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Located inside Great Lakes General Store in Galesburg, Michigan
Open 7 days a week!
Monday - Saturday 10am - 6pm
Sunday Noon - 6pm
School of Beekeeping
Online Beekeeping Classes here!
Bee nucs & packages for sale in Michigan!
We generally start taking orders for bees in January or February each year. Orders can be placed at any time with full payment and your order form filled out. Your order isn't complete until we have full payment AND your order form, so make sure you get both of those to us well before the bees are ready for pickup. Every year we run out fairly quick and there are never enough bees to go around, so don't delay when making our purchase. When bees are available for purchase, you will find the form here on this page. Every year things can run a little different due to weather mostly, however, as a general rule bees will be ready for pickup mid April to mid May. Depending on weather, that can sometimes be sooner or later. We will generally give you a call about 7 to 10 days ahead of the pickup date to let you know when and what time pickup will occur. There are no refunds, exchanges or credits for bees, so please make sure you really want to get into beekeeping and are ready to get your bees. Don't procrastinate with your classes and getting your equipment. The closer you get to bee pickup time, the harder it will be to get into classes or to find supplies because everyone else is trying to do that same thing.
NOTE: Packages and NUCS may not be available for pickup on the same day.
NOTE: Our supplier asks for the nuc boxes back, so, if possible, can you please return your nuc boxes to our store in Galesburg. This helps them keep their costs down, which in turn helps keep their nuc costs down.
PURCHASE HERE - RELEASE FORMS HERE - We MUST have both your payment AND your form before you order is final. PAYMENT ONLY WILL NOT GET YOU ON THE LIST FOR A NUC OR PACKAGE. You can mail, drop of, scan or send a photo of your completed for BEFORE you come to pickup your bees. We will not accept forms the day of pickup.
FAQ Bee Purchase Policy
Question: Why don't you state what kind of bees you are selling?
Answer: See are article about types of bees HERE.
Question: Are the bees you sell winter-hardy bees?
Answer: See are article about "winter-hard" bees HERE.
Question: If i don't pick up my bees when you schedule the pickup time, do I get my money back?
Answer: No. Payments are non-refundable. Your payment for the Bees, when you placed your order in early spring, was to reserve them from our bee supplier. We pay for all these bees ahead of time, based on your commitment to purchase a hive(s).
Question: When I installed my bees, there was no queen cage in the box?
Answer: For NUCS, that's ok, sometime the queens have been introduced to the NUC long before it gets put into the NUC box and shipped or dropped off. All packages should contain a queen cage with the queen still in it.
Question: When I installed the bees and then blocked the entrance, there were still many bees outside the box? Do I leave them alone?
Answer: Yes, once it gets dark and cooler and you remove the entrance block, the bees on the outside will go in the hive. They should hang around on the outside throughout the day until they can get in. You don't need to leave the entrance blocked long and if it's hot out, don't block it at all. Remember: Don't smoke the bees during install or any bees left outside the hive will have a hard time smelling the queen and finding their way into the hive.
Question: Do I have to feed the bees after I install them?
Answer: This depends on when you get your bees. If it is early in the spring, before trees are in bloom and it is still getting cool/cold at night, you should probably feed them still, just to be safe. One part sugar dissolved in one part water will do great. You can purchase feeders at our bee supply store or just use a Tupperware lid and put marbles and rocks in it so they have something to stand on to eat and not drown. If it is later in the spring, into May, you should be good not feeding them. If in doubt, feed them, it won't hurt anything!
Question: Is food all I need to do for the bees?
Answer: You can put sugar water out, pollen mixtures/patties for proteins and water. Water is just as important as food, especially when it gets hot out. Cool, fresh water helps the bees keep their hive cooler on hot days. Consider a chick water container you can buy at any feed store and fill it with water once a day.
Question: When I pickup my bees, how long before I put it into my hive?
Answer: Immediately. Do not leave the bees in their box for any length of time. A NUC/package is designed for transportation, not bees to live in. It is HOT in there, even in the shade. Do not leave them in the NUC.
Question: What happens if I have to have someone else pick my bees up, but they are unwilling to install it?
Answer: If you must leave the bees in the NUC for any length of time, you will need to OPEN the little door on the front of the NUC. This will allow the bees to come and go from the NUC. This will help them try to keep their nuc cool and will allow them to forage for food and water. Bees have a very good GPS, so you have to be careful when moving them. A couple things to keep in mind if you are going to do this.
If you are going to set your nuc under a shade tree and this is not where your hive is going to be go to step 2
If you can set your nuc on top of your hive, where your hive is going to stay (make sure they are shaded) then jump to step 3
Step 2: You will need to wait until the bees are back from foraging, so block them in the nuc the hive after dark, take the nuc and install your bees into their new hive, BUT leave them locked in their new hive for 2-3 days (block off the entrance well). Make sure you have the screen bottom and screen inner cover on if you are going to do this. The hive will also get hot with all those buzzing bees, so they need air flow. Wouldn't hurt to put sugar water and a pollen patty in either. You need to lock them in for 2 or 3 days in order to allow them to forget where the nuc was under the shade tree (the longer the better). If you don't allow the 2-3 days locked in their new hive to forget about the old location, most of them will fly back to where you had the nuc setting and die there.
Step 3: You MUST place your nuc on top of your hive BEFORE you open it. Once the bees start to come and go from the NUC, they will set their GPS to that location, if you move the hive or nuc after they have set this GPS, they will return to the spot where you first opened the nuc. Set the nuc on top of the hive, then open it to ensure they set their GPS in the nuc to the same spot as your hive. You will have to keep the hive/nuc in the shade somehow too. Even though it may not be that warm outside, the plastic of the nuc combined with the heat of all those bees really increases the heat on the inside. Too much heat and bees start to die.
REMEMBER: don't leave them in the nuc, with the door open, for very long. They will probably already be at maximum capacity, so you run the risk of a swarm very soon.
This isn't the best option, but if it's your only option, then give it a try. REMEMBER: If you have any questions or want talk about this process more, call us, we would be happy to go over it more with you and talk about your options.
Question: How do I transport the bees when I pick them up?
Answer: Most of the bees will be closed up enough, that there won't be any bees outside, however, some can escape, so if you aren't putting them in the back of your pickup truck, bring a towel to throw over them just to be safe. We do not recommend transporting your bees in the trunk of a vehicle. The bees are already going to be hot, so every effort must be made to keep them cool, until you get them home.
Question: Do you have any guarantees on your bees?
Answer: We guarantee, when the bees arrive here at the farm, they are checked and are all alive and healthy. After you leave our property with your bees, we cannot guarantee anything. If you get your bees during the designated pickup time and take them right home and install them into the hive, everything should work out well. If you cannot make the designated pickup time, you risks the bees perishing from heat or lack of food/water. These plastic NUCS are meant for transport, not for the hive to live in, they need to be removed from the NUC ASAP!
Question: What if I cannot make the designated pickup time for the bees?
Answer: We choose the designated pickup times based on weather and estimated arrival times for the bees. When the pickup date is set, you must be here to pick up your bees, so please make arrangements to have them picked up, if you cannot. We are dealing with live animals, and they cannot stay in these boxes past their arrival date. We do not have the ability to store/house the bees and are unable to make arrangements for pickup at any other time besides the posted pickup date and time. If you are unsure if you can make it to pick your bees up when the date is set, no matter what, then you shouldn't be ordering bees. These are live animals, and we treat them with respect.
If you don't or can't make the pickup time set for nucs or packages, we will process a refund for your order, minus the restocking fee and resell the nuc to the backup list. This will be automatic at the end of the pickup window set by the store.
Question: What time of year are the bees ready for pickup?
Answer: Weather plays a BIG part on the timing for the bees. Generally, they are ready in Mid-April to Mid-May, however, past years, weather has allowed us to have them ready sooner than Mid-April and sometime much later than Mid-May, so we have to play it by ear each season. We will wait and release the nucs when the weather is good. We don't want everyone taking their bees home and then getting four days or rain (or even snow), making it hard for the bees to get acclimated and get to work.
As usual, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to call us or come in. We are here to help you in every way possible.