B-Day tomorrow, Sunday, April 24th

We sent an email update today, Saturday, April 23:

https://mailchi.mp/ee76063c6b35/package-bee-bee-day-date-confirmation-13621417

We look forward to seeing you at the drive-thru package and nuc pickup, tomorrow Sunday, from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm (we don’t have alphabetically assigned pickup times this year).

The weather finally improved and it will be very nice for installing bees at this time. 

Make sure to provide sugar syrup to your live bees (package and nucs) from the moment they’re installed in their hive. (even if you have frames with honey from previous years, you need to feed the new bees 1:1 sugar syrup).

Note for Nuc customers: Our Nuc supplier confirmed that they locked the queens in self-release cages to minimize transport losses. If the bees already released the queen, you can remove the cage. If the queen is still in the cage, you can hand release that queen into the hive.

Package customers: If you would like to have a printout of instructions handy during package installation, you can download and print our instructions page. You can preview the pdf file at this link. 

In case you run into any problems, contact us by email at [email protected] as soon as possible.

We will get back to you over email to help resolve any issues.

For example, if you receive a dead queen in the package, we will be replacing it. It’s normal for about 3% of the packages to reject the queen and the supplier provides the replacements. We will coordinate over email on when to exchange the dead queen for a new one.

We can help you resolve most problems within the first week, as long as we’re contacted right away.

Getting Ready for the Bees

Please check your email and if you didn’t receive an update on April 19, check your spam or other email folders and adjust your email to make sure you receive our updates.

This is the link to the email sent: https://mailchi.mp/235cdb6fd388/package-bee-bee-day-date-confirmation-13620753

Finally, the weather will be improving a little bit this weekend, when the bees arrive.

Transport requirements for Nucs and Packages are a little different.

Nucs are usually easy to transport, as long as they’re provided enough air circulation. Honey bees in the nuc can easily warm themselves up to the right temperature but could have a harder time removing excess heat while being enclosed inside the transport cardboard box. 

Bees in a package are very vulnerable and have a limited capacity to regulate temperature and airflow. They depend on the beekeeper to provide the right environment during transport.

Sunday, April 24 should be a nice day for transporting and installing bees. 

Transport tips

  • Once you have your bees, please try to install them on that same day or keep them safe until installation.
    • Packages should be installed on the same day.
    • Nucs can be installed within a couple of days (you still need to place them on their permanent location and remove the plug so they can fly in and out of the cardboard box).
  • 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 airflow). There could be too much airflow (cold air) or too much sun or even rain. Car trunks are not a good idea for packages or nucs either, because they could get too hot and lack ventilation.
  • Nucs could be transported on the backs of pickup trucks.
  • 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 live bees inside a parked car (it could get too hot).
    • Once you get the bees, go straight to the installation location.
  • 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. Bees are smart and sometimes figure out how to get out of any enclosure.

Installing the bees

  • Get the hive hardware set up and ready to receive the bees ahead of time.
  • 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. You must feed sugar syrup to the bees, even if you can provide frames with honey from previous colonies (the syrup provides nutrition, water, and encourages the bees to settle down in the new hive and prepare the combs for the colony).
  • The colony should be 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 a 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.
    • If you have a Flow hive, you cannot use the plastic Flow frames when installing your bees (you need to use a box with standard frames).
  • Try to install the bees mid-afternoon, to prevent robbing from existing colonies and reducing the chances of absconding (when they all take off and leave) and drifting (when they go from one colony to a different one).
    • The bees need time to settle down, gather around the queen, and warm-up before temperatures drop, so try not to install right before dusk.

A colony that is installed correctly will start drawing out the comb, rear 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 colony 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).

For installing a Nuc you just need to move the frames into the hive. 

If you would like to have a printout of instructions handy to install your package, you can download and print our instructions page. You can preview the pdf file at this link. 

Mini marshmallows will be available for you to take home with the packages.

In case you run into any problems, email us at [email protected] as soon as possible. We can help you resolve most problems, as long as we’re contacted right away within the first week.

Live Bees Pickup Schedule

Another update was sent by email to all the beekeepers that bought live bees from BeeManiacs. Please check your email and if you didn’t receive anything on April 15, check your spam or other email folders and adjust your email to make sure you receive our updates.

This is the link to the email sent: https://mailchi.mp/93a81b90c89e/package-bee-bee-day-date-confirmation-13620213

Package and nuc pickup hours are from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm on Sunday, April 24.

Pickup address:
7619 W Woolard Rd
Deer Park, WA 99006

Drive-Thru process

  1. You can enter BeeManiacs from the main entrance and head towards the Big Barn where the drive-thru line forms
  2. While in the line, a BeeManiacs employee will approach and ask for the name of the person that placed the order
  3. At that point, BeeManiacs staff will set your packages and any material you pre-ordered online at the pickup area
  4. Stay in the line and continue driving until you reach the pickup area (concrete area outside the Big Barn)
  5. You may now get out of your vehicle and load your bees/material
  6. To exit, continue driving around the garden and BeeManiacs store building until you reach the main road

Please note that our store remains closed for in-person visits. You can place online orders for equipment and tools ahead of time (until Friday 4/22) and we will have the material ready for you to pick up with the bees.

Live Bees Pickup Email Update

We are already sending emails to all beekeepers that ordered packages or nucs. If you ordered bees, please check your email and make sure you get these updates regarding pickup date. Later we will send more updates and information as we get closer to bee day.

In this link, you can see the email update content: https://mailchi.mp/53c8d07db81a/package-bee-bee-day-date-confirmation-13617385

Below we transcribe some of the updated content.

Everything is looking good for a pickup date of Sunday, April 24.

The queens are mating with good weather in CA and at this time the suppliers don’t anticipate any production issues or delays.

For pickup, we recommend that you do not bring anyone that is afraid of bees. While the bees are enclosed in their box, there will be bees flying around.

We’d recommend transporting the packages at “room temperature” and most beekeepers will transport packages with them inside the vehicle to avoid overheating or too much airflow.

If you are getting nucs this year, we’d recommend transporting the nucs secured on the back of a pickup truck with plenty of ventilation. They need air circulation to be able to cool off the colony

If you bring the bees inside the vehicle, we will do our best to brush off any bees on the outside of the box and you can transport them with the AC on to avoid overheating.

You could also set the box inside a mesh that provides ventilation while keeping the bees contained. You can bring your mesh or we also have them available at the BeeManiacs store.

2022 Live Bee Orders

You can now place orders for 2022 live bees online.

This season we are bringing Carniolan nucs and Carniolan and Italian packages. The estimated pick-up date will be one of the last two weekends of April (to be confirmed closer to package day as queen rearing in California depends on the weather).

You can order online and book your package or nuc for this season.

We have limited supplies and once we run out we may not be able to bring more live bees for this season. We don’t have a due date until when orders can be received. Once we run out of bees the website will close for ordering and will start taking email addresses for a waitlist.

You can see options and pricing and place an order here: https://www.beemaniacs.com/product-category/live-bees/

Join the Waitlist for 2022 live bees!

Live bee pre-orders would become available by the end of January or early February and we will have limited quantities. You can start signing up for the waitlist on the live bees for the 2022 season right now.

You can find some information about packages and nucs on each product page and join a waitlist here:

https://beemaniacs.com/product-category/live-bees/

You will be able to enter your email address and the website will send you a notification as soon as the 2022 season live bees become available for pre-order (you can decide if placing the order or not at that time).

Pre-orders will be first-come-first-served.

Package pickup schedule 2021 – Rain or shine

Please take extra precautions to transport the packages as they should not get wet and have rain in the forecast.

Please check your email since we have sent 11 email updates with information about the pickup schedule, transport tips, and installation recommendations.

Package pickup hours are from 7:30 am to 1:00 pm on Sunday, April 25 (for beekeepers that preordered bees)

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 and longer wait times. If you cannot come at the recommended time, you can come at any time between 7:30 am and 1:00 pm.

For example, if your name is Lisa, we recommend that you come to pick up your packages between 10:30 and 11:00 am. 

Drive-Thru process

  1. You can enter BeeManiacs from the main entrance and head towards the Big Barn where the drive-thru line forms
  2. While in the line, a BeeManiacs employee will approach and ask for the name of the person that placed the order
  3. At that point, BeeManiacs staff will set your packages and any material you pre-ordered online at the pickup area
  4. Stay in the line and continue driving until you reach the pickup area (concrete area outside the Big Barn)
  5. You may now get out of your vehicle and load your bees/material
  6. To exit, continue driving around the garden and BeeManiacs store building until you reach the main road

Please note that our store remains closed for in-person visits. 

New Items at the Store

Starter Kits

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.

Formic Pro on Sale!

Time to stock up on Formic Pro!

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.

The 2-dose packs can be bought here: https://www.beemaniacs.com/product/formic-pro-strips/

2021 Live Bees Available to Pre-order

You can start preordering bees for your 2021 season right now.

You can find information about packages and nucs on each product page and place an order or join a waitlist here:

https://beemaniacs.com/product-category/live-bees/

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.