We usually recommend beekeepers to buy hive parts individually, picking and choosing the style and quality of parts that fit their beekeeping style.
On normal years new beekeepers attend a beekeeping class and after taking the class about hive material options, they can place the orders. Since COVID hit one year ago, many classes and meetings have been suspended.
To make things easier, we have created a couple of starter hive options that include the hive items needed for installing a package or a nuc of bees:
Live Bee Transport Mesh
Many of our customers transport their nucs or packages inside their cars.
To keep the bees locked in, while maintaining ventilation they need during transport, we have released this new mesh, which fits one nuc, or up to two packages:
High-Quality Plastic Nuc
The designers of this plastic nuc kit were able to add many features to improve over the traditional nucs.
The lid includes ventilation options, a couple of feeding connectors (for different bottles or jugs sizes), and locks to prevent the frames to rattle during transport (frame movement during transport kills bees).
The nuc is made of durable plastic and it doesn’t require painting.
We have a big batch of Formic Pro with sell by date of April 2021. We have set a deep discounted sale price so all units will find a home (or hive) before that date!
The sale price will be active as long as supplies last. We do not ship Formic Pro, so it can only be bought for “pick up at store” and you will need to pick it up before the end of April.
If you buy more than what you need for this spring, you can store the leftover in the freezer for a long time. We just cannot sell the product past the sell-by date, but you can buy it and store it at low temperatures beyond that date.
Formic Pro is the only mite treatment that kills the mites even inside the capped brood cells. It can be used with honey supers on the hive.
For 2021 we have (while supplies last) Carniolan and Italian packages and nucs.
At the time we write this post, nucs show as sold out for the 2021 season. We’d recommend you to order packages while they’re available. If you are only interested in nucs, we’d recommend that you sign up for the waitlist, since we may be able to get a second batch of nucs this season.
You will be able to enter your email address and the website will send you a notification as soon as the 2021 season live bees become available for pre-order (you can decide if placing the order or not at that time).
Live bee sales would become available in early 2021 and we will have limited quantities. Pre-orders will be first-come-first-served.
It’s very important to treat your bee colonies for varroa mites before they make their “winter bees” at the end of the season.
Varroa mites feed on larvae and cause honey bees to have shorter lifespans. If your colony raises winter bees while they have mites in the hive, those winter bees will not survive through the whole winter. As bees die earlier, the winter cluster gets smaller and at some point, the colony doesn’t have enough bees to keep warm through winter (even though they may have plenty of honey nearby, they cannot reach it because the cluster is too cold).
If you still have honey supers on top of the hive, we recommend Formic Pro Strips or Hopguard, as they can be used while you have honey supers on.
If you already removed supers you can still treat for mites with the same two products or even use Oxalic Acid.
Formic Pro is more convenient for the beekeepers that have one to 10 hives, with Oxalic acid becoming more convenient for beekeepers with more hives.
People with orders will receive confirmation email about pick up schedule as we get close to nuc pick up day. We will spread pick up schedule to avoid many people coming at once. If you have an order, you will receive your personalized email about pickup schedule.
Please make sure that you receive BeeManiacs emails and that you check regularly the email account you entered when placing the order.
Bees in a package are very vulnerable and have a limited capability to regulate temperature and airflow. They depend on the beekeeper to provide the right environment during transport.
Once you have your package/s, we recommend you to go to your bee yard and install the bees as soon as possible.
We do not recommend transporting packages on the back of pick up trucks (unless you have some type of enclosure to protect the bees while allowing some ariflow). There could be too much airflow (cold air) or too much sun or even rain. Car trunks are not a good idea either, because they could get too hot and the lack of ventilation.
It would be better for the bees to ride in the vehicle with the beekeeper, with average or “room” temperatures. The longer the trip home, the more important it is to provide the right travel environment.
Just transport the package/s as you would a pet. Don’t leave the package inside a parked car (it could get too hot or too cold).
If you bring someone along for the ride, make sure they are comfortable with sharing the car with thousands of bees.
It may be a good idea to bring a veil or any protective gear, just in case.
Installing the package
Try to install the package mid-afternoon, to prevent robbing from existing colonies and reducing the chances of absconding.
Get the hive set up and ready to receive the bees ahead of time.
Take into account that the package is installed in one single box. If you bought a hive kit with multiple boxes, just use the first one. If you have a non-conventional hive, like top-bar, horizontal or AZ Slovenian hive, please note that you have to use follower boards or some kind of divider to make the chamber where the package is installed smaller.
You will need to feed the bees with sugar syrup (mix of granulated sugar and water 1:1) so make sure to have enough sugar and a feeder to deliver the syrup close to the bees.
A package that is installed correctly will start drawing out comb, have brood, and expand for the rest of the season. If there’s something wrong with the queen or the colony, we have about 7 days to solve the problem.
But when the conditions for the package are bad, all the bees could die within three days, without having a chance of establishing the colony (for example due to lack of syrup feed or if installed in a hive that is too big or has too many boxes).
Please note that if you ordered a package of bees through BeeManiacs, we are sending updates and notices to the email used when placing the order. Emails are received from “BeeManiacs” and using the MailChimp email distribution server. Just in case anyone didn’t receive the email, we’re also adding the content as a post.
Package pickup hours are from 8 am to noon on this Saturday, April 18.
Due to COVID-19 we will operate a drive-thru style pickup for this Saturday and we have recommended pick up hours based on the first name of the beekeeper that placed the order for packages.
The table below shows the suggested hours for picking up packages, based on which letter your name starts with. These are just suggestions to spread the number of cars during the whole pickup schedule, avoiding a traffic jam. If you cannot come at the recommended time, you can come at any time between 8:00 am and noon.
For example, if your name is Lisa, we recommend that you come to pick up your packages between 9:30 and 10:00 am.
You can enter BeeManiacs from the main entrance and head towards the Big Barn where the drive-thru line forms
While in the line, a BeeManiacs employee will approach and ask for the name of the person that placed the order
At that point, BeeManiacs staff will set your packages and any material you pre-ordered online at the pickup area (on top of a table or on the cement floor)
Stay in the line and continue driving until you reach the pickup area (concrete area outside the Big Barn)
You may now get out of your vehicle and load your bees/material
To exit, continue driving around the garden and BeeManiacs store building until you reach the main road
Please note that our store remains closed due to COVID-19. You can place online orders ahead of time (until Friday 17) and we will have the material ready for you to pick up with the bees.
Our BeeManiacs store is now closed and will remain closed until further notice.
Following WA State regulations and recommendations to avoid the spread of COVID-19 for non-essential stores, we decided to close our regular hours, minimizing in-person contact with the potential spread of the COVID-19.
To place orders for beekeeping supplies, you can just visit our online shop, place an order for “pick up at store” and we will confirm once it’s ready to pick up. Only beekeeping equipment is available at this time and we’re not selling honey until the store is back open for in-person visits.
If you have questions about what to buy, how to use the equipment or any beekeeping question in general, you can take advantage of our online forum system. Most beekeeping classes and meetings in the area have been canceled, so having a way to clear your questions online should be of great help to local beekeepers.