YES! IT'S TIME! - Place 2018 bee orders NOW!
Yes, folks. It is that time of year! As we have in prior years, El Dorado Backyard Beekeepers (that's us!) will be making a group purchase of bee packages for you. These will be coming from Shane Harris as we have in previous years. But we have a limited quantity So we will sell out. This saves you a trip to the valley, and assures you that your package got up her in good shape. We provide some training and support so that you can install your new bees (You DID get your hives already, didn't you? If not, get yourself ready with the upcoming 'Beginning Beekeeping' class. Don't worry.)
AND NEW THIS YEAR! We are also selling Nucs (Nucleus Hives). This is a special arrangement we have made with Randy & Eric Oliver (scientificbeekeeping.com) of Grass Valley. These will be 'mini hives' and will have a laying queen, and brood, on five full height (9", not the 6" medium box size) frames. At least two frames will have brood, so this is a hive just as big as many members hives coming out of winter right now. Oliver's bees are known to be gentle (he won't tolerate pissy queen lines!) and great producers and are delivered as mite free as can be possibly arranged. (This will probably not be part of the experimental 'Queen Zero' line you may have read about in ABJ, but will have been raised (and mated) in nearby yards!). This is a great opportunity to get started with a great line of bees.
Which one should you order? Several things may affect your choice. If you are planning on installing your bees into a TopBarHive or maybe medium (6") boxes; you will want a package, as the frames and established comb will not be of much use for you. For nearly everyone else, a nuc will be a better choice.Why? Nearly a month jump-start on our short blooming season. With a nuc you will have new bees hatching on day one. You will have foragers out nearly as fast. This means your hive is bigger, stronger, and has more harvest potential right out of the starting gate. It is hard to explain how much that helps build a strong hive.
On the flip side; you will not experience the transformative experience of shaking a box of live insects and pouring them out like so much sand! And if you know of someone who installs a package, it is worth watching (and YouTube gives you a sense, but to see it real is worth it. But does it make you a better beekeeper? Probably not. And the keeping of bees (strong hives, that produce!) is what we as ElDorado Beekeepers is trying to teach.
This year packages will be $120, this gets you a 'standard 3 pound package' of bees, a queen and some sugar to sustain them on the trip home. Nucs will be $175, and will be in a lightweight 'travel hive'. These will be ready to install into your hive almost as soon as you get home. Note: You MUST be a member to order from us! So become (or renew!) your membership first. If you are not a member, we will not deliver you bees. Place your order HERE.
As most groups recommend, we suggest you have two hives. There are a couple reasons - what is 'normal'? If you have only one hive, you have no point of reference. Second, there are bee losses every year. If you are unfortunate enough to lose a hive, you can split your other and incur no additional costs (as you have empty equipment waiting!) to recover. This is a recommendation, not a requirement. We have all had to make the initial investment to get started and understand the costs!
As always, we will be at the whim of Mother Nature for delivery! Last year one of the package deliveries was done in the snow! So our actual delivery date will depend on how and when your bees are ready. We will be sending updates, but expect April. You have time to order (or build, for you TBH folks) your equipment. Attendance to the Beekeeping 101 will get you a Mann Lake catalog, information on what you really need, and also a discussion about how to build your own TBH equipment (for those who are handy with wood!). We want you to be successful and will do as much as we can (as a club) to make that possible.
Note that ALL memberships are 'annual' on the calendar! That means it is time to renew your membership! This will allow you to purchase bee packages, and get substantual discounts on classes.
If you are a member and your login suddenly stopped working... please contact us! And then check when you last paid for membership, it might have expired! Not a problem, you can re-join on the membership page, and we will get you back up in no time! This probably applies to you! As of December 31, we all expired! Please renew at the next meeting.
Next Meeting: Sunday February 25th
Our next meeting is Sunday, February 25th from 4:00-6:00 pm at the Senior Center in Placerville.
Our speaker will be talking about CATCHING SWARMS
Come as early as 3:30 or even 3:00 and talk with fellow beekeepers before the meeting starts at 4:00 pm. Please arrive before meeting starts so we can start on time. Our meetings are held at the Senior Center 937 Spring St. Placerville. To get there, take Hwy 50 and turn at the light onto Bedford (left going east, right going west). Keep left onto Spring St. (Hwy 49) go thru the stop sign then turn left on Tunnel St, right on Robin Ct. The door to enter has "WIC" over the door.
Next Board Meeting February 15, 5:30-7pm
Our next Board Meeting will be Thursday, February 15, from 5:30-7 pm, at the Taylor Chiropractic Office, 484 Main St (Pleasant Valley Rd), Suite 14, in Diamond Village, Diamond Springs. Club members are welcome to attend to contribute to the discussion about upcoming meetings and events. This is a great opportunity to be first up for events where we make presentions to the public. This is also where we find leaders for events and opportunities!
New look coming this winter!
We have a new logo, the club is now reistered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, and we are putting more news in Facebook/social-media, so it is time for a new look, The clutter of our traditional webpage will be replaced with a cleaner blog-style page. Watch for changes!