• How much experience do you have with beekeeping and rearing queens?

    I began beekeeping as a teenager with five hives more than 40 years ago when beekeeping was simple.  After taking a one year beekeeping course at Fairview college in Alberta, I worked for several commercial honey producers as well as a queen breeder in California. I also have had my own commercial beekeeping operation for many years producing in excess of a hundred thousand pounds of honey per year.  I have produced queens for myself for many years but after moving to Saltspring Island, BC, Canada I have decided to focus entirely on nuc and queen production.

  • How do you select for your queen's genetics?

    I take extensive notes throughout the year and enter it into a spreadsheet which gives me a lot of information about the queens in my operation.  Things like swarming, winter survival, natural disease resistance, brood production, wasp defense, honey production, and other aspects of queen performance.  Although all aspects of queen performance is considered, I focus mostly on rapid buildup and winter survival.

  • Do you provide pollination services?

    Yes, we can arrange a pollination contract and I would supply an agreed upon number of bees for an agreed upon time period at an agreed upon price.  If your property is on Saltspring Island, it is also possible that I might be interested in having bees there year round without any charge for pollination.  Specifically, if your location is a good home for my bees and that you don’t require me to manage them to optimize pollination.   In this case, I would consider it to be in our mutual interest, and I would manage my bees to meet my objectives which may likely also accomplish your pollination objectives.

  • Can I get queen bees mailed to me?

    Yes, queen bees can be shipped using Canada Post Priority Express.  Unfortunately, I can not take responsibility for the health of the queen after I hand over the package to Canada Post and Canada Post does not insure or guarantee the queens in any way.  The buyer pays a flat rate of $50 for shipping and handling up to 8 queen bees within Canada and accepts the risk of losing the queen(s) in transit.  Having said that, there is every reason to believe your queens will arrive healthy and in a timely manner.  Alternatively, you can choose local pick up rather than the flat rate for delivery on the check out page.

  • Can the 5 frame nucs be shipped?

    It is not safe to ship nucs via Canada Post because of the possibility of the bees overheating as well as other risks.  Please contact me if you want to discuss options for getting nucs delivered.  If the order is large trucking could be arranged depending on several factors such as the location to be delivered to, the possibility multiple buyers being from the same area, the size of the order, etc.

  • Do you give refunds if I order queens or nucs and change my mind?

    I will give a complete refund if you change your mind about an order prior to February 15th.  After that time I would give a 75% refund and keep a 25% non refundable deposit.

  • What if I am not happy with the performance of the queens or nucs?

    Our reputation is very important to us so we work very hard to provide top quality queens and nucs for sale.  However, if you feel you are in any way not happy please contact me to discuss the issue on a case by case basis and we will try to make it right.

  • Are your bees inspected prior to selling nucs and queens?

    Island Bees has an inspection by the provincial apiarist once a month during spring and summer to assure that the bees that you get have a less than one percent varroa mite infection rate.  They also check for brood disease and other problems when inspecting.