For 2016, we are planning to have a total of 75 complete Langstroth hives available to the public within our service area. As in previous years, our definition of a complete hive includes three deep boxes with 10 frames per box. Our frames use the wire reinforced wax foundation. Also included is a two chamber screened top feeder, telescoping top cover, solid bottom board, and our own custom designed bottom stand. All our equipment is assembled and finished by ourselves.
The bee colonies we provide will continue to be our own locally bred Russian/Carny hybrids that are part of our breeding program. All the colonies we provide will have already wintered over at least one winter or be a daughter Queen of one who has. Our breeding program is going beautifully and the bees that it is producing are getting noticeably stronger each season. We’re seeing about a 75% survival rate with the bees from the hives that we are managing. This is VERY good news compared to the 60%-70% failure rate seen with the more commonly seen Italian colonies sourced from Georgia.
As of this writing we’re working at keeping our pricing for a Langstroth hive the same as the past two years at $550 per hive delivered. This might go up by around $20 as we haven’t gotten a final price on all the equipment, the bulk of which we have yet to receive.
If you’re thinking about getting onto our waiting list for a hive, we strongly recommend contacting Larry at 703-801-2281 as soon as possible to do so. Almost half of our predicted stock of hives is already spoken for. We will be doing a few garden shows in February, mostly notably the Rooting DC Festival late that month, and our list usually fills up quickly from show attendees. Larry will be giving a keynote lecture on the Local Bee Crisis at the Rooting DC event in the afternoon of February 28 in NW DC.
For all those who inquire: We still are not able to sell just bees in either package or nuclear form. Breeding programs take many years and are as such that we currently only have enough colonies for the clients whose hives we manage and to sustain/grow our breeding program. Also, being that this is the DC area, space is at a premium and there is no place close by where we could (legally or logistically) have a mass breeding program of 200+ hives. So, by necessity, our breeding is on a smaller scale. Because of the time and effort we’ve invested over five years in our breeding program, we’re pretty insistent about being able to manage the colonies we create throughout the year even though they are owned by our clients. We are very protective parents because this is all about the bees!
Because of the El Nino weather pattern, we are very hopeful that this winter will be shorter and warmer than we’re used to. In 2015 we didn’t really get to start delivering hives till the end of April. We’re hoping that, for 2016, we’ll be able to start delivering in mid- to late March but that is ultimately up to Mother Nature.
While much of what you’ve just read is total beekeeper-speek, we do recognize that the vast majority of our clients are not beekeepers and don’t know the jargon or the technical ins and outs of beekeeping. We’re not trying to confuse you or pull wool (or wax) over your eyes. As always you’re welcome to call anytime, contact us through here, or write Larry directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about how we operate and what we’re doing.
2016 is going to be a great year! Our list of satisfied clients is growing and we’re also noticing a real change in the environments where we’ve put hives. As time goes on, these hives do better and better as they both adapt to their new homes and also help to build their environments to suit their hive’s needs. We’ve seen that our clients are having to do less and less feeding to support their hive in autumn. The colonies we’ve been breeding are getting stronger each year and, given proper support, are surviving winter with flying colors!
So! Plant clover and wildflowers! Fire lawn services that use chemicals. Boycott Monsanto and Mosquito Guard! Plant fruit trees and berry bushes that give back to you and the bees instead of trees that just sit there. Until someone funds NASA, this is the only planet we’ve got!
And yes, Eco Honeybees is officially supporting the Bernie Sanders campaign in 2016. That should be obvious. If only bees could vote…….