Hand drawn Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) acronym, business concept on blackboard.. ..
  • Are your queens marked?
    Queens are marked with a colored dot on their thorax indicating the year they were 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.

    Imported queens sold in the original cage with attendants are not marked.

  • Are the queens that are included with nucs marked?
    Queens are marked with a colored dot on their thorax indicating the year they were 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.

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

  • What does the batch and source information on the honey label mean?
    Salt Spring Island honey comes in small batches with each batch having a different floral source, aroma, moisture content, and color.  The batch and source information on the label helps us keep track of various details about that particular jar of honey.

  • 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?
    Most liquid honey crystallizes eventually and depending on the source of the honey it might take a month and it might take years.  For example Maple blossom honey stays liquid much longer than other honey.  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.

  • Can I arrange delivery of my nuc purchase?
    Delivery is not guaranteed when you buy nucs or queens, but we regularly have rendezvous locations in both Crofton and Saanich when we have enough sales in those areas to arrange the trip.  We also occasionally make trips to the lower mainland and beyond.  If you are interested in a large order but live far away, please contact us to discuss delivery options.

  • 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 that 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.

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

  • What kind of box do the nucs come in?
    The nucs come in corrugated plastic nuc boxes which are included in the price and are not refundable due to the risk of disease transfer.

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

  • Are your bees inspected prior to selling nucs?
    Yes, they are.  A copy of the permit is avaialble upon request.

  • 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 portion becomes non-refundable.