To pre-order queens for 2018, please use the form here.
- I only produce queens in Michigan, and I follow the weather. I usually can start raising them around mid - May (when I have drones and weather), and I stop when it gets cold, I run of drones, or I need to get nucs ready for winter. This means that mated queens are available from Mid-June to Mid- August.
- It is much easier to produce cells, and they are much more available. I cannot always guarantee that I will have enough mated queens at the date you need, but I can provide you with cells.
- My focus is to provide good genetics to as many beekeepers as possible, but my time is limited, because I have to do field research in the summer. For that reason, it is much easier for me to work with larger orders to cut down on emails and phone calls. I prioritize orders for local clubs, where I work with someone who coordinates with their neighbors. Please consider helping me provide greater access to queens by coordinating an order with your neighbors or your club.
If you think need a queen in an emergency, please read our page - Help! I need a Queen! First.
Information on 5-Frame Nucs
We will not be taking orders for nucs for 2018.
If I have extra bees, I'll post them to the Northern Bee Network Facebook Sales Page.
One of the main reasons that I am not selling nucs this year is that I had too many repeat customers for the wrong reasons. I felt like I was enabling bad beekeeping by having bees readily available for purchase every year. Rather than sell you bees, I'd rather help you become a more sustainable beekeeper. I can do this in two ways - help you expand your apiary without buying bees, and help you keep your bees alive and in good health.
1) If you are just starting out and really wanted northern bees - don't despair! You can still have great northern genetics. Remember that the queen has all the genetics in the colony - you don't need a northern nuc, you need a northern queen. Requeen when queens become available. You don't even have to kill your other queen. Just put her in a nuc to retire.
2) If you still have bees of your own bees alive, and want to expand- Don't buy more bees. You can really expand a lot from the bees you have. You can let them raise their own, or you can requeen with new queens. The sooner you can close your apiary (not bring in outside bees (especially frames and brood), the better.
3) If you need bees because you lost all your bees - You can buy more bees, you can requeen them, but you really need to change your management so that you are keeping bees alive and healthy. The first place to start is varroa management - if you often lose more than 15% of you bees, then you should reevaluate how you are keeping your bees safe from these pests. Check out my varroa page for more help.
I can't answer a lot of email questions, but I am trying to teach in other ways:
- include more writing on my education page
- Clinics - I'll update my education page as they get scheduled.
- Phone calls - try me on my cell - 651-428-0543
- Come work with me! I love working with volunteers - if you can make it to my place, come work bees with me. About a week ahead schedule works best. Call or text when you know you will have time, and I'll let you know when I'll be in the field.
(This does not guarantee you a queen, but it gets you on the list. I am a small operation, and I will make as many queens as I can each year. I'll go down the list, and call you when they are available). Priority will go to larger orders and queen cells first, so get your club together. I can talk you through introduction/ queen rearing/ nuc making all together.
Every season I start raising queens in Michigan as soon as I can, which requires enough mature drones for them to get happily mated, usually around mid-May. I will continue to raise queens as long as weather allows (through August, and sometimes into September).
If you are looking for queens for May splits, I won't have them available. I may have queen cells available at this time (weather dependent) on a first come-first serve basis, so feel free to call/email to see if cells are available, once I've started queen rearing.
If you are looking for a large number of queens at once, please let me know as soon as you can. I can accommodate larger orders with advance notice (please email firstname.lastname@example.org for bulk pricing).
I may not have emergency queens on hand at all times, as I will be filling orders first. Please call for availability, or consider keeping an extra queen in a nuc (clinics available) so you will never be left in a beemergency.
We will be shifting our focus to providing queens to local clubs. We found that many of our customers would like more support for queen introduction, making splits, timing, etc. If we continue to provide individualized instruction at each sale of 1-2 queens, we'll never get good queens to everyone! For that reason, I will be working directly with bee clubs in Michigan to coordinate purchases, and to time them with question and answer sessions, as well as hands on demonstrations.
2018 Queen prices (call for bulk discounts).
Mated queens - $40
Virgin queens - $20
Queen Cells - $10
Shipping is available in hard cases for mated and virgin queens (not yet available for queen cells). Queens are shipped via UPS, and prices are variable, but generally around $60) for up to 20 queens.
We are doing our absolute best to find bees that can thrive in Northern climates and that can handle the varroa mite. It is our goal and passion to bring better bees into Michigan. We ask that you please do your part too, and take care of your bees. If you choose to purchase our bees, please make sure that they always have sufficient food, and that they do not become over run with varroa mites or other diseases. We love our bees, and want them to thrive, and to contribute to a HEALTHY honey bee population in Michigan. Happy Beekeeping!