Draper's Super Bee Apiaries, Inc. -  Package Bees

Queens & Package Bees 
Updated on:
May 27, 2014

Feel free to give us a call with any of your beekeeping related questions.

2014 Queen & Package Bees Prices
Order just queens or 3 lb. package bees below.

We ship queens via UPS ground locally and either next day or second day air depending on your location.
If you have a question about the shipping cost, give us a call or send an email.

Queens Only

Price
Not including Shipping

Order Queens Only
Clipped and/or marked queens add $6.00

Italian Queen
Not including Shipping

$ 34.95

How Many

Carniolan Queen
Not including Shipping

$ 34.95

How Many

Please read our statement on shipping and receiving bees below.

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We normally start taking orders for package bees in November sometime. Check back then and order your bees early for early delivery in 2015.

Click here to watch a short video on how to install package bees.
Also available on YouTube.

Package Bees

Price

Order Package Bees

Italian 3 lbs.
with queen
Clipped and/or marked queens add $6.00

SOLD OUT

 How Many

04/29/14 - For those of you that have orders in to pick up your package bees here at our location. The next load is scheduled for pickup on May 9th or 10th.
Buckfast 3 lbs.
with Clipped & Marked Queen
SOLD OUT

How Many

All American 3 lbs.
with Clipped & Marked Queen
SOLD OUT

How Many 

If you have your package bees shipped, the shopping cart will read $0.00 for shipping when you checkout because standard shipping on package bees is calculated using the drop down menus and not by the shopping cart.  Please read our statement on shipping and receiving bees below. Thank You!

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5 Frame Nucs Price Ordering
Pick up Only NO NUCS
for 2014
 

For a printable (.PDF) queen & package bee price sheet click here.

If you would like more information about the different types of bees available click here.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR INTRODUCING QUEENS AND HIVING PACKAGE BEES click here.
Click here to watch a short video on how to install package bees.

 

To all shipped package bee and queen customers,

When you order package bees or queens from Draper’s we will do our best to inform you of ship dates and any information concerning your order. Package bees are shipped on a first ordered first shipped basis so if you wait to order until April your bees may not ship until the end of May. Most Italian packages of bees are shipped via Priority Mail unless requested otherwise. The All American and Buckfast bees are shipped via U.P.S. Next Day Air. When we start inventorying queens we prefer to ship them by U.P.S. because of zone restrictions (distance from shipper). Some package bee and queen orders may be subject to other charges such as Next Day Air. For example if you live in California, we will most likely ship your queen bee via Next Day Air which may cost as much as $ 50.00 or $ 60.00. However, if you are relatively close to us we will use regular ground shipping which starts around $ 15.00. These charges cannot be absorbed by Drapers and will be charged to the customer. This is good for the customer because bees shipped great distances will be in transit less time. If you want to request a cheaper shipping method you can, however we will not guarantee the queens safe arrival and they will be shipped at your risk. Your bees may or may not ship from our location here in Pennsylvania. We use many different package bee producers to meet orders and the packages are shipped directly to you from the producer that is closest to your area (if possible) to shorten shipping time and stress on your bees.

Bees are not items that are stocked in a warehouse and ship days are effected by weather, the postal service and many other factors. Because package bee time is one of the busiest times of year, we are not always informed when the package bees actually ship. Please just plan to receive your bees sometime after the proposed date. It is your responsibility to make arrangements to pick up your bees at the post office. If you are going out of town and are not available to pick up your bees, you will need to make arrangements with someone to pick them up for you. We are not responsible if you do not pick up your bees when they arrive at the post office and they die. Dead packages or queens must be reported the day they arrive and confirmed by the postmaster. We will not refund any money or reship any bees if you take the bees home and call us the following day. We also request that you email us a picture of the package you received with the bees still in it, dead and alive, so we can determine what needs to be done. We may request that you send the dead queen back to us.

Package bees must be prepaid before we can ship them, sorry no C.O.D. orders.

Every year when we get to April 1st we can no longer make changes to, or cancel package bee or queen orders. This is because shipping begins in April and everything is scheduled, invoiced and paid for.

We only guarantee live delivery on queens shipped to you. We can not guarantee anything that happens once the queen is placed in the hive.

The spring is the busiest time of year for us and we thank you for your patience.

For some great information on honeybee pests and diseases click here!
This will direct you to another website.


We sell and buy used equipment if you are looking for something
or would like to sell an item click here
.


About the Different Kinds of Honeybees

ITALIAN QUEENS

Survivor Italians continue to be our most popular strain. This strain has been maintained by introducing queens from survivor colonies where mite damage has been extensive. The assumption is that these have characteristics to enable them to withstand damage caused by mites.

ALL AMERICAN QUEENS

GENTLE - The All American bees are not inclined to sting. They are easy to handle because they remain quiet on the combs and do not run and boil out of the hive when it is opened.

QUICK BUILD-UP - The Queens are prolific and, under favorable conditions, build up very quickly. In some northern areas truckloads of two pound packages produce an average of 225 pounds of honey year after year.

LOW SWARMING TENDENCY - It is characteristic of the species that unmanaged bees must swarm to preserve the race. Although our bees build up very strong, they have been bred not to swarm if they are given plenty of room.

HIGH HONEY PRODUCTION - The All Americans will produce more honey than ordinary bees which means more money for the beekeeper at the end of the year. They are capable of producing enormous crops if the weather cooperates.

WINTERING - The All Americans keep a rather large open brood nest, but normally will store honey in the brood nest if they are crowded down during the fall honey flow. They winter best in two- or three-story colonies.

PROPOLIZING - Not bad - about medium

HOUSEKEEPING - These bees keep a very clean, neat, orderly hive with very little brace comb

ADAPTATION - The All Americans seem to be well adapted to all climatic conditions. In the northern latitudes they are used successfully by beekeepers who overwinter, by beekeepers who operate with package bees, and by beekeepers who go south to make up nucs.

COMPATIBILITY - These bees cross well with other breeds

COLOR - Variable. While breeding in good characteristics we did not give much weight to color. The general appearance of the colony is that of dark and hardy Italians.

BUCKFAST

At Buckfast Abbey in Devon, England, Brother Adam's primary aim was to breed a bee with high resistance to tracheal mites. When he had accomplished that, he began incorporating good traits he found in various races of bees during his extensive travels. He developed a bee which was gentle, had highly fecund queens, were high honey producers with a low swarming tendency, and were good wintering bees with a low consumption of stores. An excellent choice for the Northern States and the East Coast Region.

During a two year test of six stocks of bees at the University of Minnesota, the Buckfast ranked:

Nosema in Queens - none

Acceptance - BEST (100%)

Spring Buildup - BEST

Gentleness - very gentle (second just behind Midnites)

Swarming Tendency - very low (ranked second)

Propolizing - slight (All Buckfast colonies)

Longevity of Queens - TIED FOR BEST (87% after 16 months)

Wintering - TIED FOR BEST

and..

HONEY PRODUCTION - BEST (during two years). For details see the February, March, and April 1982 issues of American Bee Journal.

CARNIOLAN

The bee is the subspecies of the Western honey bee that has naturalized and adapted to the Carniola region of Slovenia, the Southern part of the Austrian Alps and North Balkan. These bees are known as Carniolans, or short Carnies, in English. At present this race (i.e., subspecies) is the second most popular among beekeepers (after the Italian honey bees). It is favored among beekeepers for several reasons, not the least being its ability to defend itself successfully against insect pests while at the same time being extremely gentle in its behavior toward beekeepers. These bees are particularly adept at adjusting worker population to nectar availability. It relies on these rapid adjustments of population levels to rapidly expand worker bee populations after nectar becomes available in the spring, and, again, to rapidly cut off brood production when nectar ceases to be available in quantity. It meets periods of high nectar with high worker populations and consequently stores large quantities of honey and pollen during those periods. They are resistant to some diseases and parasites that can debilitate hives of other subspecies.


INSTRUCTIONS FOR INTRODUCING QUEENS AND HIVING PACKAGE BEES
 

Introducing Queens: Make sure your hive is queenless. Remove the cork from the candy end of the queen cage. Wedge the queen cage between two of the center frames with the screen on the cage exposed downward toward the bottom of the hive so that the bees can access the queen through the screen. You can also carve out a spot in one of the frames, if you have drawn comb, for the queen cage to fit into with the sugar side down and the screen facing inward between the frames. The bees must also have access to the hole in the candy end of the cage. Take care to ensure that the queen cage is securely embedded in wax. If the cage falls to the bottom of the hive the queen may not survive. The queen must be placed in the part of the hive where the bees are clustered. Close the hive and wait for 3 or 4 days before opening it. After that time open the hive. If she is not out of the cage, release her by taking the screen off.

Hives that have been queenless so long that all of the brood has hatched out do not accept queens very well. If possible, such a hive should be given one or two combs with open brood in them from another colony before introducing the new queen.

When you are re-queening, you may install the new queen immediately after killing the old one or you may wait as long as four or five days before installing the new queen.

Hiving Package Bees: Have your hive ready before the package bees arrive. Be sure the hive has been provided with honey or sugar syrup for feed. Take the cover off the package, remove the feed can, and remove the queen cage. This procedure is made easier by prying the can up with a hive tool, then gently banging the package down on the ground to dislodge the bees from the can and the queen cage. Look in the queen cage to make sure the queen is alive. If the queen is dead, telephone us immediately for a replacement. Remove 5 or 6 frames from the center of the hive. Turn the shipping cage bottom up, over the hive and shake the bees into the hive. Carefully start inserting the frames back into the hive.  Remove the cork from the candy end of the queen cage and hang the queen cage, candy end down, between two of the center frames in your hive. The bees must have access to the screen on the queen cage. Cover the hive and do not disturb it for at least 3 or 4 days. After that time the queen should be out of her cage and should have eggs laid in one or two combs. If you have started the hive on foundation only, the bees should be drawing out two or three sheets of the foundation. Starvation of the bees is the biggest hazard to successful establishment of the package of bees. Continue to feed them, taking care not to get robbing started, until you are sure the bees are producing enough honey to maintain themselves.


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Royal W. Draper