November 15, 2021
Delivery Dates for 2022: April 9th, 16th, & 23rd.
Likely to be about 5% to 6% higher this year than last year
We are the largest supplier of bee packages in the state of Alaska. We offer only four-pound packages of honeybees, which we import from central California. We have a long-standing relationship with our supplier, John Foster Apiaries, one of the largest beekeeping operations in California. Our supplier runs over 30,000 of his own hives. John carefully maintains his own breeding program and has always produced high-quality packages and excellent queens. His queen breeding program supplies thousands of queens throughout North America even sending over 20,000 queens each year to Canada.
We believe that although you may find cheaper bees if you shop around, you will not find better bees.
As we have done in the past, we will be making multiple trips during April to accompany each shipment of bees from our supplier’s operation to the distribution points here in Alaska. Having an experienced beekeeper accompany the packages each step of the way from the bee supplier to your hands is by far the best way to transport packages of bees. It is more work for the transport team but much less stress on the bees resulting in higher quality packages. Our transport times are typically two days: bees are placed into packages on Thursday and are at our Alaska distribution points on Saturday. We make the journey from Sacramento using trailers that are modified specifically for transporting packages of bees. Everything in our transport system is custom designed and built to ensure the least amount of stress to the package of bees that you will get. Our bees fly on dedicated space to avoid the potential of having air circulation and overheating issues that occur on many commercial cargo/passenger planes.
We pride ourselves in having the most organized, the most communicative, the most personalized bee delivery system in the state.
Here is a link to 2019 bee updates and may serve as an informative guide on what goes into producing a package of bees and some of the challenges that may be faced. This is typical of the type of communication we have with our clients to keep them informed on the progress of our packages: Spring 2019 Package Bee Updates
Here also is a link to Spring 2020 updates: Spring 2020 Package Bee Updates
We want to make sure that your order is correct and accurate. Our website will send you an order confirmation when you complete your order to the email address that you use when you place your order. We receive a copy of that. There is also a data string that is automatically generated from your order that goes directly to our spreadsheet database. We understand that things can change on your part (work schedules, travel plans...) and you may have to modify the order before the bees arrive. You can do this by phone or email. Because of this, in late March (about 2 weeks before the bees are due to start arriving) we send out another email that is drawn from our database to be certain that what we have on our order list matches exactly with what you think you are getting. It serves as a final check before we turn in the order to our supplier. Here is an example of the letter that you will receive as a final check of your order: Bee Order Details Letter
Because of the way we transport our bees and because we stand behind our products, we have always guaranteed our queens to be alive, healthy, and fertile. Packages are imported with a certificate of health and personally guaranteed to be in good shape. As always, we plan for the event that something can go wrong and bring up extra packages in our shipments in case any of the packages has trouble while en-route. A replacement package is often readily available at that very moment. Occasionally a package will arrive with a dead queen (3 year average is less than 1%). We have replacement queens available during shipment weeks as well as into summer.
Our packages come with a marked single queen bee. Some beekeepers prefer double-queen packages. Double-queens are more complicated to manage but have an accelerated rate of population growth, often leading to a larger crop at the end of the season. Queens are also available for Topper colonies in June. Please contact us by email for queens arriving at this time period if you are interested in this. Topper queens are ordered separately by email and not on this website at this time.
Package demand continues in both the commercial as well as the hobby beekeeping markets. Donna and I will be traveling to California after Thanksgiving to talk with our supplier and arrange most of the details for this spring's shipments. In January we will be able to have enough information on shipping, fuel costs, and airfreight rates to set prices for packages. We will continue to monitor the conditions and alert you to any changes that might effect our spring shipment.
If this is the first time you are ordering bees through us---Welcome!
Here is some information for bee delivery day and how we get your bees to you: How We Distribute the Bees