We do still have 3lb packages of honey bees available to order. Delivery date will be May 3, 2012. Our package order form is here Package Confirmation 2014.
We are hoping that this cold weather will break soon, and looking forward to spring. This is a photo from one of our newly installed package colonies in the SARE yard this spring - a beautiful frame of honey.
We will once again be bringing 3lb packages of Rossman Italian bees from Moultrie, Georgia in May. The packages will be available for pick up on May 3, 2014 in Portland, or in Jefferson Maine.
Details and order form here: Package Confirmation 2014
Watch a short video of Erin installing a package of honey bees here: Package Installation
Erin and fellow Master Beekeeper Jacky Hildreth will be teaching intermediate level bee school, Apiary Management starting in January. Classes will be held at the University of Southern Maine Portland campus. Details and links to sign up can be found on the Cooperative Extension website.
In the winter of 2013 Cindy and Erin purchased a 10 acre farm in Jefferson Maine with the intention of expanding our beekeeping operation. The Jackson Farm in Jefferson is a wonderful spot for bees, and we have also located several excellent locations for additional outyards near the farm. Our plan for 2014 is to nearly double the size of our overall apiary, expanding both our honey production colonies, and our queen and nuc raising. As a result, we will not be selling any of our overwintered nucleus colonies this year - we intend to use them make the increase in our colony numbers.
We are, however selling 3lb Rossman packages in early May. In our SARE project we have seen that commercial packages which are requeened with northern queens in June have statistically equal strength and survival rates to northern raised nucleus colonies. Until such a time as the New England beekeeping industry has grown and changed to include a healthy supply of northern raised nucs which keeps up with demand for replacement colonies, our recommendation is to purchase the best quality southern packages you can find, and then requeen with a northern queen in June when they become available. You can read more about our methods and results in the first two years of our SARE projects by cutting and pasting the following address into your browser.
We will once again be selling 3lb honey bee packages from Rossman Apiaries in Spring, 2014. Our Package Confirmation form with details on how to order is here: Package Confirmation 2014
After a full on record breaking blizzard last weekend and extremely high winds last night, I went to check on the nucs today. They are all looking great, with no visible damage from the storms. I'm hoping for a break in the weather soon to see how the bees are doing.
Erin is teaching a two hour workshop on breaking the brood cycle and using this natural management technique to improve colony health.
Full program information and registration information here: HealthyHivesWorkshopRegistration28Mar2013
We are seeking funding for an additional 14 colonies for our 2013 SARE project comparing honey bee package colonies with requeened packages. SARE has funded 36 colonies for this project (the cap of their Farmer Grant), but we would like to increase the sample size to 50.
This project is a continuation of the work we did in 2009 and 2010. The final results of that project were extremely promising, raising the survival rate of the packages from 42% to 90% by requeening. Project description and reports can be found on the SARE website by searching FNE10-694. here
We are requesting donations of in any amount to support this project, or you may sponsor a colony in our project for $500. All donors will be invited to participate in the project, and hive sponsors will not only be able to participate in the project, but will also be able to keep their colony after the project is complete. More details about supporting our project can be found here:
Thank you for considering supporting our project.
Master Beekeeper Erin MacGregor-Forbes will be teaching bee school through Cumberland County Cooperative Extension again this year.
Call Cooperative Extension at 781-6099 for more information and registration details.
Intermediate School will be held February 6 - March 12, 2012. See the Cooperative Extension website for details. here
The Cumberland County Beekeepers Association has organized a hotline for swarm removal.
If you find a swarm of honeybees, please call (or submit this form) and a beekeeper will come collect them and give them a good safe home.