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2017 BeeManiacs Bee Day

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.

Vendors can participate for free!

To keep the information centralized we have created a new page in our website. Please find more information in this link: http://beemaniacs.com/bee-day/

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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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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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2015 Package Day

This was the first year that we sold live bees at our BeeManiacs store. We thought we would only sell 20 packages in our first year, but ended up selling more than 100 packages.

Weather was less than desirable for installing packages. Sunny at times, but with rain, hail and snow at other times. Wind was the only constant, blowing at about 20 to 30 mph.

We had package installation demonstrations so new beekeepers could see first-hand how to install their packages at home. Experienced beekeepers Jack Miller and Sandy Fanara volunteered to mentor the new beekeepers. They both explained how to install a package under normal weather conditions and under the current conditions at the time. Packages were installed in Langstroth, Top Bar and Warré hives.

Parking space was sufficient and we were able to house everybody indoors. Snacks and hot coffee were provided while waiting for the demonstrations.

Based on this years experience, we are already planning improvements and new things that we will be bringing in for the 2016 package day (we will release more details on January 2016).

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Live Bees Pick up Information

Pick up is Saturday, April 11, from noon until 5:00 pm. Store will be open that day from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
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.
If you would like to see some demonstration on how to install packages, we setup two demonstration times: 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm.
At 1:00 pm top bar experts, Jack and Ellen Miller, will install packages in a couple of top bar hives. We will be also installing a package in a Langstroth hive (volunteer to be determined :-).
At 2:00 pm we will be installing packages in one top bar, one Warré and one Langstroth hive.
If you are coming for any of the demonstrations, please bring protective gear.
Since we could have up to 40-50 vehicles show up at the same time, we are changing our access and parking area for Saturday. There will be only one entrance open and plenty of parking and maneuvering space in the grass area to the right of the store.
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We still have some Carniolan packages available for sale. Queens and Italian packages are sold out, but if you would like to order some, we are starting a waiting list: just email us atlivebees@beemaniacs.com.
If you have any questions about the schedule, please let us know. For questions about how to install packages we will have time to go over that in person on Saturday with BeeManiacs staff and some experienced beekeepers that will be around.
See you Saturday!
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Package bees and queens for 2015 season

We are excited about selling package bees and queens to local beekeepers for the first time this year. We are bringing live bees only to our store and won’t be able to ship bees nationwide, as we do with other products.

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We will be bringing Carniolan and Italian packages and queens.

The current estimated release date is Saturday, April 11. All live bees will be available for pickup on this date (depending on weather in California).

Queens are selling for $35 each, including Sales Tax. This year we will only have queens available for April 11 pickup (we won’t carry queens during the rest of the season).

Three pound package bees are selling for $120 each, including sales tax (it’s $111.01 plus 8.1% sales tax). Each package purchase includes a $8 in-store credit that you can collect if you bring the empty package box back to us before July 31.

You can pre-order online right now. We have limited quantities and sales are tracked online on first-come, first-served basis. This is the link to the store:

http://shopbeemaniacs.com/live-bees/

 

 

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Package Day

We developed over time some presentations and web-pages on how to install a package of honeybees (you can find that information in our LernBee section). This year we are making a video.

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We just installed 4 packages and took raw video of the process as well as a whole lot more pictures to keep improving our presentations.

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Hopefully we generated enough raw material that can be edited into an educational video that we can use in future beekeeping classes.

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Package Day

It’s the time of year again, when you check your hives after winter and you realize that you may be need some new packages for your bee yard or……. if you are a new beekeeper you will need a bee package to start your first beehive.

If the latter is your case, maybe you are wondering what a “package day” is all about.

Well, we can help you here showing a few pictures of our experience in this matter. By clicking in each image, it will enlarge.

We hope that they illustrate well and give you an idea of how to start.

Enjoy!

Package day is always a fun day full of excitement since you finally get your own bees
And this is the way the bees arrive. There are about 10,000 bees in a package plus a can full of syrup and the queen cage. This will be the “starter kit” for your hive.
To open the package what you need to do is remove the syrup can. Keep it aside since you will use it later.

 

Since the queen that comes in the package is not the mother of the bees that come with her, she needs to be protected from them. This is why the queen comes in what is called “queen cage” and you will need to keep her inside that cage until the bees accept her in the hive.
The queen cage comes with a little piece of cork, which is keeping an opening on the queen cage closed, you will need to remove it very carefully so the queen doesn’t escape from the cage, and switch it with a little piece of marshmallow. The bees will start removing the marshmallow, this will take a couple of days and by the time they finish and the cage is open; they already accept the queen as “their own queen”.
Set aside the queen cage for a few minutes and then drop the whole package inside the deep. Since the bees were inside the box for several days, they will be very happy to be free and they will be all over the place, so even if they are nice at this time since they don’t recognize the new hive as their home yet, always is a good idea to wear your beekeeping suit.
Once the bees are in their new hive, you can add some more frames in the deep but not all of them, because you will need space to place the queen cage on place.
Now is time to introduce the queen in the hive. You will notice in the queen cage a metal part that will help you to hang the cage in one of the frames.

 

Once the queen cage is on place, you can finish loading the deep with the frames
The bees will need some syrup to start building comb in the empty frames, and now is the time when you add to the hive the syrup can that come with the package. For this, you can add for a few days an extra empty box on top of the hive so the syrup can stay inside the hive. After a couple of days the bees will finished the syrup and you can remove the can definitely.
To finish the whole process, close the hive with the inner cover and the top cover and since some bees will stay in the package box for a while, is a good idea to leave it near the entrance of the hive for a few days, so all the bees that came in the package go inside the new hive