My husband had purchase a top bar hive for my birthday a few years ago. It has sat empty in our yard since then. But now that we have moved our bees into the new bee yard we were ready to fill it up.
First, we had to purchase the bees. I searched the internet for places that sold packaged bees. Finding a bee supplier was not the problem. The problem was finding someone who would ship them to us since most places only did pick up. After numerous phone calls I found one, In New York. So, in April I payed for my bees and patiently waited for their delivery at the end of May. On May 10th I received an email stating my purchase will be refunded due to too many packages were arriving dead. Now what?? Our only option if we wanted bees was to find a supplier who still had bees and pick them up ourselves.
South Florida Bee Supplies out of Miami was the closest place that still had bees. But they would have to be picked up. I called them to ask if they had any packaged bees left, they did. So, on May 30th my husband and I took a trip to South Florida Bee Supplies. It’s about a two hour drive from where we live. We arrived at our destination and were amazed at the bees buzzing around in the parking lot. The amount of package bees in the lobby waiting to be picked up was also impressive. I signed for the girls, given instructions on how to install and care for them, my husband was handed the package and out the door we went. We were in and out within 5 minutes.
Once the package was secured in the back of the truck we headed back home to the other coast. We made a quick stop at the smallest US Post Office. I had a card all ready to send out to our daughter who is on deployment in the Navy.
The bees were installed the next day. Being my first time installing packaged bees I was a bit nervous. After a small mishap with the queen cage the bees were successfully placed in the hive. One nice advantage to having a top bar hive is being able to look inside the hive and see the progress through the observation window. Fingers crossed for a successful season.