I will have five-frame, medium nucs available for sale this year. Please see the attached pdf description: nucleus-honey-bee-hives-for-sale-2017
Many bee colonies die between January and late March. Usually this is due to mites or lack of stores (starvation).
Hopefully, your bees were checked for mites in early fall and treated if necessary. Here is a video illustrating using the sugar shake method of determining whether you need to treat for mites. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvWfGMvy_zs
There are many different ways to treat for mites. Here are three natural ways:
- Mite Away Quick Strips can be used anytime in spring or summer when the daily high temperatures exceed 50 degrees, but are less than 92 degrees. It can even be used when honey supers are on the hive. http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/MiteAway-Quick-Strip/productinfo/194/ http://scientificbeekeeping.com/an-early-summer-test-of-mite-away-quick-stripstm/
- Oxalic acid was approved, in the Spring of 2015, by the EPA for treatment of mites. I prefer the dribble method. It is easy to do and very inexpensive. http://www.dadant.com/news/epa-okays-oxalic-acid-for-varroa-mite-control http://scientificbeekeeping.com/oxalic-acid-questions-answers-and-more-questions-part-1-of-2-parts/ http://scientificbeekeeping.com/oxalic-acid-powerpoint-presentation/
- Apiguard, a thymol-based, product, can be used in late summer/early fall. http://www.dadant.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=101&products_id=815
All of these are considered natural miticides. Here’s a good article on miticides, including the natural miticides. http://scientificbeekeeping.com/miticides-2011/
If your hives are light on stores, there are several ways to feed them in the winter. Perhaps, the easiest is to use the Winter Patties sold by Dadant in quantities of 10 or 40 one lb. patties. This approach has the advantage of providing some protein in addition to carbohydrates. The disadvantage of patties is that small hive beetles (SHB) will lay their eggs in them. If you monitor the patties, you can control this problem of SHB. http://www.dadant.com/catalog/m0016040phw-ap23-winter-patties
I have not seen SHB larvae in dry sugar. To feed dry sugar, I use 1 1/2 inch high shims (boxes) made from 1 X 2 furring strips (https://www.lowes.com/pd/Furring-Strip-Common-1-in-x-2-in-x-8-ft-Actual-0-75-in-x-1-5-in-x-8-ft/1000039599) to make room for the sugar, rather than a super. It will hold at least 5 lbs. of regular, granulated, dry sugar. See the attached photo.
I also cover the bottom of the shim with 1/2 inch hardware cloth. This enables me to easily lift the sugar off anytime I need to inspect the hive. You can open the top of the hive to add dry sugar anytime the temperature is above 32 F as long as you do it quickly. Here is a video demonstrating the technique. Note that the presenter is replenishing the sugar after the bees have consumed most of the sugar placed on the hive earlier. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbAUt4_u6dg
In the past, I haved mixed regular dry granulated sugar with dry protein supplement (such as AP23 or MegaBee http://www.dadant.com/catalog/m0016005-ap23-pollen-substitute-5lb-bag). However, SHB will lay eggs in this mix. I believe it is better to use pure granulated sugar alone. A protein patty can be added by placing it near where the bees are consuming the sugar. It is easy to just lift the hive top and examine the patty for SHB larvae and remove the patty if it is infested.
Here are some links with more details about feeding bees in the winter:
I wanted to make a quick introduction of my new store in Scottsville, the Scottsville Supply Co. LLC which we opened this past November We are a small bee supply store with a storefront and website (www.scottsvillesupplyco.com). We are primarily a Mann Lake dealer though we are expanding our product line each week as the spring nears. We typically announce newly arrived products on our Facebook page, and they are immediately added to our online store. By mid-March you will hopefully find everything you might need to start, grow, or maintain your apiary.
We also have plenty of packages left for pre-ordering. Our customer pickup date is on or about May 5th. The bees are sourced through Rossman Apiaries in Georgia. Ordering can be done in-store (Tues-Sat) or 24/7 on our website:http://www.scottsvillesupplyco.com/product/3lbs-italian-package-bees/
Prices are as follows:
Unmarked Queen Packages (quantity 1 – 4): $115/each
Marked Queen Packages (quantity 1 – 4): $120/each
7% Discounts on orders of 5 or more packages**
Unmarked Queen Packages (quantity 5+): $106.95/each
Marked Queen Packages (quantity 5+): $111.60/each
**Packages must all be either “Marked” or “Unmarked”, mixing is not available for the discount. Also, I ask that individuals please do NOT go in together on a single order to receive a discounted price. The discount is intended for individual beekeepers buying bulk quantities their own apiaries.
I would be grateful if you shared our information with your association. I am just a backyard beekeeper myself and a member of the Buckingham Bee Club. I live in Scottsville and thought our area needed a bee supply store to make products and educational resources more accessible. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have in regards to our store.
Heather Stertzer, Co-Owner/Beekeeper
Scottsville Supply Company LLC
531 Valley Street
Scottsville, Virginia 24590
1 Screen bottom board, 1 deep, 1 medium( 10 frame), inner cover, and top. Includes honey bees $200 if you purchase beforeApril 15, 2016.
Eddie Giles. phone 434-836-0317
293 Georges Lane
Blairs, VA 23838
We are local beekeepers who will be heading down to Georgia this coming spring 2016 to pick up packages of honey bees. We wanted to ask if you will forward our information below to the members of your association. Please let us know if you have any questions. It would be great if you could copy us on the correspondence with your membership.
Don Cole & Tim MacVittie
Back Forty Bees
Please visit our web site at www.backfortybees.com
Looking to expand your apiary this year? New for 2016, Back Forty Bees will have packages available in Hampton Roads, Virginia and Northeast, North Carolina. The bees we have for sale are of Italian heritage and will be brought up from Georgia. This package of honey bees will include a queen and 3 lbs of bees.
There are two locations available for pickup of your package honey bees – Williamsburg, VA and Moyock, NC. They will be available sometime between mid-April and May. You must be available to pick up your bees the day they arrive. The exact date will depend upon weather conditions and other factors. We have a limited number of packages that will be available so please place your order soon. Please visit www.backfortybees.com/package-honey-bees for instructions on how to place an order.Once you place an order you will receive an automated confirmation email. If paying by check, please mail your payment to the address below, otherwise we will send you a Paypal pay request.
The price per package is $120. Please note your purchase is not finalized until payment has been received.
Please feel free to contact either of us with questions.
Mail checks to:
304 Back Forty Loop
Williamsburg, VA 23188
Payable to: Don Cole