The Post Office has a service called "informed delivery"to let you know when your mail will be delivered. Go to informeddelivery.usps.com. The post office will send you an email notification of the delivery of your packages. Actual photos of any letters will be emailed to you as well. It is a way for you to see what is coming with an estimated delivery time in case you won't be home at the time of delivery. You could also have leave special instructions about delivery on the shipping label- to a certain extent.
As Summer arrives the Spring blossoms go away as usual, and the Star Thistle begins to bloom around the fourth of July. Star Thistle is an important honey source in our area, and we expect great things. In recent years, the extremely hot summer has set in with inadequate rain, and the thistle has dried up early. The bees managed to bring in enough honey to keep going, but at a reduced rate, making them vulnerable to Varroa Mites. New approaches to combating the mites are helping. Such are the challenges of beekeeping!
These dry years have been poor 'honey years" for bees in California. The Spring starts out strong, and some fine Vetch, Black Berry and Wildflower honey gets brought in.
When the temperature get over 100 degrees here we are unable to safely ship 3 cages in one shipping carton, so we ship orders of 3 cages in two shipping boxes or in a bigger Priority mail to help the bees survive. In the Winter, when the temperatures drop, we include paper shreds in each package for some insulation.
Mishaps or extended delays in the postal route can cause death to the bees. To compensate for bee losses we include at least five extra bees, so we sometimes receive requests to postpone an order because of surplus. If you do not have someone nearby to borrow from, we recommend having more on hand for emergency. Having a safe place for the bees to be delivered to is important.
Catching bees in the wild can be fun. An interesting school biology experiment shows that bees can tell time. Various flowers yield nectar at specific time of the day. Bees will visit these flowers only at that time. This can be shown by putting out sugar syrup for them at a specific time each day. After that availability is learned the bees will not appear until that precise time. Some people attempt to catch bees that gather at such a feed station. Others catch them on flowers.
The question is why these bees may not last long after being caught. My guess is that these bees are field bees and are older gatherers and determined to returned to the hive. The bees we ship are from within the hive, being of all ages and not all programed with the specific duty of gathering and returning. If you are catching bees in this way they would probably be usable for a short duration.
Bees at war: After being caged together the bees become a cohesive unit. When two units are combined they may see each other as invaders. Our recommendation has been to wet them with a light sugar syrup and allow them to get acquainted as they clean each other, or not release them at all at once. Some keep more than one bee house. Your comments on this or any other bee issue would be appreciated.
Many apitherapists exist around the country. Two leading ones who we know of personally are Deb Elder and Ellie Lobel . They both can be found on the internet. On Facebook there are multiple groups for bee vemom therapy. Some are closed groups that you would need to be accepted to. There are many people on those sites that can help with any questions you have about stinging with bees.
Moving Things Around
Allens Apitherapy Bees - dba Allens Bees
Beautiful Spring Honey