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Has anyone used Fastbees.net to order bees?

 
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alexg
House Bee


Joined: 25 Oct 2015
Posts: 14
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:55 am    Post subject: Has anyone used Fastbees.net to order bees? Reply with quote

Hello. I was wondering if someone ordered bees from organic bee farm. I plan to buy couple full hives with bees and looking for good organic bee farm that does not use chemicals on bees.
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David43
House Bee


Joined: 01 Nov 2015
Posts: 14
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2015 12:55 am    Post subject: Re: Has anyone used Fastbees.net to order bees? Reply with quote

We ordered full hives with bees from fastbees.net
They were delivered in June. Bees are very strong and healthy.
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Balamut
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Joined: 04 Nov 2015
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Location: usa

PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:08 am    Post subject: Re: Has anyone used Fastbees.net to order bees? Reply with quote

I bought NUCs from Fastbees.net and I hived them. After one month each colony covered 9 - 10 deep frames. I put second deep hive body and then later two suppers. Colonies are very strong now.
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alexg
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Joined: 25 Oct 2015
Posts: 14
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 3:36 am    Post subject: Re: Has anyone used Fastbees.net to order bees? Reply with quote

Thank you for the information. I ordered wildflower honey from them. The honey is amazing. I plan to buy a full hive from them next year. We love natural honey. Unfortunately stores do not sell natural raw honey, so we decided to keep our own bees and get our natural honey.
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Balamut
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Joined: 04 Nov 2015
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Location: usa

PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:29 am    Post subject: Re: Has anyone used Fastbees.net to order bees? Reply with quote

[b]You need to read beekeeping books before you start with bees. It`s not easy to manage colonies. My friend is a beekeeper for 15 years and he says that he is still learning. Bees are amazing creatures but you have to understand them or you can loose them. I was reading a lot and learning some years with my friend beekeeper. Many people when start beekeeping lose bees because of lack of knowledge. You can also watch videos. There are many online.[/b]
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alexg
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Joined: 25 Oct 2015
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Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 6:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Has anyone used Fastbees.net to order bees? Reply with quote

Yes, I read beekeeping books. I watch videos.
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Balamut
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Joined: 04 Nov 2015
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Location: usa

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 6:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Has anyone used Fastbees.net to order bees? Reply with quote

They sell Italian bees and Russian bees.

Strengths

shows strong disposition to breeding and very prolific
cleanliness/excellent housekeeper (which some scientists think might be a factor in disease resistance)
uses little propilis
excellent foragers
superb comb builder (writing in Switzerland in 1862, H. C. Hermann stated the comb of an Italian bee-cell occupied only 15 cells for every 16 of the common black bee, and the cubic content was larger by 30%)
covers the honey with brilliant white cappings
shows lower swarming tendency than other Western honey bee races
for areas with continuous nectar flow and favorable weather throughout the summer
industry
gentleness
a willingness to enter supers
tendency to collect flower honey rather than honey dew (of value only in countries where the colour of the honey determines the price)
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alexg
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Joined: 25 Oct 2015
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Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 6:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Has anyone used Fastbees.net to order bees? Reply with quote

I prefer Italian bees. Russian bees are more aggressive.
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Balamut
House Bee


Joined: 04 Nov 2015
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Location: usa

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 7:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Has anyone used Fastbees.net to order bees? Reply with quote

Russian bees are aggressive but they are stronger and survive better in winter.
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newbeekeeper1
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Joined: 15 Nov 2015
Posts: 13
Location: usa

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 7:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Has anyone used Fastbees.net to order bees? Reply with quote

I ordered bees and hives from fastbees.net last year and the bees are amazing. Also I ordered queen bees from same place in May. I am very happy with what I got.
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alexg
House Bee


Joined: 25 Oct 2015
Posts: 14
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 7:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Has anyone used Fastbees.net to order bees? Reply with quote

Thank you. I plan to order bees from them next spring.
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newbeekeeper1
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Joined: 15 Nov 2015
Posts: 13
Location: usa

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 8:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Has anyone used Fastbees.net to order bees? Reply with quote

If you want to get bees early in the spring, It`s better if you contact them in March because it takes time for them to prepare orders. I was waiting some days before my order was shipped.
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David43
House Bee


Joined: 01 Nov 2015
Posts: 14
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 10:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Has anyone used Fastbees.net to order bees? Reply with quote

Yes, I ordered earlier. I contacted them in May. They shipped my hives with UPS. It took two days for UPS to deliver. There are couple shipping options. Next day air was very expensive and I asked them to ship with UPS Ground. Ground shipping is more stressful for bees but all colonies delivered in very good condition and it was much cheaper.

Last edited by David43 on Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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newbeekeeper1
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Joined: 15 Nov 2015
Posts: 13
Location: usa

PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2015 5:34 am    Post subject: Re: Has anyone used Fastbees.net to order bees? Reply with quote

I read this information on their web site:

To ease your way and to make your introduction to the world of the honey bee as enjoyable as possible, consider taking the following steps:

1. Learning

You need to learn about the craft before you start. You can find useful information on this web site.


2. Apiary requirements

You need a garden, field or other site.
The owner, if not you, and the neighbors must be happy. Placate them with a jar of honey each year.
Site your hives so the bees flightpath (beeline) does not interfere with sitting out and similar areas.
Horses and bees don't mix and inquisitive cattle can knock over hives.

3. Equipment

Complete deep hive (9 1/2").
Hive bodies (1-2),
Frames (20), full depth (9 1/8").
Lid.
Hive tool.
Smoker, 4" diameter or larger.
Veil and hat.
Feeder.

Bees

3 Ib. package of Italian bees with queen would be OK but five frame NUC is much better.
The best option is a ten frame Complete bee hive with bees.

Honey bees can be kept almost anywhere there are flowering plants that produce nectar and pollen. Choose a site for bee hives that is discrete, sheltered from winds and partially shaded. Avoid low spots in a yard where cold, damp air accumulates in winter.

Be considerate of non-beekeeping neighbors. Place hives so that bee flight paths do not cross sidewalks, playgrounds or other public areas. In dry weather, bees may collect water at neighbors' swimming pools or water spigots. Avoid this by giving your bees a water source in your yard such as a container with floating wood or Styrofoam chips. The floating objects prevent bees from drowning.

The easiest, and the best, way to start keeping bees is to buy established hives with bees. Buying two or more colonies instead of one lets you interchange frames of brood and honey if one colony becomes weaker than the other and needs a boost. Buy bees in standard equipment only. Competent beekeepers usually have one or two hive bodies on the bottom board with shallower honey supers above. Question the seller if supers are arranged differently. The condition of the equipment may reflect the care the bees have received, so be suspicious of colonies in rotten, unpainted wood. Once the colony is opened, the bees should be calm and numerous enough that they fill most of the spaces between combs.

Be sure each super has at least nine frames of comb. Inspect combs in the deep supers for brood quality. Capped brood is tan - brown in color. A good queen will have at least five or six combs of brood, and she will lay eggs in a solid pattern so that there are few skipped cells. Look for symptoms of brood disease and wax moth larvae (see the section on "Honey Bee Diseases and Pests").

Bee hives are easiest to move during winter when they are lighter and populations are low. Moving hives is a two-man job. Close the hive entrance with a piece of folded window screen, seal other cracks with duct tape, fasten supers to each other and to the bottom board with hive staples then lift the hive into a truck bed or a trailer. Tie the hives down tightly. Remember to open hive entrances after the hives are relocated.
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alexg
House Bee


Joined: 25 Oct 2015
Posts: 14
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Has anyone used Fastbees.net to order bees? Reply with quote

I ordered beekeeping tools from them and received everything yesterday. Bees will arrive in April.
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David43
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Joined: 01 Nov 2015
Posts: 14
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Has anyone used Fastbees.net to order bees? Reply with quote

When I decides to start beekeeping, I wanted to buy 3 lb. package bees first but did some research and found this:
A package is made of bees shaken down a funnel. They aren't sorted by age - but even if all were a day old when shaken - they'll be week-old when picked up - and it will be six weeks before the first replacement bees are ready to forage. The flowers of Spring will largely be missed while the package isn't strong enough to take advantage. The honey flow will pass them by as the package loses strength every day until at least the fourth week after installation. And if the new colony doesn't like the queen they've been given, they will reject or supercede her - adding another three week delay and seriously jeopardizing the survival of the colony.

By contrast the Nuc has many advantages: their queen is already accepted and laying eggs. She is a proven force. She continues to lay even as the nuc is transported and frames full of brood are tranferred into the beekeeper's equipment. Within existing comb are stores and brood of all ages. A balance exists between older bees and an increasing number of replacements.The colony utilizes these abundant resources and builds into a fully established colony.
Comparing a package and nuc around May 30 (six weeks after installation), the package has been continuously fed by the beekeeper and now has mostly drawn ten deep frames of comb. The first daughters are beginning to forage and the population once again approaches where it started. Unfortunately, the Spring flow is nearly over. If the beekeeper continues to feed, the second deep should be drawn by another 3-4 weeks.

The nucleus colony did not have to be fed. It expanded immediately and filled the five frames of foundation in less than two weeks. By the end of May the second deep is mostrly drawn and the colony has reached full strength. They are in position to gather a surplus in summer and go into Winter strong and healthy.

Looking at it in economic terms, the package costs "$", plus five frames with foundation that'll add $15 to the cost. If the colony doesn't accept the queen, a new one will cost $25 plus shipping and another two weeks will be lost. Hopefully the colony will get it's comb drawn (feed cost$, takes time, and is messy). In a good season it may gather summer surplus and be ready for Winter by early Fall.
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alexg
House Bee


Joined: 25 Oct 2015
Posts: 14
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Has anyone used Fastbees.net to order bees? Reply with quote

Yes, Nucs are better than packages. Best way to start is ten-frame hive with bees. Bees are much stronger and healthier in big colonies. I decided to order 5 hives from Fastbees.net

They will be delivered in April.
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David43
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Joined: 01 Nov 2015
Posts: 14
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Has anyone used Fastbees.net to order bees? Reply with quote

It takes too much time for package bees to build a good colony. I would not buy package bees.
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alexg
House Bee


Joined: 25 Oct 2015
Posts: 14
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Has anyone used Fastbees.net to order bees? Reply with quote

If you are new to beekeeping and have yet to get bees you are probably wondering whether you should get a package of bees or a nucleus hive (nuc) to start with – what is the difference?

A nucleus hive is a complete hive with, comb, eggs, open brood, capped brood, newly emerged nurse bees, foraging field bees, and a mature queen who is already busy laying eggs.

A “package” contains 2-3 pounds of field bees (shaken from a lot of different production hives) and a very young queen in her own cage, which has probably laid only a few hundred eggs – enough to prove that she can. No comb, eggs, brood, none of that. Oh yeah, a package contains a can of syrup to keep the bees fed for a few days. A package is very like an artificial swarm.

Cost – nucs are about twice as expensive as a package.

Queens – When you get a nuc it comes with a queen which is already a part of the hive, and is already laying eggs. With a package you have to “install” the queen and there is always a chance that she won’t be accepted by the hive.

Comb – a nuc comes with about 5 frames of drawn comb where a package has none to start with – unless you have some to give it. This means that a package has no where to put stores, and the queen has no where to lay. However a package will usually draw a few frames of comb very quickly because they’ve been confined and drinking syrup.

Build up – A nuc is a complete hive and should start building population as soon as you get it. A package has no brood yet, and the population will actually decline for about 4-6 weeks until the first eggs that are laid emerge as adults. So a nuc has about that much of a head start on the season when compared to a package.

Honey production – If you have drawn comb to work with and get your bees early enough either a nuc or package has potential to build up and perhaps produce a honey crop. If you don’t have comb – and as a beginner you probably don’t – then probably neither one is going to produce excess honey in the first year – at least not in our area. With luck either one should be able to do so in its second year.

Either a nuc or package should build up enough during it’s first year to a sufficient size to over winter and get a good start next year. You might even be able to split during your first season and successfully go into your first winter with twice as many hives.
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ingo50
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Joined: 30 May 2014
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Location: Newport, Gwent, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have read that most packages in the USA have queens that are bred from only a few beekeepers, and as such the genetic variability is limited. Many I believe are also stem from bees kept in the south of the country and will thus not be adapted to the climate of more northern states. Late packages may also contain bees that may have been used for mass, monocrop pollination and could harbour many diseases. Best to get local bees from a reputable beekeeper and nucs better than packages,swarms even better.
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alexg
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Joined: 25 Oct 2015
Posts: 14
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ingo50 wrote:
I have read that most packages in the USA have queens that are bred from only a few beekeepers, and as such the genetic variability is limited. Many I believe are also stem from bees kept in the south of the country and will thus not be adapted to the climate of more northern states. Late packages may also contain bees that may have been used for mass, monocrop pollination and could harbour many diseases. Best to get local bees from a reputable beekeeper and nucs better than packages,swarms even better.


Yes, you are right, Also, it`s so bad when people use bees for monocrop pollination and sell them after that. I would not buy bees from beekeeper who uses bees for pollination. California beekeepers sell bees after almond pollination. Bees die very quick because farmers use harmful chemicals on almonds. I found this article:
California dominates almond production like Saudi Arabia wishes it dominated oil. More than 80 percent of the almonds consumed on Planet Earth hail from there. Boosted by surging demand from China—overall, 70 percent of the state's output is exported—California's almond groves are expanding. The delicious nut's acreage grew 25 percent between 2006 and 2013. In a previous post, I noted how the almond boom is helping fuel a potentially disastrous water-pumping frenzy in a drought-stricken state.

Now comes more unsettling news: California's almond groves are being blamed for a large recent honeybee die-off.

What do almond trees have to do with honeybees? It turns out that when you grow almond trees in vast monocrops, pollination from wild insects doesn't do the trick. Each spring, it takes 1.6 million honeybee hives to pollinate the crop—about a million of which must be trucked in from out of state. Altogether, the crop requires the presence of a jaw-dropping 60 percent of the managed honeybees in the entire country, the US Department of Agriculture reports.
A mutual dependence has arisen between the state's almond growers and the nation's apiaries. For the 1,500 beekeepers who deliver "pollination services" to the almond industry each year, the gig provides 60 percent of their annual income—more lucrative, in other words, than selling the honey they produce, reports the Bakersfield Californian, a newspaper in the heart of almond country. "Without the almond industry, the bee industry wouldn't exist," one large-scale beekeeper told the paper in February.

But this year, something has gone wrong. According to the Pollinator Stewardship Council, somewhere between 15 percent and 25 percent of the beehives in almond groves suffered "severe" damage during the bloom, ranging from complete hive collapse to dead and deformed brood (the next generation of bees incubating in the hive).

Eric Mussen, a bee expert at the University of California-Davis since 1976, told me that there have been isolated die-offs on recent years, but this year's troubles have been "much more widespread…the worst we've ever seen."

The Pollinator Stewardship Council blames the cocktail of pesticides—insecticides and fungicides—almond growers use to keep their crops humming, and Mussen thinks the group may have a point.
He told me that several years ago, beekeepers in almond-heavy Glenn County began having problems keeping their brood alive, as well as with developing new queens. They began to fear that the trouble came from a widely used fungicide called Pristine, marketed by the German chemical giant BASF, for almonds. The company, which claims Pristine is harmless to bees, sent representatives to the county to collect almond pollen samples. In them, Mussen told me, they found "significant" levels of an insecticide called diflubenzuron. (Here's a copy of an email from January 2013 that Mussen circulated on the topic.) The catch is that its maker, Chemtura, insists that diflubenzuron, too, is harmless to bees.

If the two pesticides are safe for bees on their own, what's the problem? Mussen says that almond growers are combining them along with substances called adjuvants—which are used to enhance the performance of pesticides—and then spraying the resulting cocktail on crops. "It now seems that when you roll these three things together, it has very negative consequences on the bees," Mussen told me.

He explained that originally, adjuvants were used to help spread pesticides more evenly. Sprayed on their own, pesticides tend to form into discrete droplets on a plant's leaves that might not come into contact with insects or mold spores. Mixed with adjuvant, pesticides coat leaves evenly, making them more effective.

In recent years, the industry has come out with what Mussen calls "super-duper" adjuvants, that not only coat leaves but also penetrate them—which is desirable for growers because it prevents expensive agrichemicals from being washed away by rain or degraded by sun.

For bees, though, that development might be bad news. Mussen says it's possible that the bees' own skin tissues had been blocking the pesticides—until the new-and-improved adjuvants gave them a pathway inside. Also, he added, the chemicals "have some pretty potent material in them that we believe could be toxic to honeybees."

Mussen pointed me to a 2012 paper, published in the peer-reviewed PLOS ONE by Penn State University researchers, which found that, when consumed at low doses, new-wave adjuvants inhibit bees' ability to learn how to forage, compromising the long-term health of the hive. (Penn State's press release on the paper has more explanation; and here's more still from the research team itself.)

And while pesticides have to go through a registration process with the Environmental Protection Agency before they can be unleashed upon the world, adjuvants are considered "inert" ingredients and aren't subjected to EPA review, Mussen said. And while the EPA process for assessing the impact of pesticides on honeybees is deeply flawed, as I have shown before, at least there's a process in place. For adjuvants, there's no bee testing at all, he added. And by adding them to pesticide mixes and spraying them on almond trees, farmers aren't breaking any California or USDA rules.

It all adds up to yet another pathway linking pesticide cocktails and our beleaguered honeybee population. Pesticides and fungicides widely used in Midwestern corn and soybean fields have been shown to damage bee health—and these operations are also increasingly using adjuvants in their pesticide mixes, too. The above-mentioned PLOS ONE paper concluded that these unregulated chemicals may "contribute to the ongoing global decline in honey bee health." But corn and soybean farmers don't need bees to achieve their harvests. That bee-reliant almond growers would engage in practices that might severely harm bees…well, that's just nuts.
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ingo50
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Joined: 30 May 2014
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Location: Newport, Gwent, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for very informative reply Alex. This adds further evidence to the elephant in the room. Henk Tennekes ( Dutch toxicologist and ex- cancer researcher )has published extensively on pesticides and their effects on the whole ecosystem including humans ( see his Book: A Disaster in the Making ), he is a regular guest on June Stoyer's podcast The Organic View, she gives regular updates on honeybee health in America. Unless there is a concerted effort by all interested parties in the USA, I don't see anything helping. The Agrochemicals stand to loose billions of $$$ each year, the commercial beekeepers are financially dependent on the Almond Industry, politicians are corrupt ( I don't think Obama's funding of bee research will yield anything ) and the local beekeeper have no voice. If the Transaltantic trade deal between USA and European Union is agreed , this will only benefit the global companies. Cocktail for a perfect storm!
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