Spring 2020 Pickup Information Click here for detailed information on picking up your honey bee packages.
__ Back Forty Bees supplies 3-pound packages of Italian honey bees to Hampton Roads, Virginia and Northeast, North Carolina. Our packages have been issued a certificate of health by the state apiarist of Georgia and comply with all laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, confirming that they are free of disease. Back Forty Bees is an experienced apiary and we have a successful track record of over many years supplying honey bees locally that will succeed for you.
We are insured, fully licensed, and meet all regulatory requirements – something you don’t see in all package suppliers. Moreover, Back Forty Bees has uniquely designed our transport method to minimize stress on the bees, ensuring that your bees arrive healthy and ready to establish themselves. This translates into better service, better products, and better follow-up – all benefiting you, our customers.
Delivery is scheduled for March 22, 2020 (subject to weather) We offer two pickup locations - Williamsburg, VA or Suffolk, VA. Please select your pickup location when you place your order.
Club and Quantity Discount Pricing Discounts are offered for club and quantity orders. Please note, these prices will be phased out as spring approaches, order early to take advantage of this special pricing.
25 Packages Cost $3,025 ($121 each)
50 Packages Cost $5,900 ($118 each)
> 75 Packages Cost $8625 ($115 each)
Clubs - don't worry about collecting money! We will provide you with a club code that will automatically adjust the pricing for your member orders. This makes it easy to get club order pricing, without the hassle of chasing down people and checks. Email us and we'll set everything up for you. Delivered to you! - For clubs within our geography, we will deliver the packages straight to you for a small additional fee. Email us and we'll provide the details.
Free Package Installation Demonstration
It can be daunting installing a package of bees for the first time. We offer a free demonstration at our Williamsburg location the day you pickup your package. We will walk through all the steps of installing the bees, answer your questions, and help you be comfortable installing your own bees before you leave!
This demonstration is always a huge success!
We are here to help you succeed! BFBs lends a lot of support to new beekeepers who order bees, starting with pickup and beyond (some folks call me years after buying bees for assistance). After delivery, you can expect phone and email support, with the occasional site visit if necessary. We are committed to making sure your bees flourish!
I'm new to beekeeping, how many hives should I start with?
No - not if you can add a package to your cart! We utilize online inventory control and as long as you can add a product to your cart it is in stock. I do recommend if you want a package you order early - we do sell out each year.
What is the difference between a package and a nuc?
A Package of honey bees is 3 pounds of bees (about 10,000), including a mated queen, contained in a screened shipping cage with a food source (sugar water typically). A nuc (or nucleus hive) is a hive of bees with drawn out comb, a laying queen, capped and open brood, and all the worker and drone bees. Essentially, a nuc is a very small functioning hive while a package is an artificial swarm of bees that must establish a new hive (draw out comb, etc).
How do I install a package?
There are many resources on the web for installing a package of Honey Bees. An excellent guidance document (including photos) on how to install package bees has been developed by NC State University. The Nanesmond Beekeepers Association has a video of analternative method available for installing a package. Michael Bush has some thoughts on installing package bees also.
Should I be concerned about Africanized Honey Bees?
Not with Back Forty Bees! All our packages are Georgia state inspected, meaning they are disease free and not cross bred with Africanized honey bees (AHB). We always utilize the same breeder and have been very happy with the quality and temperament of the packages we received. AHB are not considered widespread or established in Georgia. In fact, the latest map of AHBs by the Agricultural Research Center, USDA does not include the state of Georga. You can review the map and find out more information on AHB at Extension.org
What is a package of honey bees?
A Package of honey bees is essentially an artificial swarm. Bees from multiple hives are placed in a cage with a new queen and a can of sugar water. This package of honey bees will include a queen and 3 pounds of bees (enough to get a hive started).
Our club has a large order, are you willing to work with us on prices?
Yes – BFBs has a successful track record of serving beekeeping clubs. Please call, send an email, or complete the form on our contact page and we will be happy to work with you.
When will you know the exact date the bees will be in?
In late March we will have an exact date. Much depends on the weather, as bees are natural creatures. Thus far we have delivered all packages within a one week window of the date we will notify you of in March.
Do you sell woodernware or starter kits?
Yes! See our Assembled Hives page.
What kind of honey bees are these?
These are Italian honey bees, the most common type found in the country among beekeepers.
The Fine Print
All packages are delivered with a live queen and healthy bees. Occasionally a queen will die; if this happens you must return the dead queen within 24 hours of pickup and a new queen will be provided at no cost. After 24 hours we can provide a new queen, however, this will be at an additional cost. Exceptions are made for uncommon situations. All sales are final.