This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Due to Weather the Bee Deliveries Have Been Delayed

I was called by my bee supplier Ray Olivarz today. The weather in Chico California has been cold and rainy for the last three weeks. Weather like this in northern Calif has never been this cold and wet in his memory. The weather has provided poor queen rearing conditions. All of the queen and package bee suppliers in Calif. are suffering from the same conditions. This may also impact queens being sold for divisions.
Because of this, the bee pick up date will be delayed TWO weeks for each load.
New tentative dates:
First Load ....... April 23rd
Second Load ... May 7th
The quality of the packages and queens is very important to us and please know that we appreciate your patience in this matter.
This is what has been happening in California.
The weather has been raining and the temperatures have been under 60 degrees for the highs. Proper queen mating occurs at temperatures over 60 degrees.
The bee supplier has been setting out 35,ooo mating nucs. With all of this, the present mating attempts has been unsuccessful. They graft queen cells every other day through the season. The queen cells take 14 days to mature to put into the mating nucs and the queen breeder has to hope for proper weather conditions when the queen cells are ready to go. The cells develop in finishing colonies and on day 14 they are ready to put into mating nucs. The queens emerge in the mating nucs. They are able to fly and go on mating flights after about 5 days.
The weather now is finally turning around with temperatures rising into the 70's. The shaking of packages normally starts on March 28 for his first load leaving Calif. (Nature's Nectar is the second and fourth load) now the shaking will start on the 10th of April. So basically they are two weeks behind.
While we will do everything we can to provide the queen that you ordered the bee supplier says there is a possibility that the queen that you ordered may be a different queen. Be assured though, that all queens in the packages will be properly mated.
Mother Nature has been challenging this year all around the country.