Frequently Asked Questions - BeeWeaver and our Breed
BeeWeaver and our Breed
Weaver Apiaries divided into 2 companies in 1995. BeeWeaver's beekeeping philosophy, our reliance on honey bee biology and genetics to select and produce naturally disease-resistant and pest tolerant bees plus our dedication and service to the bee industry differentiate our two companies. Most importantly, the BeeWeaver Breed and our customer service set us apart from R Weaver.
Binford still has his hive tool in his back pocket and his smoker lit... but he has chosen to take a more relaxed role in the business. His input and expertise on beekeeping are priceless.
After experiencing increased loss last season with the USPS and because the Postal Service has closed our local processing facility, we have decided to ship our packages exclusively through UPS Next Day Air. Package bees are highly perishable and the fastest delivery is best for the bees!
A 3-pound package contains approximately 10,000 bees.
The packages we construct are roughly 8"H x 16"L x 5.5"W. They can fit inside a 9 and 5/8 inch or “deep” hive body standing upright. If you turn the package on its side, you can get the package into a 6 and 5/8 inch or “Dadant” or “modified” shell, but will have to remove all but 3 of the combs to do so.
We use USPS and UPS Next Day Air. During Spring, we will ship via Priority Mail. In the heat of summer, we only ship Express Mail and UPS Next Day Air.
Many of BeeWeaver's customers are beginners or were beginners not long ago. Our new and repeat customers tell us time and time again that our bees are easy to work and even easier to keep alive. The BeeWeaver stock was based on the All Star and Buckfast strains, both known to be hardy and good producers. With our mite tolerant bees the beginner has less to worry about. A new beekeeper can count on saving money with bees that do not need expensive and unsustainable mite treatments, and can concentrate on the joys of beekeeping instead.
The SMR (suppressed mite reproduction) stock was the result of Dr. Harbo, Dr. Harris, Dr. Danka and other scientists at the Baton Rouge Bee Lab. BeeWeaver purchased SMR breeders and mated them with our All Star drone mother colonies in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. The result was the BeeSMaRt Queen. One of our BeeSMaRt queens was the bee used in the 12 million dollar Honey Bee Genome Project... she lived to be 5 years old.
Our headquarters is located 70 miles North and West of Houston, 125 miles East of Austin, and 25 miles South of Bryan/College Station.
Production and orders naturally slow in the summer. Additionally, our office staff are moms with young children who need us during the summer. We do answer emails and continue shipping queens as production allows.
BeeWeaver tolerated more stinging to produce bees that did not perish when hives were left untreated for varroa and tracheal mites. Between 1996 and 2002 our bees were more defensive on average with the chance of extremes in both directions (super gentle to intolerable). Since 2001 we have been able to refocus on all the traits that we want our bees to have including good attitudes. Each year there has been significant improvement. Not only in our opinion, but in that of our customers. If our queen produces a defensive hive and environmental circumstances and cultural practices are not a factor, then we replace the queen, free of charge. By environmental circumstances and cultural practices, we mean things like beekeeping techniques (not using a smoker), hive location irritations such as proximity to a busy road, loud engine noises, sirens or big vibrations and recurrent provocations like skunks, raccoons, bears, rock-throwing hominids or other pesky critters.
Our mating grounds are in an area where Africanized bees have been for about 20 years. We feel the African bee incursion did severely affect our stock's temperament for the first 5-10 years, beginning in 1994. In the ensuring years, many of those feral African colonies have been watered down by our bees, existing feral bees and other US beekeeper's stock. Inter-breeding with feral Africanized bees does undoubtedly continue but we take measures to minimize their influence. BeeWeaver floods its mating yards with large numbers of drones and selects breeders that are proven to be calm, workable colonies as well as highly productive, disease resistant and pest tolerant bees. BeeWeaver offers a replacement policy for queens that produce mean bees (stinging without provocation, smoke does not calm them, stinging in high numbers)... the number of queens we must replace is minimal and decreases each year. View the videos:
Bee Breeding for Survivor Chemical Free Stock part 1 - Daniel Weaver
Bee Breeding for Survivor Chemical Free Stock part 2 - Daniel Weaver