Come see what all the Buzz is about!
If you’re interested in starting your own beehive or if you want to learn more about beekeeping, stop at any of the following Blain’s Farm & Fleet store locations on Saturday, January, 19th, 2019 to chat with bee experts. Learn everything you need to know in order to make your beekeeping experience extra sweet!
Customers must place live bee orders at any of our Blain’s Farm & Fleet store locations from now until February 28th. Before you call or drive over to your local store to order, review what bees are available for purchase. We are selling a 3 lb package of live bees, an Italian Marked Queen Bee Only, and a Russian Marked Queen Bee Only. All live bee orders will ship on Saturday, April 27, 2019, via U.S. Mail Priority Ground, to your local post office. The bees should arrive within a couple days of shipment. However, be sure to notify your postmaster on or before April 26th, 2019 that you expect the shipment to arrive within the next week. There are approximately 10,000 worker bees (3 lbs) and one marked queen bee in a package. It is common to experience a loss of bees during the shipment process, which is why our supplier loads more than 3 lbs of bees into your package. If you end up with a large number of dead bees at the bottom of your package, we must be notified within 24 hours of receiving the damaged shipment. Our supplier, Kelly Beekeeping, will make every effort to ship the bees on the scheduled date, but since they are live animals sometimes conditions, such as weather, make it unsafe to ship. If conditions become unfavorable and we cannot ship within 7 days of the scheduled shipping date, you will be contacted.
What to do Before They Arrive
- Choose a location for your hive(s) – Pick a sunny location near a water source that’s easy to access and is safe. Pick an area away from humans and animals who could be easily stung, and make sure the hive can’t easily be knocked over.
- Prepare your hive(s) – Paint or stain the exterior of your hive with exterior latex paint. Avoid dark colors, such as black or navy, that will trap more heat in the summertime.
- Choose Your Feeding Method – Pick either a bucket feeder, entrance feeder, or frame feeder, and have your feeders ready to go before your bees arrive.
- Mix a Batch of Sugar Water – A few days before your bees are scheduled to arrive prepare a 50/50 mix of sugar and water for their first feeding. You will need to make at least a couple of gallons of sugar water per hive.
- Learn – Read up on as much as you can about bees and beekeeping before they arrive.
Care and Installation of Packaged Bees
- If weather conditions are poor when your bees arrive, you can hold the package for several days in a dark room or basement where the temperature is close to 50* F.
- Feed packaged bees heavily until the colony is well established (do this for at least the first few weeks after installation). Use the 50/50 sugar and water mix you already prepared, or use high fructose corn syrup. Consider using a feeding stimulant like Honey B Healthy that is added to your sugar water.
- Keep entrances reduced to a small size until the colony is well established. This prevents robbing and conserves heat.
- Do not add supers or a second hive body until the bees have drawn out and covered 7 of the 10 frames.
- You may also want to feed your bees pollen after installation. A pollen substitute is sold at all of our store locations.
At Blain’s Farm & Fleet, you’ll find everything you need to start beekeeping. From beehives to beekeeping clothing, you can become a beekeeper right in your backyard. Visit our Beekeeping blog to learn all about bees, extracting honey, beeswax products and more!
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