2021 Honeybee Packages Details
Please note we will also be offering local nucs for 2021. For details see here.
Most Recent Update: February 4th, 2021
As of February 4th we have set pricing for 2021, for all package options.
If you have already paid a deposit before February 5th and are looking to finalize your reservation, click here: https://www.urbanbeesupplies.ca/product/packaged-bees-2021-deposit-already-paid/. You will need the password previously sent out via email, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-364-1993.
For 2021 we are supplying mite-free Tasmanian box-style packages in the 1.5KG sizes, and tube-style Arataki packages in a 1KG size. All package types will include a caged queen already in the package.
At this time we unfortunately do not have a plan to supply to Victoria for 2021, however you are welcome to contact us at email@example.com if you would like to be added to a Victoria pick-up notice list.
Please read all information below for reserving, pricing, payment requirements and terms/conditions below.
Package Reservation Detailed
Our package options this year include: mite-free box-style Tasmanian packages in the 1.5KG size, and 1KG tube style packages from Arataki in New Zealand.
The 1.5 KG Tasmanian packages offer more bees which make them a great way to quickly build up your apiary, especially if you are looking to make early splits. They have the added advantage of coming from one of the last package producing regions of the world that are varroa mite free, Tasmania!
The Arataki packages are a long-time favourite of our customers (we have been bringing them in for over 10 years), and are well known for being consistently gentle and productive.
- Pick-up will be at our store located in Ladner, BC. Please note that we are now at a different address in Ladner, more details here.
- Tasmanian packages are expected March 20th, and Arataki packages on April 4th.
- Queens are included with each package in a cage hanging inside the package where the bees can care for her. You DO NOT need to buy a queen separately.
- Tasmania is one of the last regions in the world without varroa mites, and this allows us to guarantee these packages as mite free. Their 1.5 KG option is great for beekeepers looking to grow rapidly, recover winter losses, and/or make early splits.
- Please note that although Tasmania is varroa mite free a minor pest called the Braula fly is present, and some may be present in packages. These pests are very minor and do not require treatment, but they can be confused for the varroa mite due to colouration. Please check out this link for more info.
- Arataki packages have been brought in by us for over 10 years now, with consistently good feedback. They are loved by customers for their gentleness.
Package & Pick-up Options
We have the following options for honey bee packages for 2021
- 1.5 KG mite-free Tasmanian packages, expected March 20th.
- 1 KG Arataki packages from New Zealand, expected April 4th.
Please note that package pick-up dates will remain subject to change right up until the day of delivery and we do not guarantee exact pick-up times. This is due to the nature of transporting bees internationally as there can be unexpected factors influencing packing and travel times.
It is possible that additional package dates will become available depending on volume of demand, in which case new dates will be added here.
Deposit & Pre-payment
We are taking full pre-payment to reserve packages at this time. However, if you order 20-39 packages you will only need to pay a total of 50% of the total cost up front, and at 40+ packages only a $30 deposit is required per package; the remainder will then be due prior to pick-up.
We take full pre-payment for most orders prior to pick-up to reduce wait times on the pick-up day, which can be very substantial. It also helps prevent payment issues on the day of, and confusion over reservation status.
Please note that we have an order of priority for customer reservations, mostly based on the order in which they are reserved. More details on the purpose of this priority system and how it works below.
After making your reservation we will send confirmation of your order via email. We will also provide updates as we receive details including more definitive delivery dates and pick-up times.
Prior to the pick-up date we will send an email with package installation instructions and tips, as well as a reminder to place equipment & supply pre-orders in advance.
Please note that pick-up dates and times are always tentative and subject to change; this is due to the many ongoing factors that can affect final supply time (for example weather, freight delays, etc). Once pick-up times are set we encourage you to continue keeping an eye on your email in case of last-minute changes. This includes right up until the day of delivery as last minute issues or delays are always possible.
Upon receiving payment your reservation will be confirmed. Each package pre-payment includes a $30 non-refundable deposit amount. If you cancel a package reservation at least 14 days before pick-up you will be refunded fully minus the $30 deposit. This is regardless of package type.
For example, if you reserve 2 Arataki packages for $265 each and later have to cancel your order, you will be refunded $235 per package.
If you cancel less than 14 days before pick-up day you may only be refunded 50% of your total pre-payment if we do not have a wait-list. If you cancel less than 4 days before the package pick-up dates you may not receive any refund. If you are a no-show for your packages we will issue no refund.
Please note that in the unlikely scenario that we are unable to supply your package order due to any unexpected supply issues or losses in transit, and we are unable to provide a supplemental bee supply option to your satisfaction, we will issue a full refund including deposits.
Please note that we track package priority based on the date of reservation by customers, with the exception of customers engaged in beekeeping as a business who depend on timely package arrival.
This system of priority would be relevant in cases of significant losses in transit or other extreme circumstances that result in under-supply of packages on a scheduled delivery date. Usually it is unlikely to be relevant.
In the unlikely scenario of a package shortage for a scheduled delivery date we would typically be able to provide a supplementary shipment soon after to make up the difference for customers, or otherwise provide a close alternative; if these options are not available or convenient to customers we are able to issue a full refund.
Temporary postponement of a delivery is not considered a package shortage as the exact date of delivery is always subject to possible change.
Package Pick-Up Details
Our package dates are currently scheduled as follows:
- Tasmanian packages arriving March 20th
- Arataki packages arriving April 4th
These dates and exact pick-up times will be confirmed in the coming weeks. Please note that pick-up dates can change right up until the actual day of delivery.
Upon arrival, you will have about 2 days to come and pick-up your packages.
Please note that you do not necessarily need to install your packages on the day you pick-up, and they can be kept overnight in their package for installation the next day. Packaged bees can be comfortably stored at cool temperatures in dark conditions (for example a garage or basement). That said, we do encourage as prompt installation as soon as possible after pick-up to minimize stress on the bees.
When installing box-style honey bee packages, you can either cut the mesh siding and pour them from the side, or remove the top plug (sometimes a feeder) and pour them through the top hole. For tube-style honeybee packages there will be a top plastic piece that can be removed before pouring the bees out of the tube.
We will provide detailed installation instructions, tips and suggestions via email prior to pick-up, including video reference(s).
Package installation is a relatively straightforward process, but if you are a new beekeeper you will want to take time to make sure you have everything you'll need ready to go. Ideally you will have already taken a beginner beekeeping course, or at least will be doing so soon after installation. If you have not yet taken a course you can also consider getting a nuc with us, which come in late May through June; this will provide more time for you to prepare.
On the day of installation you will want to have with you:
It is usually safe for bee packages to travel with you inside of an enclosed vehicle. The packages are built to be fully contained so there is no risk of bee escape unless the package is damaged.
However in the interest of simple caution we encourage customers to bring their protective bee clothing with them, as well as a light blanket or sheet that could be put over a package if needed. This ensures you will have options in case of unlikely scenarios such as accidental damage to the package or stragglers on the outside of packages (for example if a package is damaged in transit and leaks, sometimes loose bees will land and hang in small numbers on other boxes).
If you are picking up in a truck and will be transporting bees in the truck bed, you will want to have a way to keep them securely in place such as a strap or rope. You will also ideally have some sort of cover available in case of poor weather on the day of pick-up; cool temperatures are rarely an issue, but pouring rain may be.
With all types of transportation ventilation will need to be maintained (no blocking of air flow), temperatures kept cool rather than warm, and moisture exposure minimized. This is especially important for longer distances of travel, so if you are coming from out-of-town and/or will be travelling for multiple hours with your packages, please keep these needs in mind.
Due to risks to honeybee health and limited options for extended care of honeybees in packages we strongly encourage customers to make every effort to arrange for pick-up within the determined dates and times of pick-up. Our policies below for extended holding are based on the presumption of customer obligation for making pick-up arrangements for livestock in a timely manner.
If after the 2 day pick-up period we still have packages and have not been able to establish contact with the reserving customers we will attempt to re-sell them as quickly as possible to ensure quick hiving, and we do not guarantee any amount of refund to the initial customer. If a customer misses the pick-up dates and times this will result in a total release of all liability and obligation by us to this customer with regards to the health of the packages held, and any ill effect observed after this time will not result in any compensation or supplementation.
If due to exceptional last-minute circumstances you are unable to pick-up during this period and you have contacted us as soon as possible we may agree to accommodate an extended holding period. However we will insist on total release of all liability and obligation with regards to the health of the packages held, and any ill effect observed after this time will not result in any compensation or supplementation.
Notwithstanding the release of liability and obligation above we always strive to maintain the health of bees kept in storage and attempt to ensure their comfort, proper ventilation, and regular and adequate feeding. This care will of course extend to packages we hold beyond the initial 2 day pick-up period.
Please note that while we can occasionally accommodate customers due to exceptional circumstances that come up last minute, we will not knowingly arrange an extended holding period in advanced.
When we send an email with package installation instructions we will include more detailed queen handling recommendations for your package installation.
Each package comes with one queen in a cage. This cage will be hanging inside of the package by a wire or mesh attachment which allows her to be easily pulled out at the time of installation. Hanging a queen inside of the package this way minimizes the chance of damage to her, and allows the packaged bees to get used to her.
The queen cage is first removed from the package before introducing the rest of the bees. She is then inspected to verify she is alive and healthy; this is an important step as any queen issues will want to be recognized right away.
Once queen health is confirmed, her cage is introduced to the hive along with the rest of the packaged honeybees. Some queen cages come with plugs, which at this point must be removed. Other queen cages may have a strap staples to cover the exit, which must be moved out of the way. In either case, there will still be a candy plug which stops the queen from escaping. You will introduce the cage WITH the candy plug still in the cage and exposed. The worker bees in the now installed hive will eat the candy and release her normally after a few hours to a few days, depending on the hardness of the candy.
Please note that a very small percentage of queens die in their cages while in transit. As such, it is important to inspect your queen cage right away during your installation. We are provided a small number of extra queens for replacement purposes. This is for queens found dead on package opening, not after installation.
If you are ordering a larger number of packages from us we typically will supply some percentage of replacement queens at the time of pick-up. For most packages we typically expect to be able to supply 2% extra queens.
If you are ordering a smaller number of packages we will still be able to provide replacements for dead queens if packages were transported safely and installed in a timely manner. Please keep the cage with the dead queen and reach out to us and we will be happy to help arrange a replacement once we confirm the situation.
If you find a queen dead in her cage please proceed with the package introduction normally, minus adding the queen. Colonies will survive sometimes for weeks without a queen, though that is not ideal. We should be able to provide your replacement within an adequate time-frame, for pick-ups normally in the days immediately following package install.
Please note that qualifying replacement queens are free of charge, but if you need it shipped additional shipping charges will apply. Replacement queens will be shipped express within BC for $25, fully at customer risk (no insurance is possible for honeybee shipping). This $25 charge covers multiple queens (that is, you will not need to pay $25 per queen), in the unlikely case that this is needed.
Additional conditions apply for the replacement of dead queens; please review the Terms tab for full details.
Special Note: It does often occur that packages with queens dead in their cages are not actually queenless. We have found that in some cases the reason for the death of the queen in the cage was due to there being a loose queen in the package (accidentally installed from the production yards), resulting in neglect of the caged queen which is not accepted.
In cases where installing the replacement queen fails and you find the colony shows signs of laying, or the colony otherwise behaves like its queenright, that colony may happily not be in need of a replacement queen after all.
We encourage customers to keep this in mind as a possibility when introducing any replacement queens provided, as it may explain a failed introduction after receiving a replacement queen.
Please note that upon introducing your package you will typically need to introduce sugar syrup feed and pollen patty. This will definitely be necessary in the case of a brand new hive with no honey or pollen on the frames, and consistent feeding will be necessary to prevent starvation and guarantee honeybee health and growth.
We recommend feeding even if you have irradiated honey and pollen frames available as this will stimulate the colony to build up and increase queen laying. It significantly reduces stress on a colony, which helps maintain resilience to sickness and unfavourable climatic conditions. Providing the resources for a colony to build up rather than conserve stores is important to help quickly raise an adequate amount of young bees to replace the older workers that came in the package. This is especially important in early Spring when foraging conditions are often not optimal.
1.5 kg Tasmanian Packages (March 20th):
- QTY 1-4 pkgs: $325 each, all payment types
- QTY 5-9 pkgs: $325 credit card, $315 cash/cheque/debit/e-transfer
- QTY 10-19 pkgs: $310 credit card, $300 cash/cheque/debit/e-transfer
- QTY 20-39 pkgs: $304 credit card, $295 cash/cheque/debit/e-transfer
- QTY 40-99 pkgs: $294 credit card, $285 cash/cheque/debit/e-transfer
- QTY 100-349 pkgs: $284 credit card, $275 cash/cheque/debit/e-transfer
- QTY 350+ pkgs: Contact us, additional discounts available.
1 kg Arataki Packages (April 4th):
- QTY 1-4 pkgs: $265 each, all payment types
- QTY 5-9 pkgs: $263 credit card, $255 cash/cheque/debit/e-transfer
- QTY 10-19 pkgs: $253 credit card, $245 cash/cheque/debit/e-transfer
- QTY 20-39 pkgs: $242 credit card, $235 cheque/debit/e-transfer
- QTY 40-99 pkgs: $237 credit card, $230 cheque/debit/e-transfer
- QTY 100-349 pkgs: $232 credit card, $225 cheque/debit/e-transfer
- QTY 350+ pkgs: Contact us, additional discounts available.
Proceeding with an order for packaged bees is taken as acknowledgement that the below terms and conditions have been understood and that you are in agreement with them.
If you are reserving before our package options and pricing is confirmed, you will be required to pay just a $30 deposit amount to reserve a spot for our packages. Once we confirm options and prices you will be contacted, and you will have 2 weeks to select which package options you want to apply your deposit towards and pay the remaining amount owing for that package. Please note that for 20-49 packages only 50% of the total cost will be due, and for 50+ packages no further payment is required until just prior to package pick-up. Upon receiving payment your reservation will be confirmed, and after the 2 week notice period all $30 deposit amounts become non-refundable (see more details regarding cancellations after this point below).
If after you receive notice of the package options and prices we do not hear back from you within 2 weeks, your deposit becomes non-refundable and we have the option to cancel your reservation.
You also have the option once you receive notice of package options and prices to cancel your reservation. You have 2 weeks to do so to be provided a full refund for your deposit. However after 2 weeks the deposit becomes non-refundable.
Once we have set our pricing for packages all future reservations will require full pre-payment to reserve. Please note that for certain quantities different pre-payment amounts may be required.
Once we post confirmed package options and prices all new reservations will include a $30 non-refundable deposit per package. If you have to cancel a package reservation with us, we will grant a refund for each package reservation canceled minus the $30 deposit for each package. For example, if you reserved 2 packages at $250 each for a total of $500, and later cancel your reservation for both packages we will provide a refund for $440 and retain the $60 non-refundable deposit amount.
At all quantities ordered, barring special alternative terms being established at the time of ordering or an exception provided by Urban Bee Supplies staff, full payment must be received no later than 3 days before the set expected date of delivery. After this time if payment has not been received we reserve the right to cancel a package reservation order either partially or fully and/or require renegotiation of terms of sale including pricing.
Upon receiving the required pre-payment amount for your given quantity of packages ordered we consider you to have reserved a spot for the selected package shipment. Upon providing this pre-payment we will provide confirmation of your reservation and we will begin providing updates via email as we get closer to the delivery date. Although we will set more specific dates as time goes on, at no point can we guarantee that the expected delivery dates will not change. This is due to the nature of livestock production and the shipping process involved.
If a delivery date has been set, and you cancel less than 14 days prior to delivery, we reserve the right to provide only a refund of 50% of the total cost of the quantity of packages ordered. If you cancel your order less than 4 days before the package pick-up dates we reserve the right to provide no refund and fully retain the pre-paid amount. If you order and pre-pay for packages and they are not picked-up within the set pick-up dates we reserve the right to provide no refund and fully retain your payment.
If you cancel a package reservation and a refund is issued to you, and then at a later date you reserve packages with us again for the same shipment, we will require payment in full again. We will not provide a credit for any amounts withheld from prior cancellations.
Upon package arrival, we will make packages available for pick-up for a specified length of time; this time frame will be provided as far in advanced as possible once we receive expected delivery dates and times of the packages to us. We provide no guarantees as to the exact delivery dates and times, and these set times are subject to change at any time including up to and past the date of their arrival into our care.
We will provide packaged bees feed and the best care we can until they are picked up. If you choose to pick them up after the designated pick-up period we will continue to care for them but we DO NOT guarantee their health and if colonies begin to experience attrition (such as some amount of colony loss, stress-related symptoms such as dysentery, etc.) we will not provide any form of refund or supplementation. We highly encourage customers to pick-up in the set time frame. We will provide extended hours as appropriate, depending upon the date of delivery.
If your bees arrive and are not picked-up, and we have not heard from you by the end of the designated pick-up period after attempting to contact you, we may attempt to supply the packages to another customer or otherwise utilize them for our own purposes.
We are released of all liability and obligation with regards to the health of honeybee packages if they are not picked-up within the pre-established pick-up time frame, and any ill health effects observed after this time will not result in any compensation or supplementation.
If a customer does not receive communications from us despite our attempts using the contact information we were provided we will not at a later date provide refunds, credits, supplementation of packages or compensations for any costs incurred that directly or indirectly resulted from communication non-receipt. This includes the missing of package pick-up dates, payment deadlines, etc.
Due to the realities of livestock production we cannot guarantee the number of packages ordered by us will always be provided. Although unlikely, the possibility of production issues on our supplier’s side may result in some amount of our order being cancelled. In the very unlikely circumstance this does occur we will provide customers with the option of switching to another shipment and/or receiving full refunds. We have not had this occur to us so far, but due to the nature of livestock production it is a possibility (possible reasons for undersupply would be extreme weather issues, disease outbreak among or near source populations, natural disasters, etc.)
Once packages are shipped to us by our supplier we DO NOT guarantee their safe arrival. There is always a possibility of losses in transit, and while losses in transit are rare they can & do occur. This is an unavoidable risk of livestock transportation. If losses do occur, we will supply to as many customers as possible packages/nucs that are in good health. If we are unable to supply to some customers, we will work to the best of our ability to arrange for a supplementary shipment or transfer their reservation to an upcoming shipment. In the unlikely scenario we are unable to secure supplemental packages or nucs to customers to their satisfaction, we will provide a full refund including the non-refundable deposit.
Once packaged bees are picked-up the conditions they experience are no longer in our control. As such upon a customer picking-up and travelling off-site, we will consider the packages to be received by the customer in good health and to their satisfaction. If packages appeared healthy upon pick-up and at any later time or date negative health effects occur we do not guarantee any form of compensation or supplementation.
We will not provide any amount of refund or supplementation in cases where packages have non-optimal outcomes after installation; for example: slowness to build-up, queens with non-optimal laying patterns, early queen supercedure, the appearance of dysentry or other symptoms of stress or illness or infestation, low productivity, etc.
If packages are transported safely and installed in a timely manner, and the customer finds upon opening the package that the included queen cage contains a dead queen, we will attempt to provide one free replacement queen. We must be informed as soon as possible after the dead queen is discovered, and we may require the queen cage be brought in or a picture/other media be sent to us showing the dead queen. Replacement queens will only be provided in cases where the queen was dead upon first opening the package, and NOT at any point after installation.
We will attempt to provide one free replacement queen for each dead queen discovered in her cage upon first opening, however if introduction is unsuccessful we reserve the right to charge for any additional queens past the first free replacement.
If shipping of any replacement queens is required, additional charges for the shipping of the free replacement queen(s) will apply. The replacement queen(s) will be shipped via an express method. Any replacement queens shipped will ship fully at customer risk without insurance. Notwithstanding any projected cost for shipping that we may quote verbally or via any written mediums we reserve the right to increase queen shipping costs as deemed necessary to recover costs. If a replacement queen dies in transit we can provide another replacement subject to availability; we reserve the right to charge for any additional queens past the first free replacement, and shipping charges will be applied in each case.
We will not provide any amount of refund or supplementation in cases where there is difficulty successfully introducing a replacement queen to an installed package that had arrived with a queen dead in her cage.
Any queen cage candy plugs are provided as a courtesy and are not to be considered part of any packages purchased.
While Urban Bee Supplies may provide recommendations and suggestions for the handling and installation of livestock, proceeding with the order of any livestock products from Urban Bee Supplies is taken as full acknowledgement by the customer that handling and installation of livestock products and any outcomes is fully of customer responsibility. Due to the possibility of misunderstanding and/or exceptional circumstances Urban Bee Supplies is acknowledged by proceeding with any livestock order as having no liability or obligation with regards to the handling and installation process, and any instructions provided are understood by the customer as suggestions to the best of staff knowledge and as having been provided separately (not as a part of) the livestock product itself.
Proceeding with the order of any livestock products from Urban Bee Supplies is taken as fully acknowledging the inherent risks of livestock proximity, engagement and handling (including stings and/or any other possible injury), and the customer fully taking responsibility for these possible outcomes resulting from their engagement, proximity and handling of these livestock products. This includes acknowledging the possibility of exposure to contact with livestock where attempts have been made to minimize or eliminate such direct contact, for example in the case of packages where they are meant to be fully enclosed and self-contained. This also includes acknowledging the inherent risks in transporting of livestock and the customers full responsibility for addressing these risks.
Due to time constraints we have just started on this sections and will be adding as time goes on and we encounter questions. In the meantime we are happy to answer any questions you may have directly! Please feel free to reach us here: