COVID-19 Update – Store closed for in-person visits

Our BeeManiacs store is now closed and will remain closed until further notice.

Following WA State regulations and recommendations to avoid the spread of COVID-19 for non-essential stores, we decided to close our regular hours, minimizing in-person contact with the potential spread of the COVID-19.

To place orders for beekeeping supplies, you can just visit our online shop, place an order for “pick up at store” and we will confirm once it’s ready to pick up. Only beekeeping equipment is available at this time and we’re not selling honey until the store is back open for in-person visits.

If you have questions about what to buy, how to use the equipment or any beekeeping question in general, you can take advantage of our online forum system. Most beekeeping classes and meetings in the area have been canceled, so having a way to clear your questions online should be of great help to local beekeepers.

Remember that you can also use our free online education material.

Once WA State removes the meeting restrictions we will reopen the store for regular hours.

Up to this point bee packages are scheduled to arrive on Saturday, April 18 and that date has not been delayed or canceled.

We recommend to check this website for updates or follow us on social media to receive notifications about schedule changes.

BeeManiacs store hours for 2020 season

We are now open for the 2020 season, with a big change from previous years. Sundays instead of Saturdays.

From March 15, 2020, to September 27 we open Sundays from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Please note that due to COVID-19 we may be changing our store hours at any time (whenever the government issues instructions to stores). We keep our hours updated on our website so we recommend checking our website before coming to BeeManiacs. Also, you may consider ordering your bee supplies online and picking up at the store. We will process online orders as they arrive and have the material ready to pick up through the week.

Our online store is open 24/7/365. You can place orders online and select “Pick up at store” and we will have the material ready to pick up within one or two days.

For the 2020 season, we don’t have any bee classes scheduled. If you enrolled in any bee class through your respective bee association, please check the class schedules with them. Some associations have rescheduled their classes and others have canceled them for this season.

As beekeeping meetings are canceled or reduced, having an online tool to clear your questions should come handy. For beekeeping support, you can reach us through our forum system: https://beemaniacs.com/community/

If your bee class was canceled or would like to get some extra information for this season, you can always use our free online education material: https://beemaniacs.com/education/



Store Closes for the Season – Online Remains Open

The season went by fast and we got to the time of the year when most beekeepers in the Inland Northwest finished checking their hives, treating for mites, and feeding when needed.

There’s no much beekeeping activity left, so we usually close our store for the season.

The BeeManiacs online store remains open 24/7/365 though. If you need any beekeeping material, you can place an order online and we will ship it to you or you can still select “pick up at the store” and we will schedule an appointment for you to pick up your order.

We will open again for regular hours in March 2020.

New Stainless Steel Uncapping Tool Available

Ready for extracting time?

We have a new uncapping tool that makes the extraction process easier, while reducing comb damage.

The uncapping tool is made of durable stainless steel and it’s very easy to clean. There’s no wooden handle that would come off after some uses and cleaning cycles. This is the stronger version available in the market.

As we use the tool to extract our own frames, we will add pictures and videos with the tool in action.

You can currently order the uncapping tool in our store: https://beemaniacs.com/product/uncapping-tool-stainless-steel/

Packages and queens arriving on time – April 27

Weather in queen production areas improved in April so our package producer was able to catch up queen production for our packages.

Packages and queens will be available at the original pickup date of April 27, from 9 am to 4 pm.

Please note that at this time we’re sold out of packages. You can join our waitlist at the package ordering page and the website will let you know if any packages become available (ordering page here:
https://beemaniacs.com/product/package-bees/ .

If you are looking for Saskatraz queens, follow this link:
https://beemaniacs.com/product/saskatraz-queen/

If you ordered bees from us, make sure to check that you receive email updates from us. We will send at least two emails this week (reminder and installation instructions). 

Bees Arriving Later This Season

If you have placed an order for live bees with us, you should have received an email update from us. Just in case someone doesn’t see the email, we’re re-posting the information below.

Olivarez Honey Bees, our supplier of live bees for this season, just reported that abnormally cold weather is going to delay queen production this season.

At this point, California colonies are developing about 3 to 4 weeks later than usual. Due to the cold weather, colonies are not producing drones yet.

Producing a high-quality queen requires the presence of many mature drones during mating flights. Since the cold weather has delayed drone production, Olivarez needs to delay queen production, which will push package delivery dates.

As soon as the weather improves in California, Olivarez will be able to provide us with a tentative pick up schedule. At this point, they’re considering a delay of up to 3 to 4 weeks on the original delivery date.

This delay affects all of our live bees pick up dates since we get started by delivering packages and make the nucs and starter hives from those same packages.

Olivarez confirms that this colder weather affects all of their California and Hawaii operations. It’s also affecting all queen producers in California and the USA Southern States. Trying to produce queens earlier would only generate low-quality, poorly mated queens.

Most queen producers will delay queen production until they can make sure the drone population will be good enough for mating queens. 

Cancellation offer (for limited time)

We understand that this delay on the delivery date may not work for all the beekeepers that placed an order with us.

For this reason, we would like to offer you the opportunity to cancel your order for a 100% refund. If you would like to cancel your order, please email us to livebees@beemaniacs.com before March 9, letting us know. We will cancel your order and issue the full refund.

After March 10, order cancelations will follow the original cancellation rules (packages and nucs will have the standard $50 non-refundable fee and starter hives will be non-cancelable).

This means that you have two options:

  1. Contact us to cancel your order before March 9, and we will issue a 100% refund.
  2. Keep your current order which will be delivered on a date to be determined later 

If you want to keep your current order, there’s no action required from you. You don’t need to send us an email to confirm you keep your order (you only need to email us before March 9 if you want to cancel the order). 

We are sorry for the inconvenience caused by this schedule change. Beekeeping depends on the weather and in this case, we’re forced to delay the delivery date until high-quality bees can be produced.

Pacific Northwest Beekeeping Conference

Washington State Beekeepers Association (WASBA) is organizing a conference for those interested in bees and beekeeping. Topics include scientific and informational presentations for commercial and hobbyist beekeepers. The keynote, which is free and open to the public, will feature Sarah Red-Laird, whose non-profit “The Bee Girl Organization” (https://www.beegirl.org/) promotes honey bees and honey bee habitat.
The conference will be held February 9, 2019 at Eastern Washington University, Hargreaves Hall, 526 5th St., Cheney. Cost for WASBA members is $10; cost for non-members is $35.

The keynote address (11am-noon) is free and open to the public.
Event participants are invited to mingle and enjoy mead and honey-themed hors d’oeuvres at local venue The Mason Jar, 101 F St., Cheney, WA, immediately following the conference.

Cost $25.
Event registration can be found via WASBA’s website – www.wasba.org – or on Eventbrite – Pacific Northwest Beekeeping Conference (https://bit.ly/2RHBWky).

Keynote Speaker: Sarah Red-Laird is the founder and Executive Director of the Bee Girl organization, a nonprofit with a mission to educate and inspire communities to conserve bees, their flowers, and our food. Bee Girl projects are focused on regenerative beekeeping, bee habitat research and education, and kids’ programs. Ms. Red-Laird is a graduate of the University of Montana’s College of Forestry and Conservation with a degree in Resource Conservation,
focused on community collaboration and environmental policy. Sarah also serves as the “Kids and Bees” program director for the American Beekeeping Federation. She is currently president- elect of the Western Apicultural Society.

Conference Speakers and Topics: Conference participants can choose from sessions in two tracks, one for scientific topics, the other for topics of general interest. Researchers from Washington State University, Eastern Washington University and the University of Montana will present on topics including bee feeding and bee gut health, tracking disease and pest management with a cell phone app, and controlling varroa mites. Other topics include mead
making (presented by BeeManiacs staff), integrated pest management, and improving bee habitat through plant choices.

For more information: Contact Jenifer Priest – jenifer@wasba.org or 509-270-2603

New BeeManiacs Beekeeping 101 Class

BeeManiacs staff volunteers teaching classes and presenting about beekeeping in several bee clubs and conferences, but year after year, we hear the same feedback:

  • There are not enough beginner bee classes available and some people have to start a beekeeping season without any class support. By the end of March, there are no more bee classes available and people that have already ordered live bees find themselves without training options.
  • Some people requested classes in a different schedule than the ones offered by local clubs.

We decided to offer for the first time, our own beginner beekeeping class: BeeManiacs Beekeeping 101 – Sunday, March 31, 2019 – 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

This class will cover everything you need to know to get started in beekeeping.

  • Different hive styles
  • Parts of the hive.
  • Beekeeping equipment options
  • Protective gear
  • Beekeeping tools
  • Basic honey bee biology – bee races
  • Apiary location
  • Installing your bees

Cost is $50 per person enrolled. Students that are 17 or younger can pay 50% of class fees (minors have to be accompanied by a paying adult).

Students that join this class will have priority and free access to shorter courses (regular fee is $5 per course) and to hands-on field days through the beekeeping season (about 6 hands-on field days during the season).

We have limited seats and you can book your ticket right now on this page:

BeeManiacs Beekeeping 101 – 3/31/2019

The link below shows other events and optional classes that we will have during the season (we are constantly adding new classes):

https://beemaniacs.com/events/

BeeManiacs also offers free online education modules and free support through our forum system.

BeeManiacs contributing to Initiative for Nationwide Detection of Ss1 (INDES)

The University of Wisconsin-Stout is conducting research on Ss1 bacterium in honey bees and varroa mites. The goal of this effort is to recruit beekeepers in all 50 US states that will provide samples of analysis of Ss1 bacterium. The name of the program is Initiative for Nationwide Detection of Ss1 (INDES).

BeeManiacs collected dead mite samples following UW-Stout protocols and mailed the samples last March, contributing information from Eastern Washington State.

UW-Stout studies led to the discovery and reporting in 2016 of Serratia marcescens strain sicaria (Ss1) bacterium, a potential new threat to hives. Much of the work has been done by students at UW-Stout lab.

The goal of the INDES effort is to obtain samples of Varroa destructor mites and honey bees that will allow to better identify locations where the Ss1 bacterium is found. A clearer understanding of the bacterium’s location will provide more information about its potential impact on bee health.

You can see below some pictures of our mite collection for this program and also some links for more information about Ss1 bacterium.

 

Research buzz: UW-Stout professor, students identify bacterium that may kill honey bees