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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Post Falls, Idaho
    Posts
    168

    Default Sideliner looking for advice

    I also posted in Beekeeping 101 about picking up my own packages. Long story short. Does it pay to travel from No. Idaho to California to pick up my own packages instead of just buying them around here. I usually buy packages and nucs in smaller quantities but thought it might be better to buy about 20 pkgs direct from a supplier in CA (Koehnen?) along with some extra queens. I could drive to valley in about 15 hours, stay with a niece a couple of days, and then pick up pkgs early and head back home. What considerations do I figure in for keeping bees alive? I would be in my GMC pickup with a secure cloth bed cover over them. I thought controlling the transport would be advantageous along with a possible cost saving. What do you think?

    Thanks in advance.

    Soapy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,700

    Default Re: Sideliner looking for advice

    I think the bees will do just fine with the trip just as you have described. As far as does it pay? You'll have to be the judge of that. It would be fresh blood into your bee yard, and would be a good business excuse to go visit your niece.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,206

    Default Re: Sideliner looking for advice

    I am curious what the mark up is for package bees. How much would they charge you per package for 20 packages?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Sideliner looking for advice

    I drove from Medford Oregon to pick up 20 packages from Koehnen. They do offer a pretty substantial discount for pickups. Throw in a visit to the family and I'd say it's a win win situation.

    When I picked up mine, the the cages were stapled to thin boards, 5 packages per. The most important thing is ventilation, so just keep them stapled that way until you get home. They come with a can of syrup which should last a couple days at any rate. You should be fine. I was driving an '81 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme at the time, and I drove home with five in the trunk and fifteen in the back seat. For me it was only about four hours though.

    Have fun.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Post Falls, Idaho
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: Sideliner looking for advice

    Thanks for the replies. First of all, Koehnen's prices last year was $66.00 for 4lb. pkgs if 20 ordered. We were being charged $90+ in this area for packages. The ventilation question is important because I am not sure if that means open to the air flow in the bed of a pickup or plenty of room around the pkgs for air flow. I have a roll up canvas bed cover for my pickup which snaps down pretty solid but is by no means air tight when it is closed. A big concern is traveling back north where it could still be very cold by the time I get back home so cold air directly on the bees would not be good.

    Thanks again.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Sideliner looking for advice

    Cold air is much much better than no air as long as the bees are dry. 80 lbs. of insects consume a surprising amount of oxygen. They would have no problem left in the open air in the pickup. Packages have been shipped that way for many decades.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,001

    Default Re: Sideliner looking for advice

    You can get very good quality nucs from Sunrise Apiary right out your back door! I drive 350 miles there to get them! Why would you need to go to california? I think they are $100 this year for five frames of brood and bees and a queen in a cage. Mine made a good crop therefirst year. He also sells queens so buy the nucs, split them in half and they will still be better than the average package. $100 / 2= $50 + $25 queen = $75 You won't get your packages home for that. Happy New Year

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,386

    Default Re: Sideliner looking for advice

    I would PM me in Jan some time and add yours to ours/Clubs/mine and come to WesternWa to pick them up and save yourself quite a few hours and gas. I will give you a good deal. OR you can drive down yourself. Let me know how many you are thinking. I will probably get 3 hundred total when I go. I get mine from CF also typically.

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