Ever wonder where we get our Honeybees?

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One of the most common questions we are asked is, “where do you get your bees?” Ours come from Olivarez Honey Bees or OHB in  Orland, California.  Orland is situated between Sacramento and Redding California on the I5.  The Olivarez family have been beekeeping for three generations and have a truly quality operation.  We have tried southern states honeybees and even local Michigan bees but have had the best experience with the...

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Best Harvest Ever!

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I am happy to report that we are having our best season ever.  Due to the dry weather, we harvested a little later than we usually do.  We had a lot of concerns related to the drought and how it would impact the girls and their output, but our worries were groundless as the first harvest of 2016 is the best we have ever had! Every year we look forward to our annual harvest get together ~ a day spent with family and friends, each contributing to...

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Spring Queen Inspection with Newbies

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This spring I had the pleasure of having my friend Dereck, and his 9 year old son Evan, join me for a queen inspection.  It is always fun to be able to show kids an active hive and see their eyes go wide as saucers when they are eye to eye with 30,000 – 50,000 honey bees! This inspection was to see if the queens I installed a few weeks ago were producing brood.  One of the things I look for is pollen being hauled into the hives.  This can...

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A Chilly Start to the Season!

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With beekeeping, you really never know what to expect!  Our honeybees did not fare very well over the winter and we had to replace nearly 80% of them this spring.  It was snowing on and off when I installed the relocated California girls in their new homes and released the queens.  It is amazing how adaptable this tropical insect can be. I am frequently asked how we get replacement honey bees.  We buy 3 pound packages of bees, complete with a...

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Ever See a Warre Hive?

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Keith and Laura in Clarkston recently called me to help get their new Warre hives ready for the season.  Having never seen a Warre style hive, I was curious and was glad to help.     Here are some images from my visit: This is an photo of the bees drawing out the top bars with wax comb.  Photo angle is from the bottom.  Bar pacing is similar to a Langstroth hive but but there are no frames or foundation.  It is amazing how fast the...

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California Girls Are Finally Here

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We lost half our honeybees this year.  See “Want to see what a dead bee hive looks like”  for an explanation as to how they died.  The photo above is one “package” of honey bees, complete with a mated queen and about 3 lbs of female honeybees.  So just how many honeybees weigh 3 lbs?  About 10,000 give or take a few. The girls arrived by truck from California, along with thousands of packages shipped to Michigan every...

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