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Friday, December 2, 2016

Post # 60: Buying Bees 25 years later


With my first bit of research, I learned that I wanted to buy a “Package” of bees.  I had bought my queens from Weaver Apiary back in the 1980’s, and so I had some trust in the name (see posts 49 & 50).  Well, actually, it was the only place I knew of that sold bees.  I hadn’t really researched other options.

The Weaver Apiary had, like bees often do, swarmed and split into two or three different apiaries.  There was BWeaver and RWeaver in Navasota.  And I think there is a third Weaver in Arizona. 

I went online and researched the new apiaries.  I settled on the one that was the direct descendant of old man Weaver; RWeaver.  When I bought a queen back in the 1980’s, I bought a queen who was supposed to be calm and friendly.  The last thing I wanted was a cranky old bee.  So I bought a bee that was from the “Buckfast” line of bees.

Well, fast forward a few decades, and we now have bees that are so intermixed, it is difficult to know whether the bee is truly from one line of bees or another.  Apparently queens are not picky when it comes to choosing mates.  She may go out on a mating flight only once, but when she does, she mates with a lot of different fellas.

In recognition of the wanton ways of queen bees, RWeaver has named one of their lines of bees the “All-American” bee.  I pictured her wearing Superman tights and a red white and blue cape flowing down her back.

I went to Package Bees, selected the All-Americans and got set to click on the Order button.  There were options.  When would I like to get my bees?

Well, today of course!  I’m ready right now.  It was January when I was looking at the site. 

I clicked on the drop-down box and the earliest date available was …

April. 

Really? 

I had to make my first phone call to RWeaver.  I quickly learned that everybody at RWeaver works with the bees.  The receptionist was out in the field and asked if I could call her back on Monday, when she’d be in the office working on orders.

I waited until Monday and called: “Are you sure I can’t get my bees any sooner?” 

“No, they won’t be ready.” 

“Sigh, ok.” And I hung up.

Being the impulsive guy that I am, I went back onto the computer and ordered the package of bees.

“OK,” I thought to myself, “this gives us some time to dig into research and learn everything there is to know about beekeeping before they arrive.”

If only it were that simple!