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

Last Live Bee Options Left for 2018 Season

We are done with packages for this season, but if you would like to start keeping bees or restart a colony that died recently, you still have some options left for this year:

Please visit the respective links for more information and pictures for each option.

We are doing the “package in a nuc” and the “starter hive” for the first time this year. We only made ten of each, as a test, and if everything works well, we will make more in future seasons.

More Saskatraz packages available for ordering

We were able to increase the quantity of Saskatraz packages we are bringing this Saturday, April 28.

We will continue taking orders, while supplies last, on a first come, first served basis.

Until Thursday night (April 26) you can place orders for packages online:

https://beemaniacs.com/product/package-bees/

Friday and Saturday (April 27 and 28) we will only take orders in person at our store.

Online orders won’t be available from Friday on, even if we have packages left.

 

Order and package pickup process for Bee Day

If you pre-ordered packages or materials that are ready to pick up on April 28, please read on.

Pick up hours are from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Our store opens from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm on Bee Day.

The process to pick up existing orders is:

  • Proceed to park in our parking lot. Please park close to other vehicles to make sure we have room for everybody.
  • If you want to purchase something from our store or visit vendors and the beekeeping swap meet, please do that first.
  • Once you are ready to pick up your packages or pre-ordered material, please go to the store entrance (marked “1” in the diagram below) and there will be a desk where you can receive your printed invoice with pick up vouchers.
  • You can now go to the pickup area (the big barn), marked as “2” in the diagram and pick up your order/packages.
  • Once you’ve collected your bee package, we recommend going straight home and installing them as soon as possible.

Package date confirmed – April 28

If you ordered packages from us, you should have received an email on April 5 confirming pick up date for April 28, from 9:00 am to 3:00. This was our original scheduled date and the supplier is able to deliver on time.

The nucs from Old Sol should also arrive on time (May 19), but we will email confirmation by the end of April.

If you ordered packages from us and you did not receive an email confirmation, please contact us at livebees@beemaniacs.com. We need to make sure you can receive our emails.

We will also verify that you do have an active over with us.

Online Store Expanding – 125 products and counting

For several years we had many more items in our brick and mortar store than in our online store. That was a source of frustration, for not being able to sell online material we already carried in the store.

We have set up a new online store system and we’re currently in the process of adding items to the online store. We open for the season on Friday, February 16, and our goal is to have all items posted in the online store by then.

Once we add the products online, beekeepers that are not in driving distance will be able to place orders with us. We will be shipping most items.

But there is a benefit for local customers too. From now on, you can place an order online and select “pick up at the store” during checkout. We will set the material aside and let you know once it’s ready to pick up. This will speed up your purchasing process. You are more than welcomed to stay as long as you want, have a coffee and talk bees with us. But if you are in a hurry, you can just pick the order up and keep going.

We have 125+ items online now and will keep adding until we have everything online!