Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
406 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last year I ordered my first package of bees. I live in Michigan and ordered from Georgia. The queen was supposed to be marked and it came unmarked (which upset me a bit, as a newbie) but had lots of attendants in the box with her. This year I bought three packages from a bee supply that's a mile away from me (who knew!!!?) and these queens were all alone in their little boxes. They were unmarked and it would have been easy for me to mark them but I didn't.

The Georgia queen last year came in a box with a cork in the end. When you pulled the cork, there was candy in the hole. This years queens had the cork but no candy! My wife cut a marshmallow in small pieces and I stuffed it in and hoped for the best.

Since I'm still new at this bee thing, it surprises me that there seems to be few "standard practices" when it comes to supplying bees.

If I were to order bees from yet another supplier, are there any surprises yet to come?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,400 Posts
The difference in queen cages is a regional thing. It has not been that long since bee were bought exclusively through mail order. I use to get mine from Montgomery Wards, for $12.00. southern bee keepers use to supply to greater distances into the cooler north than western providers so the three hole with candy queen cage came about. In theory allowing bees to be kept for several days without concern. While on the west cost where the where they shipped to milder climates the California Queen cage came, which is a slotted queen area with no candy and was usually shipped with no attendants, the warmer early spring weather kept nurse bees more active and they had no trouble caring for the queen. It is almost a certainty that your local beekeeping supplier gets their bees from California. I say this out of speculation as I think it may be a bit early for Michigan beekeepers to be shaking packages. Today there are even more configurations out there. Regional differences have now become preferences learned from supplier and or mentors as new beekeepers enter the field.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,064 Posts
For sure that your local supplier is getting packages from out west. Way too cool in MI to get packages shook there. The cage was a California Mini Queen cage. CFKohnen and Sons, and Oliverez both from Cali use these types of cages. I normally use a whole marshmallow and shove into the cork end and they chew her free in about 2 days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,486 Posts
Package queens don't need attendants or candy for that matter. The bees are already 'introduced' to her and you can direct release if you feel like it. That being said it would be nice to standardize. I've ordered queens where some cages had candy, some didn't but I just direct release them after testing acceptance and it worked out but it makes you nervous.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top