February 10, 2017
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We are the largest supplier of bee packages in the state of Alaska. We offer four-pound packages of honeybees, which we import from central California. We have a long-standing relationship with our supplier, John Foster Apiaries, one of the largest beekeeping operations in California. Our supplier runs about 18,000 of his own hives. John carefully maintains his own breeding program and has always produced high-quality packages and excellent queens. His queen breeding program supplies thousands of queens throughout North America even sending 20,000 queens last year to Canada.
We believe that although you may find cheaper bees if you shop around, you will not find better bees.
As we have done in the past, we will be making multiple trips during April to accompany each shipment of bees from our supplier’s operation to the distribution points here in Alaska. This is by far the least stressful way to transport packages of bees. Our transport times are typically two days: bees are placed into packages on Thursday and are at our Alaska distribution points on Saturday. We make the journey from Sacramento using a trailer that has been modified specifically for transporting packages of bees. Temperature monitors, ventilated floorboards, air circulation fans and air conditioning are all part of our system for insuring the least amount of stress to the package of bees that you will get. At the airfreight terminal we configure packages on our own custom built transport pallets in such a manner that there is ample air circulation around the bees. Our bees fly on dedicated space to avoid the potential of having air circulation and overheating issues that occur on many commercial cargo/passenger planes.
We pride ourselves in having the most organized, the most communicative, the most personalized bee delivery system in the state.
Because of the way we transport our bees and because we stand behind our products, we have always guaranteed our queens to be alive, healthy, and fertile. Packages are imported with a certificate of health and personally guaranteed to be in good shape. As always, we plan for the event that something can go wrong and bring up extra packages in our shipments in case any of the packages has trouble while en-route. A replacement package is often readily available at that very moment. Occasionally a package will arrive with a dead queen (3 year average is less than 1%). We have replacement queens available during shipment weeks as well as into summer.
Our packages come with a marked single queen bee. Some beekeepers prefer double-queen packages. Double-queens are more complicated to manage but have an accelerated rate of population growth, often leading to a larger crop at the end of the season.
Transportation costs (fuel, airfreight rates, and trucking) this year are predicted to be close to the same as last spring and have not added any extra to our price structure. There has been a slight increase in the cost of our boxes and feeder cans as well as a reduction in supply of 4 pound cages.
Package demand has increased in both the commercial as well as the hobby beekeeping markets in California and have increased the cost of packages by $15 over last year's price. This is by far the most significant factor in increased costs.
If this is the first time you are ordering bees through us... Welcome!
Here is some information for bee delivery day and how we get your bees to you: How We Distribute the Bees