Hand drawn Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) acronym, business concept on blackboard.. ..
  • Nuc Sales
  • What are New World Carniolan queens?
    More information on NWC genetics is available by clicking here.

  • Can I pick up my nucs on Vancouver Island?
    We will have rendezvous locations in both Crofton and Saanich to save you taking the ferry to Salt Spring Island.

  • What kind of box do the nucs come in?
    The nucs come in corrugated plastic nuc boxes.

  • What size frames are included with nucs?
    Nucs come with full size standard frames, otherwise known as deep frames.  They are typically less than 4 years old and mostly incorporate plastic foundation in a well made wooden frame.

  • Do you mark your queens?
    Queens are marked with a colored dot on their thorax indicating the year they got mated.  In the case of young wintered queens for early nuc sales, the mark is a bit misleading because the dot would be the color of the previous year even though the queen has not been through a full spring buildup so the queen is  younger than the dot would suggest.  There is no charge for marking queens and if you would prefer an unmarked queen please let us know in advance.

    New World Carniolan queens are imported and sold directly in a cage with the queen and attendants.  These queens may or may not be marked with a dot.

     

  • Are there taxes on bees?
    Bees and queens are considered livestock and are tax exempt.

  • Are your bees inspected prior to selling nucs?
    Yes, they are.

  • Do you give refunds if I order nucs and change my mind?
    You will receive a full refund if you change your mind about an order prior to February 15th.  After that date the nuc deposit becomes non-refundable other than the portion paid for the nuc boxes.

  • Queen Sales
  • What are New World Carniolan queens?
    More information on NWC genetics is available by clicking here.

  • Can I get my queens mailed to me?
    You have the option of picking up queens locally or having them mailed via Canada Post. Typically your queens will arrive alive and healthy but Canada Post does not guarantee the time it takes for delivery, the conditions the queens are in during shipping, or if the queens will arrive in good condition.  That means if you choose to have queens shipped rather than picking them up yourself, you are accepting full responsibility for them from the moment Canada Post takes possession of them.  Canada Post delivery is a flat fee of $55 irrespective of how many queens are ordered.

  • Do you mark your queens?
    Queens are marked with a colored dot on their thorax indicating the year they got mated.  In the case of young wintered queens for early nuc sales, the mark is a bit misleading because the dot would be the color of the previous year even though the queen has not been through a full spring buildup so the queen is  younger than the dot would suggest.  There is no charge for marking queens and if you would prefer an unmarked queen please let us know in advance.

    New World Carniolan queens are imported and sold directly in a cage with the queen and attendants.  These queens may or may not be marked with a dot.

     

  • Are there taxes on bees?
    Bees and queens are considered livestock and are tax exempt.

  • Are your bees inspected prior to selling nucs?
    Yes, they are.

  • Honey and Wax Sales
  • Do you sell honey in pails, or just bottles?
    We sell both pails and bottles most years.

  • What is creamed honey?
    Creamed honey does not involve adding cream or anything else to the honey.  It is just a process of “seeding” liquid honey with finely ground crystallized honey which causes the liquid honey to crystallize itself with fine crystals that leave the honey soft and spreadable.  It is also called soft set honey, spun honey, or whipped honey.  Island Bees creamed honey is never heated or filtered in the process of creaming it.

  • How is your honey different than honey I can find on the local grocery store shelf?
    Honey you find on the grocery store shelf is not really local honey even if it states on the label that it is, because of the loose definition of local.  Local could mean anywhere within 400 miles, and even then, beekeepers can buy honey from other places and add it to their own honey up to a certain percentage.  Honey on the store shelf is frequently adulterated.  As an example, Chinese honey is banned for import into Canada because of many examples of antibiotics in the honey or rice sugar syrup added to it.  This does not stop them from selling to packers in another country who can then relabel the barrel’s country of origin and sell it to Canada.

  • Why is Salt Spring Island honey so rare?
    It is very difficult to make surplus honey on Salt Spring Island.  This is due to not having large fields of flowering monoculture like clover, canola, or alfalfa.  Salt Spring bees collect honey from wildflowers and blooming trees instead.  Salt Spring also often experiences very dry summers which result in the flowers not being able to make much nectar.  Lastly, most of Salt Spring Island is forested which mean the number of flowers available to bees is much less.

  • What does the term “raw honey” mean?
    Honey is considered raw if it has not been heated beyond the temperatures that you would find inside a hive on a summer day.  It is slightly heated to allow it to flow for extracting and bottling purposes but it is never heated above 35-37c.  Raw honey has also never been filtered, only put through a screen to clean it.  That means that you can expect it not to be as clear as honey that has all of the pollen filtered out.

  • Can I expect your liquid honey to stay liquid and what can I do if it does crystalize?
    All liquid honey crystallizes eventually and depending on the source of the honey it might take a month and it might take years.  If your honey crystallizes that does not mean it is going bad.  You can put it in hot (37c) water to bring it back to liquid with minimal change in taste or aroma.  It is important to leave it long enough so all the crystals are redissolved or the remaining crystals will “seed” the honey and it will immediately crystalize again.  Do not microwave or put honey in boiling water.

  • Host a Hive
  • Can I end my subscription at any time?
    Yes, you can end your subscription at any time and for any reason.

  • How do I pay for a Hosting subscription?
    If you are interested in hosting hives please contact me directly to discuss your particular situation.  Assuming your location is suitable we can arrange the whole thing.

  • Are there taxes on Host a Hive subscriptions?
    Host a Hive is considered a pollination contract and is therefore tax exempt.

  • Can I start my Host a Hive in the middle of winter?
    Honey Bees do not like to be moved and that is especially the case during the cold season so if you decide to host hives in the winter you will only be getting the bees delivered in the following April.

  • Does the host a hive agreement provide any liability insurance?
    Liability insurance is included.

  • Can we be present when you inspect the hives?
    If you see me out working with your hosted hives, you can come and watch what I am doing as long as you have a bee veil and preferably a bee suit.

  • Is it okay if I open up a hive lid and look inside?
    For your safety and for the well-being of the colony, nobody is allowed to open up or otherwise inspect the hives you are hosting, even if they are experienced beekeepers.

  • Do you have regularly scheduled visits?
    Beekeeping is very weather dependent, so the timing of the visits is unpredictable.  For that reason I would need access to the hives anytime during daylight hours.

  • Can anyone host a hive?
    Host a Hive is only available on Salt Spring Island.  Not every location is suitable for honey bees so a visit is required to find the best spot to place the hives.

    The location needs to accessible for a vehicle to service the hives.  They require at least a partly sunny location and shelter from the wind.

  • Is it likely that I will get stung if I host a hive?
    The bees are very gentle and generally they mind their own business, but it is possible to get stung if you swat at the bees, stand directly in front of their entrance, or otherwise threaten them.  Bees die after stinging, so they don’t just randomly sting someone and, in fact, you have a higher chance of being stung by a wasp than a bee.  If you think you might have an allergy to bee stings, which is not the same as an allergy to wasp stings, you might want to ask your health care provider about having hives in your yard as well as getting a prescription for an Epipen.  It is best that you not be close to the hives during or shortly after inspections, unless you are wearing a bee suit.

  • Does hosting a hive mean that I own the honey and wax that they produce?
    Hosting hives does not entitle you to ownership of the hives or hive products.  Honey production is unpredictable on Salt Spring and is never in the quantities that off island beekeepers enjoy.  That makes authentic Salt Spring Island local honey very rare.  In years that surplus honey is available, it sells out quickly, but Host a Hive clients are offered a chance to buy honey prior to it being offered for sale to the general public.