"You Get What You Accept" - Grampa 2016 Bees were incredibly prolific. Pretty much without exception, all packages produced better than most folks expected. We are making plans now for 2017s Bees and making great efforts to have Bees that meet or exceed your expectations. We are taking orders now for 2017. Price will $125 for a 3 pound package. Packages include Bees and a Mated Queen. Most Queens are Marked for easy Identification but some do get past the marking process. If you bought Bees from us in 2016, you know how much better they performed than most others. Feel free to add your comments and thoughts below. The Italian bee Italian honey bees, of the subspecies Apis mellifera ligustica, were brought to the U.S. in 1859. They quickly became the favored bee stock in this country and remain so to this day. Known for their extended periods of brood rearing, Italian bees can build colony populations in the spring and maintain them for the entire summer. They are less defensive and less prone to disease than their German counterparts, and they are excellent honey producers. They also are very lightly colored, ranging from a light leather hue to an almost lemon yellow, a trait that is highly coveted by many beekeepers for its aesthetic appeal. Despite their popularity, Italian bees have some drawbacks. First, because of their prolonged brood rearing, they may consume surplus honey in the hive if supers (removable upper sections where honey is stored) are not removed immediately after the honey flow stops. Second, they are notorious kleptoparasites and frequently rob the honey stores of weaker or dead neighboring colonies. This behavior may pose problems for Italian beekeepers who work their colonies during times of nectar dearth, and it may cause the rapid spread of transmittable diseases among hives. The Carniolan bee The subspecies A. m. carnica, from middle Europe, also has been a favored bee stock in the U.S. for several reasons. First, their explosive spring buildup enables this race to grow rapidly in population and take advantage of blooms that occur much earlier in the spring, compared to other stocks. Second, they are extremely docile and can be worked with little smoke and protective clothing. Third, they are much less prone to robbing other colonies of honey, lowering disease transmission among colonies. Finally, they are very good builders of wax combs, which can be used for products ranging from candles, to soaps, to cosmetics. Because of their rapid buildup, however, carniolan bees tend to have a high propensity to swarm (their effort to relieve overcrowding) and, therefore, may leave the beekeeper with a very poor honey crop. This stock requires continued vigilance to prevent the loss of swarms. Fun Facts: Honeybees have five eyes. The two quite visible eyes you see are called complex eyes but what is much harder to see are the three little eyes that they have on the top of their head between their antennae called the ocelli. These three small eyes are used mainly as light sensors to help the bees navigate. Because bees can’t navigate at all without the sun, (if caught out after the sun goes down, they will have to wait until morning to find their way home to the hive) these little eyes are essential to the bees. 2. A single worker bee will produce only 1/10 of a teaspoon of honey in her entire life. Just one packet of honey represents the life’s work of 20 bees. 3. Honeybees fly well over 50,000 miles to produce only one pound of honey. That’s more mileage than it takes to circle the earth two times at the equator. 4. Male bees, called drones — distinguishable by their large size and proportionally larger eyes — have no stingers. 5. Honeybees have to consume eight pounds of honey to produce just one pound of wax. 6. A queen bee can live up to five years and will typically lay about 2,000 eggs a day in the busy season. 7. A queen bee will have only one mating session in her lifetime that will take place in flight, outside of the hive where she will mate with several different drones. During this flight and during swarming are the only times in a queens life that she will fly. 8. 3 days after the egg is laid it turns into a larva and for that larvae to grow from 1. 7 millimeter egg size to the size of a bee 1570 times larger than the original egg size it is fed royal jelly for two and a half days and then pollen and nectar for two and a half days it is fed between 149 to over 700 times and visited by nurse bees from 1000 to 100000 times.