Now is the time to place orders for your honeybee colonies. Here at AJ Honey Farms, we offer several options to choose from. Please click here to start shopping.
We want you to be able to choose the colony that is right for you. Here are some things to consider.
Italian Honeybees – (Apis mellifera ligustica) Are a subspecies of the western honeybee. They are the most popular bees in North America, and are known for being gentle, good honey producers, and creating strong colonies. Italian bees are adaptable to different climates and are typically reared in the south. In colder climates, they have difficulty forming tight clusters because they need to consume extra food.
Carniolan Honeybees (a.k.a. Carny’s) – Known for their winter hardiness, rapid spring buildup, and exceptional honey production. They have a genetic trait to swarm and are less prone to hive robbing. Carniolan honeybees are adapted to long hot summers and cold winters, making them the ideal choice for many beekeepers all across the US. They are also known for responding quickly to changes in food sources, being as gentle as Italians, flying at cooler temperatures, and being thrifty with stored honey reserves during winter.
Buckfast Honeybees – Are a hybrid breed of honeybee developed by Brother Adam at Buckfast Abbey in Devon, England in the early 1900s. They are a cross between many subspecies and strains of honeybees. Buckfast bees are known for being docile and not aggressive. They are also highly resistant to the tracheal mite, which can cause devastating colony loss. They have a low tendency to swarm, they are economical in the use of winter stores, they are accustomed to building up the hive size quickly in the spring, and they are often compared to the Carniolan honeybee.
New Beekeepers will want to start our with our nucleus colonies (Nuc’s – pronounced nukes). This is 5 frames drawn out with comb. The queen is in production, laying eggs in the comb cells and there are all stages of development from newly laid eggs to emerging honeybees. These frames also contain resources that the colony has been able to collect such as nectar and pollen. Nucleus colonies can have a jumpstart on the season due to the advanced stage of development. Simply take out 5 frames from your bottom brood box and replace with these frames.
Existing beekeepers can opt for purchasing package colonies. These colonies have 3 pounds of honeybees that come in a box that is screened for ventilation. The queen is placed in a separate cage that is then hung in the box so that the workers can take care of her during travel time without her getting hurt. There is a can of sugar water placed into the center of the package box that will provide food during their travel. There is no drawn comb or nectar and pollen resources. The colony will have to build and gather resources before the queen can start laying eggs. If you have drawn comb from pervious hives. This can be used to help jumpstart a package colony. Installing a package can seem to be a little more daunting than installing a nucleus colony but is still very easy to accomplish.
As always, we are here to help with any questions or concerns. Stop in and see us or give us a call.