Frequently Asked Questions
Following are some of the most common questions our customers ask. You can either click on the linked question below to go directly to the answer you need or simply scroll through the list of questions and answers. If you have a question that is not answered here, please let us know.
1. Will my queen be mated?
2. How are the queens mated?
3. I just bought a queen and she is marked. What does the marking represent?
4. How can I know if the old queen is really gone before I install the new queen?
5. How do I install the new queen in the hive?
6. How soon once she's been installed should I check on my new queen?
7. How do I know if the colony have accepted my new queen?
8. My colony is carniolan bees. Will they accept a Cordovan queen?
9. Why would I plant queen cells instead of installing a new queen?
10. How do I plant the queen cells?
1. How do I install my packaged bees?
2. What if the bees abscond?
1. How do I integrate the new bees I bought into the existing colony?
2. My existing colony are Carniolan bees. Can I merge Cordovan bees into the colony?
1. Why would I buy a nuc instead of packaged bees?
2. What do I get when I order a nuc?
3. Do I need to bring equipment when I pick up my nuc?
4. How do I install the bees from the nuc once I have them at my bee yard?
1. Is your honey organic?
2. Is your honey pasteurized?
1. Do you take credit cards?
2. Why can't I click on the email address on your site and have it open my email program?
Questions and Answers
1. Will my queen be mated? Yes, all queens have been mated and have exhibited a good laying pattern before they are sold.
2. How are the queens mated? Right now, all queens are open mated, that is, they fly off and mate with whatever drones are in the area. However, this year we will begin experimenting with inseminating queens. Inseminated queens will be specified as such.
3. I just bought a queen and she is marked. What does the marking represent? It is common practice to mark the queen with a small spot of paint on her back (thorax). A color code exists within the beekeeping industry to indicate the year the queen was introduced. For example: Years ending in 1 or 6 are white or gray, years ending in 2 or 7 are yellow, and so on for red, green, and blue. Marking also helps to more easily identify the queen in the hive.
4. How can I know if the old queen is really gone before I install the new queen? There will be no eggs and possibly no brood. Bees will be louder than usual and running. "Roaring like a river" is the old saying.
5. How do I install the new queen in the hive? Pull the plug on the candy end of the queen cage and place the cage between 2 frames in the center of the hive or close to capped brood if any.
6. How soon once she's been installed should I check on my new queen? Wait 3 or 4 days to give the bees time to eat through the candy. If candy is still plugging the hole, use a toothpick to punch a hole, return cage to the original position, and let her emerge on her own. If she has been released, you should close the hive and give her time to establish a laying pattern. In a week, check the frames.
7. How do I know if the colony have accepted my new queen? The queen will be laying eggs and the bees will be calm.
8. My colony is Carniolan bees. Will they accept a Cordovan queen? Most of the time they will. It is best to remove the existing queen for 12-24 hours by installing her in a queen cage with candy. Make sure to destroy any queen cells the bees start while the queen is gone. Package bees will readily accept another race.
9. Why would I plant queen cells instead of installing a new queen? There are several reasons for using queen cells instead of installing a new queen. Cells are less expensive than a mated queen. You may want to utilize your own or local drones to mate her. Cells are readily accepted by bees. You might want a break in brood for varroa mite control.
10. How do I plant the queen cells? Find a clear spot that is around brood and pollen. Make an indentation with your finger in the comb and place the cell with light pressure at the top of the cell so it sticks. Be very gentle to not mash the cell.
1. How do I install my packaged bees? Take the top off the package and remove the can of sugar water and the queen cage. Place top back on package and take your time to remove the cork in the candy end of the queen cage. Install queen cage between 2 frames making sure the screen is where bees can feed the queen. Gently tap the package to shake the bees to the bottom. Remove the top of the package and shake the bees into the hive. Put the top back on the hive. There will be bees still in the package, so lay the package in front of the hive entrance and they should go in. Leave the hive alone for 3 or 4 days.
2. What if the bees abscond? This is unfortunate and part of beekeeping.
1. How do I integrate the new bees I bought into the existing colony? Take the top and inner cover off of your hive. Place 2 layers of newspaper on top of the hive and spray with sugar water to dampen the paper. Make a couple of 1 inch slits in the paper. Put an empty brood box on top and put a few frames with comb or foundation in it if you have them. Or, just place the open package inside the brood box and close the hive. Check the hive after several days. The bees should have eaten their way through the newspaper and become one colony.
2. My existing colony are Carniolan bees. Can I merge Cordovan bees into the colony? Yes, you can. However, it works best if your existing colony is queenless for 12-24 hours. See Queens #8 above for more detail on merging different breeds of bees into an existing colony.
1. Why would I buy a nuc instead of packaged bees? Some of the reasons for buying a nuc instead of starting a colony from packaged bees are: The frames included in the nuc are from a proven, successful existing hive. The queen is already released and has been laying among the frames for some time. The bees have already accepted the queen. You receive the existing frames of comb, honey, pollen and brood. You do not have to wait for the bees to draw comb.
2. What do I get when I order a nuc? Our nucs include enough bees, brood, and a laying queen to begin a new colony. The nuc will also include honey and pollen to feed the bees as they adapt to their new home.
3. Do I need to bring equipment when I pick up my nuc? No, we deliver nucs in a waxed cardboard nuc box. Have your hive equipment set up in your yard ready for your nuc. Nucs will be closed up at the pickup location and all you need to do is pick it up.
4. How do I install the bees from the nuc once I have them at my bee yard? Place all of the frames from the nuc into the center of your hive and place frames with foundation on the outside of the nuc frames to fill up your box. Close up the hive and leave them alone for a week so they can get used to their new home.
1. Is your honey organic? No, but it is all natural and not heated.
2. Is your honey pasteurized? No, our honey is not pasteurized. It's extracted, strained, and jarred at our honey house.
1. Do you take credit cards? We don't take credit cards at this time.
2. Why can't I click on the email address on your site and have it open my email program? Providing a clickable link for email also opens us up to spam and phishing attacks. Since we are a family run operation, we need to focus our time on taking care of our bees and providing our customers with the best customer service. We hope that having to type the email address manually will not be too great an inconvenience.