We talked with some bee breeders in CA about the upcoming bee season and they expressed concern about the quantity and quality of bees they will be able to produce for the 2023 season.
They have bee yards in multiple areas and they have stressors in most yards (draught, local flooding, some even lost hives to fires).
Commercial operations are planning more on recovering their colony numbers and strength than selling packages or nucs for starter hives.
At this point, we decided not to bring live bees for sale for the 2023 season.
If you are getting started in beekeeping in 2023, we’d recommend you try to get bees from a local beekeeper (they could sell you a nuc from a split or you could catch a swarm).
If you still want to buy packages or nucs, we would recommend contacting your local bee association. You may need to wait until February, as suppliers confirm the number of colonies they can sell after they evaluate their overwinter survival rates.
The following beekeepers contacted BeeManiacs and confirmed they are going to be selling live bees during the 2023 season. You can find more information on their websites:
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:
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).
You can start ordering bees for your 2019 season right now.
You can find information about packages, nucs and starter hives on each product page, including the current estimated pick up date.
If you order early, you can save. For example, the price for our high-quality packages from Olivarez Honey Bees is $150, but we will start with early purchase discounts. The first batch will sell for $130 and price will increase as we run out of bees on sale.
In 2017 we did not have enough bees to cover the demand, so for 2018 we’re almost doubling the number of bees we will supply. We will have two waves, with packages arriving in April and nucs in May.
We are teaming up again in 2018 with Olivarez Honey Bees from California. Olivarez is a reputable supplier of high-quality queens and packages. This year the packages will have marked queens (unless extreme weather during queen rearing process occurs). They will include the usual queen race options, Italian and Carniolan, but this year we will have a new option: Saskatraz packages.
Saskatraz queens were developed in Canada (you can visit their website at this link) and Olivarez Honey Bees is the Saskatraz hybrid producer for North America. We are looking forward to seeing how this Canadian hybrid performs in the Inland Northwest. It sounds promising!
We are bringing Old Sol nucs again since their customers keep asking us to bring these Oregon nucs to our area. Many beekeepers are pretty happy with the results from Old Sol Survivor Stock. In 2017 we were not able to bring Caucasian nucs, due to bad weather and a late season, but this year we are bringing both options: Caucasian and Survivor Stock. These nucs come in a non-returnable wooden nuc.
For more information on the packages and nucs, including pricing and links to their respective suppliers, please visit this link: livebees.beemaniacs.com
We are currently selling some options at discounted prices (for a limited time, while supplies last).
As we mentioned in a previous post, we expect to distribute the packages on April 28 and the nucs should be here on May 19. Since the nucs come with some frames that include beeswax and brood, you should get similar results by the end of the season from an early package than with a nuc that you install three weeks later.
If you are just getting started with bees and still don’t know what kind of hive hardware you are going to use, we recommend you to buy a package of bees. Nucs are only compatible with hives that can fit Deep Langstroth frames. Packages can be installed in any kind of hive of any shape or design. If you have any questions you can post a question on our forums.
We are finally done with bringing live bees to the area. It was a very exciting yet busy time. Exciting because we love to bring bees to all beekeepers, especially the ones starting for the first time. Busy because due to the bad weather conditions we had to reschedule delivery dates several times.
Bee Day was a huge success, with about 300 people stopping by BeeManiacs to pick up or talk bees, buy plants or take a hands-on class. Volunteers from the Backyard Beekeepers Association stepped in and helped control traffic and parking lot and took over teaching the hands-on demonstrations.
We are already making plans for the 2018 BeeManiacs Bee Day, but one of the most difficult issues to solve is where to park more cars. The current extended parking area was filled up and we could fit more cars in our back 5 acres, but that could undermine the health of the pollinator-friendly plants we have there. We will figure this out before the next Bee Day.
Below you can see some pictures from Bee Day, hands-on Field Days and other live bees pickup dates.
We are very glad to announce that BeeManiacs just became a distributor of Old Sol Nucs for the Inland Northwest.
Old Sol Apiaries has been breeding Survivor and Caucasian queens, which are adapted to colder weather and longer winters. On top of better queen genetics, the bees come in high-quality wooden nuc boxes that you can keep for making your own future nucs or queens. If you have no use for the wooden nuc box, you can bring it back empty to BeeManiacs for $20/box in-store credit (the box itself usually retails at ~$35, so it’s a good deal to keep it for future use).
Nucs will available for pick up on April 15, at BeeManiacs on our Bee Day.
Remember that if you don’t want to keep the wooden nuc box, you can return it for $20 in-store credit at BeeManiacs.
This year we will be working in collaboration with the Backyard Beekeepers Association, so hobby beekeepers can start making their own queens. The more survivor and caucasian stock we have in the area, the better the genetics of our locally raised queens will be.
For more information about Old Sol Apiaries and their queens and nucs, you can visit their website: http://oldsolbees.com/
We are going to host the first BeeManiacs Bee Day on April 15, 2017.
This will be a very interesting event for beekeepers, with many activities and vendors available that day. That’s the day packages and nucs will be available to be picked up for beekeepers that pre-ordered them at http://livebees.beemaniacs.com/
If you want to buy or sell equipment or tools, we will be hosting a Beekeeping Equipment Swap.
Last Saturday we distributed the BeeManiacs packages for the 2016 season.
We had package installation demonstrations in top bar and Langstroth hives (Western and Deep boxes). We presented different ways to install packages: without shaking or shaking the bees, and students evaluated which way would work better for them.
It was a fun-filled day, with lots of families with kids sharing the excitement for the bees arriving into their lives.