2014 Package Bees: Italian
Package Bees for the 2014 Spring season have been distributed. We will begin taking reservations for 2015 Spring packages in October. Package bees consist of 3 lbs of honey bees in a cage with a naturally mated queen. 2014 package bees were $95.
2014 Nucleus Hives: Italian or Carniolan
Nucleus Hives for the 2014 Spring season have been distributed. We will begin taking reservations for 2015 Spring Nucleus hives in October. Nuc Hives consist of 4 deep frames of honey bees and brood in a wood nuc box. The queen is a young, naturally mated queen that has already been introduced into the hive. Nucs are typically distributed over a few week period from mid April through early May, but date ranges may vary. 2014 Nuc Hives were $115.
Queen bees are available weekly from approximately late April-early September. Queens are naturally mated. They come in a 3-hole cage and have attendants and a food supply. Varieties available to order are Italian and New World Carniolan. Both are bred for hygienic behavior. Marked queens are available for $1.00 extra. Queens are $33.00.
About Italian and Carniolan bees:
Colony behavior can vary significantly from hive to hive. Further, bee behavior can change by selective breeding within the race. Keep in mind that bee traits you see described on websites and in beekeping books are often citing the traits of the original stock (from Italy or Slovenia, for example) but these European (old world) bees have been selectively bred in North America (new world) for specific traits since they were first introduced here from Europe. So they might deviate in behavior from the old world stock.
The Italian bee is generally described as gentle and productive. We handle thousands of colonies, and we find this to be true. We consider the Italian bee to be great for suburban beekeeping because of its gentle characteristics combined with good honey productivity. The New World Carniolan bee is thought to do well in colder, more mountainous climates. But, in our experience, the New World Carniolan tends to be quicker to defend its hive, so is perhaps less well suited to backyard beekeeping where you have close neighbors. Carniolans also tend to maintain a smaller cluster during the winter, and are late to build up brood in the spring--great traits for mountain foothill bee survival. However, the increase is quick when it happens, which can lead to unexpected swarming early in the season.
Italian Honeybee on Lavender (Notice the yellow and black striping on the abdomen.)
Carniolan Honeybee on Thyme (Notice the grey and black striping on the abdomen.)
Visit our Gladstone store:
17845 SE 82nd Drive,
Gladstone, Oregon 97027
Or call us: 503-657-5399