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Buying Bees


Buying Bees and comparing bee suppliers... Things you may wish to consider: -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 - Always ask: are you a RE-SELLER or the BREEDER?  If a reseller, who produced the bees?

- Does the breeder have references (or are there local beekeepers who have experience with the breeder and can comment on their experience)?

- Where are the bees from? (hearty northern stock or taken south for winter?)

- Where is the QUEEN from? Her genes will be producing all the future bees! (Some people split their local hives, but put commercially bred queens into the splits.)

- Have the bees come from stock that is treated? e.g. medicated with antibiotics and/or some form of pesticide (hard or soft chemical mite control)?

- If using local queens, is the seller using swarm cells to produce them? (If using swarm cells, the bees may have a tendency to swarm.)  At Bloomfield Honey Farm,  we rear queens from STRONG colonies who do NOT have a history of building swarm cells... because we want bees that "build up & stay put"!

- For Nucs: Ask how many frames of brood will be in the nuc? (There should be X frames of brood, plus combs of honey & pollen.) This info will help you to compare offerings of various suppliers.

- For Packages: How many pounds of bees in the package? (2 lbs, 3 lbs, 4 lbs?)
If you buy a package, weigh it before and after hiving the bees in order to verify that you got what was promised.  Report your results to other beekeepers, so that they know which suppliers are honest.

Note: "less expensive" bees which must be  replaced in the spring (because they do not overwinter well), or bees which must be treated each year with antibiotics &/or mite controls, often prove to be "more expensive" in the long run.

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Bees from Bloomfield Honey Farm: We do not use antibiotics or miticides; the nucs and queens are produced from our survivor stock. We do NOT order queens from other breeders for our nucs.   Bee pickups start in June - based on when orders are received - First come, first served.  (Please see customer comments at the bottom of this page.)
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Did You buy package bees or a nuc produced in the south, but now wish you had Local Stock? Well, the good news is that you can transition your hive to winter hardy, non-medicated, northern bees by re-queening with a queen from Bloomfield Honey Farm! 
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Queens: The price for a queen (only) is $30.00. If you want her marked, please add $2.00. Our queens are bred from our best stock - selection is based on winter hardiness, disease resistance (without medication), and gentleness. Upon request, we can provide an instruction sheet on how to introduce your new queen to the hive. Queens will be available beginning in June.

Our queens are northern stock and we must wait for a long enough period of good weather for the bees to produce drones. Why do drones matter? Because you can't have a well mated queens unless you have an abundance of quality drones. Once the queens hatch and mate, they remain in our bee yard for a couple of weeks.  This time allows us see how each new queen is doing and ensures that you go home with a Queen that is strong and productive, which will offer your hive the best opportunity to build up and winter well!   (Other bee breeders may just plop a queen cell into a hive and send it off as soon as they see eggs. - This is a bit like buying "a pig in a poke",  as the capped brood in those nucs come from the spit and not the new queen!)  We have had good luck with our method, and plan to stick with it.  Your success = our success; we want you to have GREAT bees!

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Nucs:  2014: We have filled all slots for our pre-season nuc orders.  >>> We hope to have more nucs available for sale in 2014, but must wait until spring to see how many will be available. Please check back, or send me an e-mail if you'd like to be put on a list to be notified in the late spring time frame.

Our nucs include 5 frames: 3 with brood and 2 with honey & pollen, plus bees and a laying queen and a cardboard nuc box. (The box is wax coated, and you can re-use it for making splits or catching swarms.) We do not use antibiotics or miticides; the nucs are produced from our survivor stock. We do NOT order queens from other breeders for our nucs. The nucs will be ready in June - Pickups will be scheduled based on when orders are received - First come, first served.

Nuc Frame Size: You can order your nuc with medium frames (6-5/8") or deep frames (9-5/8"), depending on your needs - the price is the same for either. Some folks run all medium boxes, because the deep boxes are so heavy when full. Brushy Mountain's "Garden Hive" is an example of a hive which uses all medium (6-5/8") frames.

And remember, the QUEEN is key - so if you get bees elsewhere, maybe you'd like to re-queen with a Bloomfield Honey Farm queen - lots of folks have had great success doing that! >> Please see customer comments below.
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Place your order via email: BloomfieldHoney@gmail.com 

If you'd like to order bees, please e-mail the following information:

Name:
Address:
e-mail:
Phone#:
Please specify what you are ordering:


  • Queen (only): $30.00 (Marked queens +$2 additional) 
  • Nuc:  All Pre-season nuc orders have been allocated for 2014. We expect to have additional nucs available, but will not know how many until later in the Spring.  Please check back, or send me an e-mail if you'd like to be put on a list to be notified in the late spring.


We will send out a confirmation via e-mail when your order is received, an update e-mail in early spring to let you know estimated ready date(s), and an e-mail when the bees are ready for pick up.


E-mail the above information to us at: BloomfieldHoney@gmail.com
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Feedback / References from our customers:
  
"A big shout out of thanks to Jill Stackpole and The Bloomfield Honey Farm for producing a hardy, healthy and gentle colony of bees for The Soap Hag last year. They were the only colony of bees in our small apiary to over-winter, and we have already pulled some honey and wax from this nuc for our lotion making! Jill has the heart of a teacher and is so willing to answer any and all questions. Thank you for being a great resource for all things bees!" - Lynn Schnapp aka: The Soap Hag

"Hi Jill, see my picture of our honey harvest with our first year Bloomfield NUC. Our first hive that was nearly lost has made a miraculous turn around with your queen, and have two full deeps of stores and improved numbers for the winter. I remain very hopeful that it will survive through the winter. Thanks so much!" -Jackie Parsons Tomko


"Hey, just wanted to shout out the NUC I received from last year is kicking butt. A large and healthy colony! Lets see what they do this spring, I am excited to see them pollinate my fruit trees after last year's dud of a year." - Mark Wyman
"Jill, I LOVE the bees you sold me last year in the nuc. The hive is thriving! They are putting up honey in the honey super I put on 3 weeks ago. And the bees are so gentle. I have had hives that attack me when I get near them, follow me forever trying to sting. NOT THESE. Today I opened the hive to check on them, pulled off the honey super, put it back on and walked away. None of them followed me, none tried to attack. And I did all of this without any smoke at all. I'm glad I have 2 more nucs coming this year. Nice job."   - Mike Schaertl
"I am very pleased with both nucs I purchased from you last year. Both went into the winter very strong with a good store of honey. If all goes well they should be out and about as soon as the weather permits. This was the first time I used nucs, In the past purchase package bees. I'm sold on your Bloomfield mongrels, they're gentle, easy to work with and very productive. When can I purchase 2 more Nucs?" -Tom Morgan

"Super great NUCs here! Awesome people, awesome bees! I highly recommend them!" - Bryan Babcock


"I, of course, tell every one that your bees rock!" - Matt Campbell

"The two nucs I purchased were loaded with bees. I love the special cardboard boxes with the notched frame insets. They were both very heavy and the frames were filled out! Robust! I had to quickly get them into their hive supers. These two hives grew quickly after I put them in. They seem to be very healthy and I even got a few pounds of honey their first year. Great place to get started with beekeeping - happy, healthy, and LOCAL bees!" - David Wikiera

"I was a novice aspiring beekeeper in the summer of 2010. I wanted to keep bees in medium supers only. Bloomfield Honey Farm was able to accommodate with 2 medium frame nucs. "Jill and Bill Bees" are robust . I am overwintering in my second season with these bees. " - Mark Cohen

"As a beginner beekeeper, I really enjoyed working with Bloomfield Honey, and had a very positive experience. Jill is a wealth of information, and can help get you going in the right direction. I successfully purchased and installed my first nuc from Bloomfield Honey. I was really happy with the quality of the bees and my nuc overall. My queen was healthy and very active, the brood frames full. I would absolutely recommend Bloomfield Honey, and do plan on utilizing their service again! I respect the quality of their work, and the responsibility they put into their honeybee program. Thanks Jill & Bill!" - Mary McElhinney

"I bought 2 medium nucs from Bloomfield Honey Farm in Spring 2011. In spite of terrible summer weather, they were gentle, and produced enough honey for themselves to winter over and some to help other hives I have. I still hear buzzing, so am hopeful for spring. I plan to buy more this year. Those medium nucs are so much easier to work with." - Eileen Brophy


"I have had nothing but positive experience with Jill at Bloomfield Honey Farm. She has been patient in answering questions from this newbie beekeeper. I am working with local survivor bees and it is important to me to breed bees that are well adapted to our harsh climate and not treated with chemicals. Last year I needed to requeen a hive and purchased a queen from Bloomfield Honey Farm. This hive has done very well!" - Laurie Walker

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