Please read the info below before you contact me to purchase a queen. I will still be doing field work and research for MSU as my main job, so queens are limited. I’ll prioritize larger orders, so get together a group from your bee club.
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, or I need to get nucs ready for winter. This means that mated queens are generally 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. I can’t ship the cells, but I can walk you through the process of transport when you pick them up.
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 2019 from beekeepers outside the Munith/Stockbridge region.
If I have extra bees, I'll post them to the Northern Bee Network Facebook Sales Page, or I’ll send out an email to my mailing list.
Why can’t I buy your nucs?
I am not selling nucs in 2019 for two reasons. First, I have some really exciting research grants at MSU that involve field research during blueberry bloom. That means that I’ll be working research hives on the west side of the state during the peak time for nuc making. I really like my research and its paycheck, so that will be my priority for 2019.
The second reason that I am not selling nucs is because I felt like I was enabling bad beekeeping. I strongly recommend that beekeepers stop buying outside bees as soon as possible.
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. Order a package with your local bee club, and 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:
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 we can make the schedules work. I work more than full time in the summer, and everything is very weather dependent, so please be patient and persistent. In the winter, I am always in the woodshop, and my schedule is more flexible. What works best is to try me by phone a few days to a week in advance, and we can pick a time that works for both.
To pre-order queens, please use the form here.
(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.
2019 Queen prices (call for bulk discounts).
Mated queens - $40
Virgin queens - $20
Queen Cells - $10 ($5 each for orders of 10 or more)
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!