Bjorn Apiaries
Working Towards a Better Line of Bees...............

                   Nucs are pickup only.

 

Please read the information on this page BEFORE ordering.

 

 

Please Note:

We are not taking any nuc

 orders at this time.  

Thank you. 

 

 

 


2017 Spring Production Queens

(Not taking orders at this time)...................................................28.00

(All queens verified and tested)

* Shipping 17.00 for up to 8 queens - USPS priority mail.

                                

2017 Over-Winter Tested Chemical Free Queens.................... 150.00

(Queens have overwintered with no treatments. Queens great for starter queen rearing

operations that want cold weather tested queen stock)

 

2017  A/I Select Queens ...........................................................N/A

(Queens tested for disease and quality) 

 

5 Frame Nucs (Pickup only)

(Sold out till further notice)......................................................140.00

*Nucs - Bring your box and we will place the frames directly into your equipment. We will screen and secure your bees for you. This allows us to show you the frames, brood, pattern, queen, etc. And it allows us to answer your questions.

 

3 Frame Booster Nuc (Sold Out)...............................................85.00

 

Solid Pine Nuc Box (unpainted)................................................35.00

 

Beginner Beehive Setup

(Sold out till further Notice).........................................................See products Page

 

Shipping for Queens: There are several options depending upon distance. Please call for information and best options. Read the "Refund Policy" at the bottom of this page.

 

Queen & Nuc Availability: Can be found below.

Do not order without reading this information.

 

See the products page for swarm lures and other products offered by Bjorn Apiaries.

      

 

Payment Procedure For Confirmed Orders.

 

*Please do not send a check without a confirmed order. Please call or email to place an order.

 

**Do not contact us in the spring about an order that has no payment made, and expect an order to be filled based on a discussion we had 6 months prior. You want bees....then please get them ordered. Saying you "might" need bees in January, then waiting till spring to see what is alive, is not an order. We can not effectively run a business based on unconfirmed orders. Thank you. 

 

Half down is required upon placing an order. If you will be paying cash, let us know. 

 

Balance of payment to be paid in full 30 days prior to pickup for nucs. (checks or credit card.) Any late orders or balances still due on earlier down payment orders, are paid the day of pickup by CASH. No exceptions!

 

Check payments:

Make checks payable to "Bjorn Apiaries".

Mail to: Mike Thomas  696 Potts Hill Rd. Lewisberry, Pa. 17339

 

Credit card payments:

Call 717-938-0444

We have a dedicated secure line for credit card transactions.

*No credit cards taken the day of pickup, without prior authorization.

 

All balances and orders not paid within 30 days of pickup, must be paid by Cash. No exceptions.

 

On Demand Queen orders (June through August) with shipping can be paid with credit card.

 

 

About Bjorn Queens and Bees

 

Bjorn Apiaries select it's yearly breeder stock from Pennsylvania over-wintered beehives that have not been treated or tainted with chemicals. New breeder stock from other northern breeders is evaluated and considered for introduction into our lines. This ensures a high level of genetic diversity and hybrid vigor. Our breeders used for queen production are selected in the spring based on a high standard of applied criteria. We sell proven lines that have been brought together from many sources, and selected over time. 

Artificial Inseminated Queens

Artificial mated queens offers a better way of controlling genetic selection with the proper protocol and controls in place. But artificial insemination is labor intensive, and the queens are sold as a premium. A/I queens should be considered for those wanting to graft and raise their own queens. A/I queens do not last as long as open mated queens, and should be used the first or second year as breeder queens. They should be kept in mating nucs to limit queen egg laying to ensure adequate longevity of the queen's egg laying lifespan. Bjorn Apiaries offers custom insemination services. Please call for additional information.

 

 

Open Mated Queens

 

This is the queen we suggest for your everyday use and standard honey production. These queens are raised in actual nuc boxes where patterns can be verified, and culling out of bad queens such as drone layers can be accomplished. We do not pick a queen and cage her the moment she lays her first egg.

Open mating requires drone saturation of selected stock by placement of drone yards in close proximity of your breeding yards. This is what Bjorn Apiaries has strived to accomplish since we started breeding bees. We look at it this way....in nature, only the strongest drones mate with the queen. Sick, tainted, and weak drones do not usually mate with the queen as it truly is a survival of the fittest. Drones may be competing with a hundred on more other drones for the chance to mate at a drone saturation area (DCA). Nature has a way of passing on the strongest genetics, and those less effected by viral and bacterial issues. 
 

 

Do all queen breeders take the time to build breeding yards with drone saturation and some type control over their genetics. The answer is clearly "No". That is why some think artificial mating and other shortcuts can be a better way other than what nature intended. For Bjorn Apiaries, we think having a quality mating program, providing A/I queens, and offering various queen prices for both naturally mated and artificial mated queens, is the best approach for our business. This allows our customers to choose based on their needs. And we do not need to denigrate one type program in attempts to market one queen over another. For more on our quality mating program, please read additional information at the bottom of this page.

 

 

 

Over-Wintered Chemical Free Tested Queens

 

Bjorn Apiaries does not take their bees down south. We over-winter all our bees in Pennsylvania. All our hives are untreated and chemical free. Natural culling of the weakest genetics, combined with all the issues impacting honey bees, leaves only the strongest and best selected genetics moving from one year to the next. This is the stock that we select to propogate each year. Tested over-wintered chemical free queens are what we evaluate and choose our breeder stock from each spring. They are the queens that smaller producers and backyard beekeeper would want to build their line of stock from.  

We do not sell "pure" lines....

 

Bjorn Apiaries does not strive to maintain "pure" lines. In our opinion there is no such thing as "pure" lines, except in attempts by some to market queens and sell false hopes.  We do not purchase breeders every year so we can market someone else's name or a bee label for marketing purposes. We believe that genetic diversity, combined with proper selection, management, and breeding guidelines, produce the best queens.


Over the years, we have concentrated on Russians and Carnolian stock. Most of our breeding stock is from these two sources. While we do maintain different yards for selection purposes as protocol calls for, we are sure that both our lines are not pure. 


Whether using a base genetic stock of feral bees, or pure breeders, we believe a quality breeder is defined by what one does within their own breeding program. And not based on a label or buying a breeder queen every year from one particular beekeeper or another. All breeders in our opinion should be doing more than being "first generation daughter" queen producers. We strive to breed and produce the best acclimatized, winter-hardy, and survival bees as possible, from established bee lines.

Availability of Queens and Nucs


Queens: Most of our over wintered queens are used in nuc production. Nuc sales are the bread and butter of our operation. We normally do not concentrate on queen sales or have them available until our nuc orders are filled. We then have queens available the rest of the summer (June through August) or until the weather dictates that we stop our grafting schedule.


Nucs: We no longer take orders for April. If you need bees for pollination in April, think we can produce nucs to compete with spring southern produced packages, or think if you get bees early enough you will be harvesting a bumper crop of honey the first year......Do not order from us. Our nuc orders are filled normally in May and June. We cater to beekeepers expanding their operation for the following year, those who understand the benefits of nucs, and those beekeepers seeking northern stock and a particular line of bees. So if you are the type person who thinks the first time you see a dandelion in the back yard, or the temperature hits 55, that we will magically have all our nucs ready to ship out the door, you will be greatly disappointed. We are not busy getting one order ready, we are busy in the spring getting many orders ready.


We do not overfill our bookings for nucs, and we do not tell you they will be ready when they will not. That is about as honest as we can be. Many things can go wrong being a northern breeder. If we wanted it any easier, we would take our bees south and do the work down there. We hope you understand.

One of Bjorn Apiaries mating yards.

 

 

A Quality Mating Program


 

When we first started raising and breeding queens, we read about drone saturation and drone congregation areas. We initially followed the standard advice that we should have support drone colonies, with equally great drone genetics from another bee line, for our queens to mate. That was what we read, so that is what we did. It seemed having queens go out and mate with whatever was in the area, with no control, seemed like wishful thinking at best. It may work for others, but we wanted to strive for having the best queens possible.


It took three years to fully build some of our mating yards with supporting drone saturation yards. Finding drone support yards and gaining landowner's approval, is not always easy. But through hard work and persistence, we now have several mating areas with fully supportive drone saturation coverage. Taking the time to make sure that the queens  mate with selected quality drones, is one of the keys to Bjorn Apiaries success over the years.

 

Each spring at Bjorn Apiaries, we also have "Queen Evaluation Day". This is a day that several area beekeepers assist in going though the nuc yards and selecting the year's breeder queens based on applied criteria and selection protocol. Many newer beekeepers have enjoyed taking part in this process. And we are more than happy to have the help, while continuing the open door policy we promote. This allows other beekeepers the ability to learn from us, and also validates our business model. 

 

We are also very proud to be part of the Northern States Queen Breeders Association (NSQBA). While we do order queens from various places for evaluation and special orders, all queen stock for breeding comes from northern climate operations and other members of NSQBA. Having the opportunity to work with other northern breeders and have NSQBA members evaluate our stock is a humbling, yet rewarding process.

 

We work very hard doing the small things that go into making quality queens. That is part of our commitment to you.

Refund Policy for Queens and Bees


Bjorn Apiaries will work out reimbursement of dead queens found dead upon arrival at the Post Office. Notification must take place as soon as you receive your queens. Bjorn Apiaries is not responsible for queens not immediately installed, queens installed and then killed, or queens found dead at a later date. Bjorn Apiaries commitment is to delivery a healthy queen as ordered. What happens after delivery with your queen is up to you, as we have no control of the outcome, handling, unique hive scenarios, or other issues in regards to installing or overall care.

 

We reserve the right to correct problems based upon information we receive and individual circumstances. This does not mandate we correct every problem that may occur. We will try to help with problems in the best interest of all involved. 

 

Pick-up Orders: Queens and nucs are not the responsibility of Bjorn Apiaries after they are removed from our beeyards.

 

Bjorn Apiaries will not reimburse for any dead queens after being marked or clipped as requested, except A/I breeder queens that have a numbered disk applied for trackiing and quality control.

 

We reserve the right to have (at our expense) all dead queens returned in their original unopened cages, prior to any reimbursements.