What are overwintered
These are colonies that we make towards the end of each year from late
season splits with freshly mated fall queens. These are colonies we use to
rebuild our pollination hive inventory.
Because of the time of the year we make these splints, they require much
more of a time investment than spring splits. We have more invested, so they
are priced slightly higher than spring splits - typically $50 to $100 more each
- depending on the source. However, since we raise our own bees, they can
be made available for only $30 more each and available before the new deadline.
These colonies are overwintered at our southernmost bee yards down
near Brownsville, Tx where the temperature is typically 15 to 20° warmer
during the winter months. Each hive is monitored weekly all winter, which is
like an extended fall in the Rio Grande Valley. They are checked regularly,
fed pollen and/or syrup if needed, and of course treated for mites.
The warmer climate prevents the colonies from shutting down and they are
a lot stronger coming into the new year.
We typically use these colonies to rebuild and increase our numbers so we
can be ready for the early spring crop pollination for large scale farmers.
Such as the California Almond growers and the Rio Grande Valley early
watermelon crops that are planted around New Years Day each year.
These fall Queen colonies have a lower tendency to swarm early in the
springtime and are still laying vigorously since they have not had a full
season to mature yet. We are making an extra reserve this year to satisfy
the demand for early bees due to changes in the Texas Tax requirements.
A new state wide bill passed that mandates property owners
are now required to have bees on location 9 months of the year, instead of
the 6 months previously required by most counties, to qualify for special Ag
Valuation for property taxes.
With the supply chain being limited, we will only be able to make a certain
amount of splits this fall. Orders are filled on a first come - first serve
basis. Order early to ensure availability in the early spring.