this got asked, this is one of the reason we put in a half pound more bees.
21. Why use Complete Bee food Supplement? Cause the bees need good food after transport. To help build brood faster, with all the and vitamins in Complete the bees live longer. Living longer means a healthier colony and more honey.
22. Do I need a pollen patty? Yes your sure do. We have the best pollen patty available. Made from AP23. We are the only package supplier or pollen patty supplier to pack the patty with Complete Bee a full strength triple powered supplement. When its cool outside there isn't much high grade pollen they can forage. The protein is needed to fatten up the queen and make food for the bees being hatched. Give the bees a good start and feed one of our high quality Megabee pollen patty's with Complete Bee with our special proprietary formula.
23. Is it mandatory to feed Nosevit in the sugar syrup? Yes, although Complete has it in there already. (Please read about Nozevit in the link below). In our opinion the healthier the colony the better. This is proven under normal conditions to help rid the mid gut of the bee of Nosema C. Nozevit also balances the PH of the bee so that it can up take the nutrients. This from the university of Zagreb, Croatia on the Nosevit. We have the study linked on the Home Page. In that country the Federal Government by law mandates bee keepers cannot feed fumigelin or any other chemicals to the bees. Nozevit is natural product.
24. Is it a good idea to know the life cycle of the honey bee? Yes, memorize the life cycle. In doing so you will be able to see what stage your hive is in.
25. Do you want the packages back? Sure! Because I don't charge you for them. Ha, they are new this year. The cans are special also as they don't leak and they are new this year. Plus you can refill the can it has a lid like a paint can on top. If you are one of those folks that rips the side out of the box to get the bees out then keep the box. I'll get you next year. Believe it or not it is not necessary to rip the box apart to get bees out. They are flying insects and want to be in with the rest of the other bees. They will come out given a chance.
25. I'm a new bee keeper, how many Packages should I get? If your new get two. Why, because anything can happen and a Queen dieing is not what you want. If she does die or some other thing happens to your hive, you have another to keep going. IT'S FARMING not everything is perfect. If the Queen dies the hive dies. If you have two you can combine that Queenless hive with the other hive and still have bees. It takes a week sometimes to get a Queen, in that time you will get a laying worker. If that happens they won't accept the new queen.
Check out my soon to be posted hiving a package of bees in bad weather. Simple and easy.
Feed your Bees more than just sugar syrup...Mix in "COMPLETE" It's really more than a Feed Stimulant.
Important First Steps in Starting Beekeeping
- “Read the book First Lessons in Beekeeping by C.P. Dadant.” – A fully developed list of beekeeping books can be found on the What to Read page of this site.
- “Get stung! It’s going to happen a lot.”
- “Join a beekeeping group.”
- “Go local! Visit a beekeeping farm or beekeeper in your area.”
- “Read, read, read! Study, study, study!”
- “Ask lots of questions!”
- “Nurture the desire, intelligence, and patience required to care for another living creature.”
- “Research the initial equipment/bees costs and what the time commitment will be.”
- “Assess the amount of work there is in beekeeping. Take the number of days you plan on working per month and multiply that number by 7. That is the work you will need to do. Take that time and add any special stuff to it such as honey recovery, super, work, and nucleus building. There’s the time and effort – sure you want to be a beekeeper?”
- “Get a mentor that will show you their hives and let you work with them.”
- “Get among the bees – this is the litmus test. You will either be filled with joy, wonder, and amazement (you have the heart of a beekeeper), or fear and dread (find another hobby!).”
- “Maintain perspective. Stay calm and relaxed. Easy does it with everything.”