Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Email from Honeybee Supplier Steve Victors

Hello Beekeepers,
Donna and I are hoping that your winter has gone well so far this year.  It has been very mild here in Big Lake, and I suspect that the entire state has gotten off easier than we have in the past.  I have been getting quite a few calls lately asking when it will be time to order bees for the spring.   Well, the time is now here.  We have overhauled our website and we are ready to go.  We will be adding to our Education page this spring and placing a few videos on the site pretty soon.  We have a video that shows our packages being filled when Donna and I were down getting bees last year.  You will find it in the Education page and click on the Videos link on the right.
This year we experienced an increase in our base price on packages of bees that I suspect has been driven by competition for California packages in the commercial market.  Package bee suppliers in California are getting orders of 3 to 4 thousand packages at a time, and that puts a very real limit on the available supply driving prices up.  This year we saw an increase of our base price for a single queen package by $15, and a $4 increase in queen prices for extra queens.
Fortunately, we have lower prices on fuel, and transportation costs have decreased compared to last spring.  We have lowered our instate transportation fees because of this.
As always, we seek to bring you the highest quality packages that can be found at the most reasonable price.
We continue to use our long time supplier for both packages and queens because of the consistent high quality of his bees, queens, and care of the packages.
As we have done in the past, we will be making trips to accompany each shipment of bees from our supplier’s operation to the distribution points here in Alaska.  We will be using our custom built trailer specifically designed for transporting packages of bees for the portion of the trip from our supplier’s yard to airfreight terminals in Portland.
As always, queens are guaranteed to be alive, healthy, and fertile. Packages are imported with a certificate of health and personally guaranteed to be in good shape. 
This year we are adding a third type of bee available to our customers.  John (our supplier) used these bees in his operation in South Dakota, and he said that they gathered a good honey crop for him.  His new queens are of the Buckfast line with the breeding stock not directly related to the Buckfast queens found in Texas but coming from a different source.  John reports that they have a good temperament similar to his Italian bees. 
Information on the development of the Buckfast bee can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckfast_bee

Here is the long range climatic seasonal predictions for weather: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/long_range/two_class.php
Our price this year is $170 for a four pound package with a marked queen.
Extra queens in the package are $24 each. 
Transportation fees are now:
Fairbanks  $7.50/package
Copper River Basin  $7.50/package
Soldotna  $4.00/package
Soldotna to Homer $4.00/package
Online orders are now ready to go at www.Stevesbees.com

Looking forward to a great year,
Steve and Donna

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