Book Now For Next Spring
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If purchasing a Starter Kit, or if you have a hive already, but it needs to be re-populated, you’ll need to get some bees. Honeybee colonies are available in the Spring from about mid-October through mid-December. They consist of four frames of honey/brood, a new queen and about three thousand bees. The queen has been selected to suit an urban environment; she’s keen but not mean, and less likely to swarm.
A colony differs from package bees or swarms, in that it is already a young established hive and includes a new queen. Package bees also have a new queen, but are not on frames, they’re just loose bees in a screened box. Swarms generally will also be loose bees, but have an old queen. Most of the time they’re good, but you do get the odd one out of ten or twenty swarms which are quite cranky and not very pleasant to work with. It’s a good idea to replace the swarm queen at some point during the first year, otherwise she may swarm again the following year or might possibly perish through the winter. Having said that, swarms may be a good option if you’re out of area, or just happen to find one. Contact us if you’d like to get a swarm, and we can put you in touch with local beekeepers.
We are not able to ship the colonies, so they will need to be picked up from the shop. If you’re purchasing a starter kit, we put the bees in the hive ready for you when you come to pick them up. They’re easily transported in your car, and guaranteed not to escape.
As part of the Starter Kit, we also include a one-on-one induction tutorial to get you started on how to look after your new bees. We’ll open the hive and show you the various life stages of the bees, show you the queen and the drones if there are any. We’ll also help you decide where is the best spot for your hive, how to look after them, proper handling methods, etc.
The total cost for a Langstroth (standard) colony is $200, or if purchased with a Starter Kit they are $180. You can book them anytime with a $50 non-refundable deposit. I will confirm your order and get back in touch with you when they are ready collect.
We can also do colonies for Warre and top-bar hives. The Warre hive colonies consist of 4 to 6 frames of honey and brood, bees and new queen. We have a small number of top-bar traveling boxes. You may be able to get one of these, or if you drop off your top-bar hive or traveling box off, we can put bees in it for you. Warre and top-bar colonies are $200.