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Author Topic: I have a question on ordering bees?  (Read 1033 times)
harvey
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« on: February 02, 2010, 10:54:15 PM »

Hello,  I currently only have one hive.  A swarm that found me last year.  I purchased enough wooden ware for two more complete hives this winter.  Now I am looking to order packages for them.  Kelly sent me a catalog and they sell 3lb packages via united postal service?  Does that mean the mail lady delivers them or UPS?   Is Kelly a good place to get bees from?   Who else?   Any ideas or helpful hints would be appreciated.  I live in michigan.  I am also going to try a few swarm traps this year just cause is sounds like fun.
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lotsobees
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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2010, 11:04:02 PM »

Hi there, Harvey!

If your existing hive makes it and is strong, you can make one or more splits from it without having to buy more bees. Of course you would need to buy or raise a queen to go with 'em.

Sounds like you might be in an ideal area for swarms/bees around. Trying your luck with a lure isn't a bad idea.

If you do buy package bees, see if you can drive/pick them up from the folks you're purchasing them from.
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Beaver Dam
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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2010, 11:06:44 PM »

It's up to you how you want them shipped. I use USPS. They will call me the day they arrive to pick them up. Normally Wed - Fri. Suppliers ship on Mon and Tue. so they arrive before the week end. USPS does a great job.
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indypartridge
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2010, 07:39:01 AM »

Any ideas or helpful hints would be appreciated.

Hi Harvey,

You have several options. As other have posted, making splits & collecting swarms are some. Are you involved with a bee club? Clubs often make a group order of packages with someone making a run to bring the bees back, e.g., they'll pick up bees at Kelley's in the morning and have them ready for local pickup that afternoon. Might be worth making some calls to nearby clubs:
http://www.michiganbees.org/whoswho.htm

Nucs are another option. If you're calling local clubs, ask about who sells locally-raised nucs. They won't be available as early as southern package bees, but I believe that local bees are a better option, especially for northern climates.
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kedgel
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2010, 09:30:45 PM »

I've bought bees from W.T. Kelley a couple of times.  They are good to work with.  The bees ship USPS in a cage with the queen in a smaller cage and a can of syrup.  I had a problem with a queen and they overnighted me a replacement free.  That being said, they have gotten expensive.  Brushymountain bees are quite a bit cheaper for everything, but I've never bought bees from them.

I've never tried to do a split or bought bees for awhile because I can get all the bees I want for the price of going and getting them.  I built a bee-vac with plans I got from beesource.com and posted "GOT BEES?" on Craigslist.  I've been inundated with people wanting bees removed from their property.  Even though I took down the ad ages ago, I still get calls for "free-bees".  I think its kind of cool to get free bees and a little honey to boot.  I'll probably never buy bees again. 

Kelly
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Two Bees
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2010, 09:54:04 PM »

Brushy does not ship bees or queens.  Packages and queens are only for pick up at their site in NC and their new site in PA.
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Two Bees
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2010, 09:56:18 PM »

Perhaps you could contact your local beek club.  Most of the time, local breeders may have packages for sale.  If not, perhaps Rossmans in GA or Wilbanks.  Don't know if Wilbanks ships though.  Good luck!
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"Don't know what I'd do without that boy......but I'm sure willin' to give it a try!"
J.D. Clampett commenting about Jethro Bodine.
Pond Creek Farm
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2010, 10:12:53 PM »

W.K.Bees have shipped me several packages, and I have always found them reliable and friendly.  I have four more coming this spring.  I agree that cut outs and nucs are good sources as well, but I do not have the time for cut outs and nucs are far more difficult to arrange for delivery. 
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Brian
charlotte
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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2010, 11:43:35 AM »

I don't know about your post office, here I have to pick them up myself at the USPS when they come in.  I always call the post office & let them know I have bees coming around whatever time frame.  When they arrive the office calls me.  They are usually pretty happy to get them out of the post office!  Smiley
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