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Buying A Package of Bees

The rewards of beekeeping extend far beyond just honey. Bees create more bountiful gardens and orchards for you and your surrounding community. In addition, they provide excellent health supplements like royal jelly, pollen and propolis.

To get started in beekeeping, the first step is to acquire some honey bees. GloryBee accepts orders for packages of live bees and nuc colonies (small established “nucleus” colonies) starting in December. You can pick up your bees at our Bee Weekend in mid-April.

The Bee Colony
There are 3 different types of bees in every colony:

Queen: (Female) One per colony. Lays eggs (about 2000/day)
Workers: (Female)Take care of the queen and the hive. Jobs include cell cleaning, nursing, wax building, honey sealing, guarding and foraging.
Drone: (Male) Sole job is to mate with queen. Cannot sting.

Bees on beehiveItalian Honey Bees

Brought into the US just after 1859, originally from Italy. Italian bees are considered the “worker” bees. By far, the Italian honey bee is the most popular bee for beekeepers in the USA. From our experience, the Italian bee is easy to work with. They are strong foragers and great at keeping their hive clean.

Appearance: Types of bees vary in color from dark to golden yellow. Their bodies tend to be smaller and their over hairs shorter than those of darker types.

Pros:

  • They have a strong disposition for breeding. Colonies start breeding early in spring, and maintain a large population in the fall.
  • Golden Queens are easier to locate.
  • Lower swarming tendencies than other honey bee types.

Cons:

  • Generally less gentle.
  • Inclined to excessive brood rearing, resulting in large food consumption in the late winter and early spring.
  • They are kleptoparasites! They frequently rob the honey stores of weaker or dead neighboring colonies. This is also a factor in the susceptibility to disease.
  • They don’t respond to external conditions as readily as other types.

Carniolan Honey Bees

Originally from parts of the Austrian Alps and North Balkan Yugoslavia and Slovenia. Carniolan bees are slightly smaller than other types of honey bees and are known as the “mellow” bee. Carniolan bees are incredibly gentle and easy to work with. Due to their region of origin, they are more likely to forage on cold, wet days and rank among the best for overwintering. Carniolan queens tend to continue strong brood production into late September. This means that you may have stronger hives going into winter.

Appearance: They are physically distinguished by their generally dusky, brown-grey color. Queens and Drones have nearly black abdomens.

Pros:

  • They are considered to be quiet, gentle and non-aggressive.
  • Carniolans respond quickly to changes in nectar and pollen availability by adapting the rhythm of their brood.
  • They have no inclination of robbing.
  • Conservative use of honey.
  • They can work in cooler temperatures which makes them suitable for PNW Beekeeping and more likely to overwinter well.

Cons:

  • Difficult to locate queen.
  • The size of their colony is dependent on the availability of a pollen source.
  • They tend to desire more storage base and therefore can be more prone to swarming.

Ordering your Bees

  • Orders can be placed over the phone or at our Factory Store in Eugene, OR.
    1-800-456/--7923 - 29548 B Airport Rd. Eugene, OR 97402
  • Bees must be picked up at our Bee Weekend in April. We do not ship packages of live Bees.
  • For more info, check out: GloryBee Bee Weekend

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