Thursday, January 14, 2016


After last week's below zero weather I decided to check my hives.  The check is simply listening for the buzz of the bees with a stethoscope.  Luckily in the past two weeks I have not lost any additional hives.

One reason to do these checks is to provide more data prior to making a decision on whether to order spring packages and if so, how many.  The "how many" question is important since package prices have risen again.  Here are the prices quoted by a few suppliers.  Please note that ECWBA does not endorse any suppliers.

Dadant                                    $118 for a 3 lb package with Carni queen only

Fleet Farm                              $120 for 3 lb package  Queen type?  Appleton and Fond du lac only

HoneybeeWare                      $125 for 3 lb package.  Carni or Italian queen

Kelly's                                   $140 for 3 lb package with Russian queen shipped to you & insured

For educational purposes I popped the cover on one hive and took a few photos of the bees in cluster.

 This hive has Primorski Russian stock bees.  This strain of bees winters with a cluster about half the size of an Italian cluster.  The advantage being that they are less likely to run out of stored honey.

NOTE: The Dadant's listed above is the Dadant compnay, not Lee Hiene.  At this point no one I know has heard if Lee will be selling packages this year.  If you know the answer please reply to this post.

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