Bee Collection and COVID-19

I think i should update you with our current situation. As a company, we are still open and taking online and phone orders for delivery. Our shop is open still but is not available for browsing – you will be served from the door. If you know you are coming, it is preferred that you pre-order beforehand so we can get the items ready for you. This setup will continue until further notice or otherwise advised by the government.

BEE COLLECTIONS/DELIVERIES

Our bee week for collections is still scheduled for 17th April – 24th April (see post below). This, at the time of writing, does seem to be occuring when COVID-19 could be worse still.

We’ve had lots of emails with customers worried about travelling and other possible restrictions in the future and questions of whether they can collect their bees earlier.    We’ve spend the last few days checking the nucs and found some that are very close to being ready but which we are happy to send out if people want to collect them early.

Firstly, you need to understand that they won’t be fully up to strength and won’t meet our ‘specs’.   Ideally, they need another 2-4 weeks to expand before I would normally let them go but I am aware that people are wanting them ASAP in case travel becomes more difficult.     I have many that are 5-6 frames of bees but only around 2-4 frames of brood.  They have plenty of signs of egg laying and expansion has been seen over the past few weeks but they are yet to be bursting from their boxes like some years.   Stores are generally low too as we are still waiting for the Spring flow to start properly so if you do collect them, you are likely to need to feed them fondant for a few weeks or maybe sugar syrup if the weather is warm enough.   They are however, very healthy so you don’t need to worry about that. This is what they are like at the time of writing this, as the days/weeks roll on, bear in mind they will be increasing in size still.

If you would like to collect your bees sooner rather than later, then let me know ASAP.   I jut need a about 72 hrs notice to book you in.     We can also do any Monday to Friday from next week onwards, although Wed/Thur/Fri is preferred.      If you would rather wait until they are properly ready, that’s fine too.   You can either book your day now or come back to me later.

If you would like your nuc delivered, we can do that, just let me know and we can start to arrange that. Please bear in mind that collections will be quicker at the moment than deliveries but bear with us.

Other equipment:   Our shop will be open but we are trying to limit customers in the shop so there is no ‘browsing’.   If you need any other equipment, let me know and we can sort the order and payment out to make sure it is all ready for you to just collect.   This will reduce contact time between people and benefit everyone concerned.    If you are not sure what you need, just ask me but some ideas to think about: A beehive to move the bees into
A Bee Suit
A Smoker & Hive Tool
A block of Fondant for feeding
A Feeder to give the bees some sugar syrup
Sugar Syrup – we have ready made or you can mix your own with white sugar and water.

So ALL YOU NEED TO DO is let me know which day you would like to make your collection.   If you can EMAIL please, as we have 100s of beekeepers to book in and it’s easier and safer for all of us when dates are written down.   I will reply to your email within a few days to confirm everything with you.    If you get an error you can also email me directly via roger@paynes-beefarm.com but please include your order number if you know it.

IMPORTANT NOTES ABOUT COLLECTION:

1 – Although you shouldn’t need a beesuit on the day, we would recommend you bring one in your car just in case you need it.
2 – We aim to book everyone on their first choice of day but, if a certain day gets high demand we may need to ask you to choice another day – book your preferred day ASAP to avoid disappointment.
3 – I will supply you with ‘instructions’ so you know what to do with the bees.   This will be before the collection day so you have time to ready it and ask questions if you need to.