When I found out about Konrad Bouffard’s beekeeping class in June of 2009 I was very excited. I figured I would take the class, order my equipment and bees and be on my way. Unfortunately, this was not the case. It turns out you can really only get packaged bees consistently in the spring, and you often have to place your order in late fall or early winter.
In my case, this turned out to be rather advantageous since Texas had one of the worst droughts in 2009 and starting a hive in June would have been a bad idea. I used this time to continue reading up on beekeeping and getting all my equipment ordered and ready to go for the upcoming spring. I also did research on various apiaries in Texas and the rest of the South before placing my order.
I ended up ordering my bees from Bee Weaver Apiaries here in Texas for several reasons. First and foremost, they stopped treating their hives with chemicals to control varroa mites. I like the idea of only breeding bees that have a natural resistance, and I have decided to try a natural approach of beekeeping without chemicals and antibiotics. Secondly, they have a drop off program instead of shipping bees via mail. It just so happened that one of the pickup points in Austin is only a mile or two away from my house. They should be arriving sometime around April 11th which means I only had to wait 10 long months to get started. With the great rains Austin received in the fall, I’m hopeful that this spring and summer will be much milder to allow my hive to get established.