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Live Bees Options for 2018

In 2017 we did not have enough bees to cover the demand, so for 2018 we’re almost doubling the number of bees we will supply.  We will have two waves, with packages arriving in April and nucs in May.

2018 Packages

We are teaming up again in 2018 with Olivarez Honey Bees from California. Olivarez is a reputable supplier of high-quality queens and packages. This year the packages will have marked queens (unless extreme weather during queen rearing process occurs). They will include the usual queen race options, Italian and Carniolan, but this year we will have a new option: Saskatraz packages.

Saskatraz queens were developed in Canada (you can visit their website at this link) and Olivarez Honey Bees is the Saskatraz hybrid producer for North America. We are looking forward to seeing how this Canadian hybrid performs in the Inland Northwest. It sounds promising!

2018 Nucs

We are bringing Old Sol nucs again since their customers keep asking us to bring these Oregon nucs to our area. Many beekeepers are pretty happy with the results from Old Sol Survivor Stock. In 2017 we were not able to bring Caucasian nucs, due to bad weather and a late season, but this year we are bringing both options: Caucasian and Survivor Stock. These nucs come in a non-returnable wooden nuc.

For more information on the packages and nucs, including pricing and links to their respective suppliers, please visit this link: livebees.beemaniacs.com

We are currently selling some options at discounted prices (for a limited time, while supplies last).

As we mentioned in a previous post, we expect to distribute the packages on April 28 and the nucs should be here on May 19. Since the nucs come with some frames that include beeswax and brood, you should get similar results by the end of the season from an early package than with a nuc that you install three weeks later.

If you are just getting started with bees and still don’t know what kind of hive hardware you are going to use, we recommend you to buy a package of bees. Nucs are only compatible with hives that can fit Deep Langstroth frames. Packages can be installed in any kind of hive of any shape or design. If you have any questions you can post a question on our forums.

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Bee Day and Other Events

We are finally done with bringing live bees to the area. It was a very exciting yet busy time. Exciting because we love to bring bees to all beekeepers, especially the ones starting for the first time. Busy because due to the bad weather conditions we had to reschedule delivery dates several times.

Bee Day was a huge success, with about 300 people stopping by BeeManiacs to pick up or talk bees, buy plants or take a hands-on class. Volunteers from the Backyard Beekeepers Association stepped in and helped control traffic and parking lot and took over teaching the hands-on demonstrations.

We are already making plans for the 2018 BeeManiacs Bee Day, but one of the most difficult issues to solve is where to park more cars. The current extended parking area was filled up and we could fit more cars in our back 5 acres, but that could undermine the health of the pollinator-friendly plants we have there. We will figure this out before the next Bee Day.

Below you can see some pictures from Bee Day, hands-on Field Days and other live bees pickup dates.

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Nuc delivery date pushed to May 20

Both of our nuc suppliers for the 2017 season had to push their delivery dates until May 20.

If you bought nucs through BeeManiacs, for delivery dates of May 6 or May 13, the new delivery date is May 20.

We are sorry for the delay but the unusual weather in Oregon delayed the flowering and the beekeeping season, which pushed the nuc delivery dates until at least May 20.

We are sending email updates to everyone that placed an order. If you did not receive email updates from us, please check your email spam folder.

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Bad weather delaying nuc delivery dates

The 2017 season is breaking some records as the coldest and most rainy season in the last 45 years.

Live bee suppliers are struggling to deliver bee packages and nucs on fixed schedules that worked fine in previous years.

If you bought live bees from us, please check your email for updates. The Economy nuc delivery date was delayed from May 6th to the 13th and still pending final confirmation.

If you are not receiving updates from BeeManiacs, please check your email spam filter or email us to livebees@beemaniacs.com.

Bee suppliers are doing everything they can to deliver live bees on schedule, but in some cases they will need to delay the delivery date to make sure that the nucs are properly made.

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2017 Old Sol Nucs and Queens Available at BeeManiacs

We are very glad to announce that BeeManiacs just became a distributor of Old Sol Nucs for the Inland Northwest.

Old Sol Apiaries has been breeding Survivor and Caucasian queens, which are adapted to colder weather and longer winters. On top of better queen genetics, the bees come in high-quality wooden nuc boxes that you can keep for making your own future nucs or queens. If you have no use for the wooden nuc box, you can bring it back empty to BeeManiacs for $20/box in-store credit (the box itself usually retails at ~$35, so it’s a good deal to keep it for future use).

OldSol

This is the pricing break down for nucs:

Queen Race Nuc price Wooden Box WA Sates Tax Total
Survivor Stock $140.00 $20.00 $12.96 $172.96
Caucasian $150.00 $20.00 $13.77 $183.77

You can pre-order Old Sol nucs now, while supplies last:
http://livebees.beemaniacs.com/

Nucs will available for pick up on April 15, at BeeManiacs on our Bee Day.

Remember that if you don’t want to keep the wooden nuc box, you can return it for $20 in-store credit at BeeManiacs.

This year we will be working in collaboration with the Backyard Beekeepers Association, so hobby beekeepers can start making their own queens. The more survivor and caucasian stock we have in the area, the better the genetics of our locally raised queens will be.

For more information about Old Sol Apiaries and their queens and nucs, you can visit their website: http://oldsolbees.com/

 

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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 on our website. Please find more information at this link: https://beemaniacs.com/beemaniacs-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.

Queen Cage 1280

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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