Yesterday I placed what is probably the first of my 2012 bee orders. I ordered 20 packages (each package comes with its own queen). For a number of years, I’ve order my bees through Dave Heilman of Ohio Honey Farm, and I’ve had good luck with them…each spring, Dave drives a big truck to Georgia and then, as he drives back to his place in Wooster, Ohio, he drops the packages off to his customers. This first call of the season to Dave always brightens my day. Not only is he a nice guy and we get to talk a little bit about bees, but it’s a sign that winter is blowing out. Things start perking.
So long as the weather holds up, we can expect to receive our bees on Saturday, April 14th.
Which means there’ll be a lot of commotion that day. And the next. I can hardly wait.
Now, some of you know that I’m trying to build a sustainable apiary of local bees and local survivor queens, so eventually I’ll not need to order packages of bees from elsewhere. But it’s slow going. This year I plan to raise local queens. And I’ve ordered a few queens with good reputations (from Zia Queen Bees in New Mexico and from Russell Apiaries in Mississippi) from which I hope to eventually raise more queens. We’ll see how it goes.
(As I type this, I hear a mouse eating something in my cabinet. It sounds as if an entire family of mice is eating through the entire cabinet and all its contents. And the cat curled up here is useless.)
Deb’s uncle Doyle wants me to supply him right this minute with queens from my apiary. I asked him to try holding his horses until June.
Below is a picture of my very first package of bees: