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Bee Cozy

We just received our first shipment of Bee Cozy winter wraps and inner cover pads from NOD.

These products will be carried in-store only for now, but we are planning on bringing them to our online store for nationwide shipping by 2017.

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Beekeeping Field Day Visit at BeeManiacs

Last Saturday was the second annual Backyard Beekeepers Association field trip, where lots of new and experienced beekeepers gathered to inspect a variety of hives and beekeeping techniques in commercial and hobby bee yards.

BeeManiacs was featured as one of the field trip destinations. We checked foundation-less Langstroth frames as well as Top Bar hives, followed by a honey extraction demonstration by Ari Jr and Maria.

Thank you all for the visit.

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Mann Lake Products at BeeManiacs Store

We have been carrying some Mann Lake products at our BeeManiacs store, but we just took it to the next level. We are now Mann Lake distributors just brought in over 25 new items that we were not carrying before.

New products include frame feeders, escape boards, swarm traps, testing kits, summer and winter inner covers, insulation, and many other parts for your hive and beekeeping tools.

For now, we only sell these items in-store, but we’re working towards bringing most of these items to our online store.

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Pollinator-Friendly Plant Mix Sown at BeeManiacs Bee Yard

We just finished sowing more than 5 acres of a pollinator friendly mix at our BeeManiacs honey bee yard.

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We teamed up with the Spokane County Conservation District, and we’re running this program for the first season as a test. We will monitor the progress of the germination of the mix of pollinator friendly plants and confirm how much of the active season different flowering plants will cover. Depending on this year results, the Conservation District will expand the program coverage for the 2017 season.

The seed mix includes some non-flowering plants for providing wind-erosion protection or improving soil condition. This is the list of seeds used:

Common Vetch
Mung Beans
Guar-Kinman
Chinese Red
Sainfoin-shoshone
Super Sugar
Wildlife Grain Sorghum
2120 Forage Sorghum
Spring Forage Barley
Nitro Radish
Safflower-Finch
Sunflower-Peredovic
Buckwheat-Mancan
Okra- Clemson spineless
Clover- Yellow Sweet
Proso Millet- (Red)
White Wonder Millet (Hay)
Pacific Gold Mustard
African Cabbage
Sesame

The pictures do not show much going on the ground because a no-till drill was used. The seeds and the organic fertilizer were applied directly through the current, mostly grass cover. Our goal is to increase the amount and diversity of flowering plants available to the bees in our yard throughout the season.

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Online Beekeeping School

We have been working in beekeeping education for several years. Every year we try to find ways to improve the quality of the educational material and how to reach more potential beekeepers. We had requests from people having conflicts with class schedules, looking for ways to get beekeeping classes online.

We decided that it was time to release an online school system for beekeepers. We have been working on this project for the last year. The original idea was to supplement our classes, so if a student would miss a class, the content would be available online to catch up. But then it expanded to reach out to people that are not able to attend the classes at all.

We are currently working with the Backyard Beekeepers Association to develop this online education option.

For questions please contact us at education@beemaniacs.com

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Hands-on Mentoring and Events

We have created a new section on our website to keep track of upcoming events where BeeManiacs staff will participate, as well as to list some relevant past events.

You can find this new section by clicking on “Education” in the main menu of our website, or by following this link.

Also, if you are within driving distance of our BeeManiacs store, you can take advantage of the free, hands-on mentoring we offer almost every Saturday, as weather permits. The new section on our website will keep you informed on any cancellations due to weather or any other issues. For example, today’s weather is less than ideal for opening beehives, so the hands-on mentoring is cancelled.

We will keep the Education page updated, listing what the next event will be about, and events where you will have a chance to see a BeeManiacs presentation, or even just stop by and and talk bees with us.

At the bottom of the page we will share a list of relevant past events.

The new page also contains the link to our Wiki repository of educational material and presentation files. You can always find the link to the Wiki from the Education section or just by following this link.

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BeeManiacs Package Day

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.

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Package day 2016

20160409_094102This season we run out of live bees very early, so we enlisted the help of Will Olson, a local beekeeper, to bring more honey bee packages to our area.
Will’s package day at BeeManiacs was on April 9th, on a nice and sunny day.

Tomorrow, April 16th, we will have our own package day at BeeManiacs. If you ordered bees from us, you received an email with detailed information that we’re going to repeat in this post.

If for any reason you cannot make it to pick up your live bees, please contact us at livebees@beemaniacs.com so we can coordinate with you.

We will have package installation demonstrations in Langstroth and top bar hives at 1:30 pm. Please note that the hands-on activities are optional and you are required to have and wear your protective gear (veil or jacket) and sign a liability release form. Demonstrations are free, with the only requirements of wearing the protective equipment and signing the liability release form.

This Saturday we will open the store from 8 am to 5 pm. Package pickup time is from noon to 5 pm. If you are buying material from the store, we recommend you to arrive earlier. If you are only picking up bees, we streamlined the process so you can get in and out with your bees ready to go home.

1- Start at the main store building with Maria. She will have a printout of your invoice with package release voucher/s.
2- Bring the voucher to Ari Jr at the pickup tent in the parking lot and he will give you your package/s.

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If you are in the waiting list, we recommend you to come to our store around 4:30 pm, so you could get a package from any cancellations we received during the day.

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First Introduction To Beekeeping Course At BeeManiacs

All the 2016 season beekeeping classes from local clubs have ended but we are still receiving class requests from bee-enthusiasts trying to get started this year.

Over the years we have volunteered teaching or supporting classes in all local beekeeping associations. At this time we are receiving many requests for teaching a beekeeping course in BeeManiacs, so people don’t have to wait a whole year to start beekeeping. We agree.

For the first time we will offer an “Introduction to Beekeeping” course at BeeManiacs. The course is free and limited to 30 students.

The first class is Sunday, April 3rd, from 1 pm to 3 pm. We will go over beekeeping equipment and tool options. If you cannot attend this class, you will be able to access to the same content online. All other theory will be distributed online.

Location, BeeManiacs store:
7619 W Woolard Rd,
Deer Park, WA 99006

Students will have access to the optional hands-on mentoring classes on most Saturdays, as weather permits, during the active beekeeping season:

  • Installing bees in a hive (package day) April 9th or April 16th
  • First inspections: April 23 or April 30
  • Hands-on schedule will be posted in the BeeManiacs website

You can enroll in this free course at our online shop: http://shopbeemaniacs.com/introduction-to-beekeeping/

To enrol in this course, just add the item to the shopping cart and follow the order. The class is free and “shipping” will be free. You will have to fill out your contact information and will not need to enter payment information. Just complete the order so we can receive your contact information and add you to the list.

For any questions please send an email to education@beemaniacs.com

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Live Bees 2016

We just published a page to place your package or queen honey bee order for the 2016 season.

You can pre-order in this page, while supplies last: http://beemaniacs.com/live-bees/
(with credit card or PayPal)

Package Close Up 1280Remember that if you order a 3 lbs package of bees, it includes the worker bees (about 10,500 bees) and one queen bee in its cage. The package also includes a can of syrup to keep the bees hydrated and fed during their trip to your bee yard. If you want to setup a beehive, you just need a package without having to order an extra queen.

This year, if you bring the empty package box to us by July 2, 2016, we will give you $10 per box of in-store purchases credit.

If you want to order 5 or 10 or more packages, pay attention to our quantity pricing (drop down menu in the ordering page). We have a good price for the single package, but once you add the quantity discount or the store credit for returning the empty box, it becomes a really good deal.

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Also, for beekeepers making nucs, splitting their hives or just having to re-queen early in the season, we bring queen bees. This is the only day in the year we bring queen bees and by pre-order only. Later in the season we recommend you to make your own queens. A survivor stock queen you breed from your best queen will be better than any queen we can bring from California or any other warmer state.

The current estimated delivery date is April 16. Once you place an order we will keep you updated on any date change over email.

If you never installed a package before, we will have demonstrations on how to install packages in different kinds of hives that day. We will set a 2-acre parking area so you can park, attend the demonstration, pick up your package and go home to do the same thing in your hive (you can see some pictures from 2015 setup below).

You can place the order online right now. Our walk-in store opens February 13 for the season and from that day on, you could order your bees in person at the store (but we don’t recommend waiting until then because we have limited supplies of live bees).

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