FAQ ABOUT MIGRATING
From grafting, raising, and selling queens and bees, building and assembling our own equipment to beeyard locations in South Georgia, Florida, Northeast Georgia and North Carolina Mountains, and to the management and control of our hives we--ourselves do all the work. We are still considered a small scale migratory commercial business by today's standards but we take pride in every aspect of our company which is growing rapidly.
How do you extract the honey? How much honey do you produce? Do you sell wholesale?
Our extracting system is a commercial line and can process 4,000 pounds of honey in a 12 hour day. We produce alot of honey each year usally anywhere from 30-50 55gallon drums. Yes, we do wholesale honey to highend wholesale honey buyers. However, each comb is still handled one at a time by us. So whether you purchase by the bottle(s) or a drum(s) the honey is given the same amount of our care by us. In every step we strive to produce premium speciality honeys available in our area.
Are the Queens and Bees you sell from your own bees?
Yes. We are not a broker. The bees are from our own production hives and our own stock. If we didn't split our hives the bees would swarm so new hives are made which either become the bees we sell or become new bee hives for our own increases. When we first started selling bees and then queens of our gentle Italian stock the word spread quickly with beekeepers and we now have queens available from April through September and Italian bees each spring. Pre-orders are taken for both in advance and quickly sell out. By increasing our production hives each year it allows us to increase the amount of bees we sell to customers.
Queens are grafted from one day old larvae into the JZ BZ cell cups which have been primed with royal jelly. The grafted cells are put back into a super strong colony where the bees will tend to each cell to draw the queen cells out. Once ready usually on day 10 they are transferred into an incubator. The cells will stay in the incubator until the queens are a day away from emerging then will be transferred into mating nucs to allow the queen to have mating flights and to start laying brood for three weeks before the queens are sold to customers.
How many hives do you have?
We have 1500 Colonies at any given time. We have 2 full time employees--Ourselves! It is very hard and exhausting work with extremely long hours. It is more fun than it sounds but we truly enjoy what we do. In case you are wondering--YES, WE GET STUNG ALOT!
How do you move the hives and when do you move them?
We have a Bee Truck(Dodge 5500 4WD Cab Chasis with a speciality built beekeeper bed), Hummerbee, and a trailer to move the bees around the state of Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina. The bees are loaded late evening so all the bees are in the hives. Once we have all the bees loaded a net is put over them to keep the bees from escaping. The bees are driven to their migatory location during the night and unloaded at day break. Honey bees create alot of heat so the only stops are for quick refueling.
How many times do you move the bees?
ALOT!! February/First of March we will begin to make splits for hive increases. Toward the end of March we begin shaking 3lb Pkgs. to be sold to customers.
We keep our exact locations of our favorite honey spots a closely guarded secret. However, we place them in the best bee locations which we seek out in advance. Our honey locations are prime spots. In addition to having some of the prime honey locations in the area we also face the normal rigors of transportation, and equipment cost. Years of experience and good beekeeping skills are required to produce the finest--top quality. premium, and prized Honey which is sought after by many..
Wildflower Honey - The bees gather nectar and pollen from dozens of trees, flowers, and grasses then return to the hive where it becomes Wildflower Honey. The color of Wildflower Honey will vary from year to year based on the mixture of collected nectar.
Sourwood Honey - About Mid-June all of our hives are moved into the Northeast Georgia and North Carolina Mountains for Sourwood Honey. Honey bees love Sourwood nectar and will work it hard to bring it back to the hive. It is not unusual to have a great honey production one year, and nothing the next.
The first of August, all of the hives are brought to our home apiary for very thorough hive inspections. Once hive inspections are completed all hives are loaded and moved to South Ga. for overwintering. While in South Ga. the bees may be put on cotton fields for Cotton Honey. The hives will stay in South Ga. until First of March.