Bee CoOp Order 2017

Deadline to Order - extended briefly as of 2/11
Payment is due immediately upon order

You have a choice between package bees or nuc's. We have had very good success with both. 

Everything but the price is pretty much the same this year, but full details are included below for your reference.
Full information on each ordering option is included below.

Nuc's come in a box with a set of a few frames, that you unload into your hive. 
Package bees come in a small box with 3# of bees with a mated queen in the midst, that you unload into your frames. 
Either way, you need to add the bees to your hive(s) - but have no fear, we will show you how!  Workshops on this and other topics will be available.

Cost for Transport
Each person/household shares in the cost to drive to pick up the bees this Spring - to Wilkes Barre, PA, Norwich or Pamelia, depending on the vendor.  This will run somewhere between $10 to $20 per family total for the transport, approximately.  Maybe a little less or a little more, depending on how many people order, we just split the gas cost evenly.  This is a flat fee, not charged per package/nuc, and is only to cover the cost of gas.
We collect this from you upon pick-up, and give it directly to the driver.  You'll know in advance the exact price, but we don't know the total per person yet (until the orders are all in.)
Important Note: If you agree to go in on this group order, you are agreeing to your share of the transportation cost as well - even if fewer people go in, so that it costs a bit more (hopefully not, but just saying!) Drivers are not paid for their time, and we have agreed in the past that the driver shouldn't have to pay for their share of the gas; since they're doing all the driving plus wear and tear on their vehicle, so that seems only fair.  This is saving you the full expense of going there yourself, so it's a deal!

Donation to the Local Living Venture for Coordination
We ask for a donation of $5 per unit (nuc or package) for the tremendous amount of time and effort it takes to coordinate a smooth order and delivery.  If we are able to meet minimum quantities for a $5 price break, what this means is that you would still just pay the regular price for the unit - if you'd ordered on your own.  You wouldn't have ordered enough to get that break in the first place, so it comes out more or less even.  If we don't make that minimum, then it is costing you an extra $5 each, but you still save when considering the transport costs (see below.)  We include it in the pricing below, but this is a good-will donation, and is not required; however, withholding it would really not be a kind thing to do to us. :-)  Chelle is a volunteer coordinating most of this, but many paid staff hours go into coordinating also, and we need to at least cover those expenses as a small and unfunded community organization.

Delivery Location: The package bees will be delivered to the parking lot of the Bee Meetings in Canton, NY on April 22. 
The nuc's we are less clear on the delivery date and where they will be delivered to, but pick up in Pamelia with delivery to Canton is what we'll be shooting for.
Delivery Dates:  Package bees Saturday, 4/22/2017, Nuc's late April to mid- May.
By participating in this group bee purchase you agree
that Package Bees and the risk of loss of the package and queen it contains or the Nuc's and the risk of loss of the frames and queen it contains become the responsibility of the customer (the customer being you, not the Local Living Venture or the volunteer delivery driver) at the time of pick up from the supplier.  You understand that Mann Lake, Kutik's Honey Farm and the Local Living Venture cannot guarantee the successful establishment of the package bees or nuc's. You agree that you will not attempt to hold Mann Lake, Kutik's Honey Farm or the Local Living Venture or it's agents (including the volunteer delivery drivers) responsible for whatever may happen to your package or nuc after it is delivered to you or for the survival or productivity of the hive that you may establish from the package or nuc. No refunds for cancellations.

Please copy and paste the questions below in to an email, fill it in and send to us by Sunday, Feb. 5 immediately (this was posted 2/11) at

We will contact you regarding the exact amount due, by Tues. February 7 immediately by reply email.  You must be prepared to send a check right away, the deadline to receive it is February 10.immediatel upon order.  We will not order bees that are not paid for.  Please budget based on the highest cost shown in the pricing below and you will not be disappointed if/when it comes in lower.  Our apologies that the deadlines are a little tight this year, but the supplier deadlines moved up, leaving us less time.
There are no refunds or cancellations for orders they take, so please be sure you are asking for what you want.
If you really need to use a credit card for this, we can likely organize that as well and split it up like they do with restaurant checks, but that does complicate things quite a bit, so please try to send a check? 

EMAIL TO LLV BY SUNDAY 2/5/2017  AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! (posted 2/11/2017)
Copy the section below, paste into an email, fill it out and send!

* * * * * * Begin Copying Here * * * * * *


Cell Phone (for pick up day)

Daytime Phone (if different)

Number of Nuc's

Number and type of Queens from Kutik's

I may be able to be the driver to pick up the group order of Nuc's in Pamelia or Norwich, NY (large truck or cargo van needed.)
Yes / No

I would prefer to pick up myself in Pamelia, IF that's where they are delivered. (Only cost efficient if you live closer to Pamelia than Canton.) This also requires you to pick up the same day as our driver.
Yes / No

Number of Italian Packages
Number of Carniolan Packages
Number of extra Queens from Mann Lake (one comes with each package already)

I may be interested in bulk syrup.
Yes / No

Comments or Questions

PLEASE put in the Subject Line:
The total # and type of packages or nuc's (and any queens too) + your Name and Cell (preferably)
     Example:    2 Italian Pkg, 1 Queen Joe Blow 315-555-1212
               Or:   3 Nucs Jane Glow 315-555-1212
Send to :-) Thank you!

* * * * * * End Copying Here * * * * * *


Package Bees

Package Bees are guaranteed to contain 3 or more pounds of bees plus a caged mated Queen, and will not have more than one inch of dead bees (when spread evenly across the bottom of the package) upon pickup from the supplier. We've seen nowhere near 1" of dead bees, but that's an acceptable number. Recipients of the package bees from Mann Lake in past years seemed to be pretty happy with the results.  They came in strong and healthy and we are always impressed with their vigor.  Mann Lake is using the same Northern California supplier they have had for years apparently, so we have faith that this year will also be a positive experience.  That said, these are livestock and no one can guarantee anything, but Mann Lake has been good about replacing queens or full packages on the rare occasions they arrived in less than stellar shape.
We have a driver set to pick up this order.  If you'd like to tag along, talk to Don Matheson at a bee meeting, or we can put you in touch!

Here is the website for your use,  Anything stated here may be superseded by what they say on their website, so check it out!  If you notice any differences, please tell me and we will share it! :-)

NOTE:  I looked into the packages from Betterbee and they are $5 to $10 cheaper. However, coming from Georgia, they are likely to have small hive beetles.  Generally, the beetles don't overwinter well, it's true, but they can wreak havoc during the first year they are installed regrdless, and if there's a mild winter...they could hold over.  If you REALLY prefer the cheaper price, and enough people say so we can re-consider who to order from, so please add this to the comments on the form you return above.

The cost is based on how many we order, as per below.
There is also a delivery cost that we all share, which is the main savings to you - to not have to drive to PA yourself to get them.
The pricing on Mann Lake Packages is:
$144.87 each (not including delivery) for 1-19 packages. This is the most likely price, but there is no guarantee - budget for this higher price!
Breakdown of price: $131.95 + 6% tax + $5 each donation requested for co-op coordination
The 20 or more pricing is:
$139.57 each (not including delivery) for over 20 packages (it may be unlikely we'll have 20, but you never know!)
Breakdown of price: $126.95 each + 6% tax + $5 each donation requested for co-op coordination
*  I am working on getting the 6% tax removed, since we're a non-profit but I can't guarantee this since we are a non-profit in NY, not PA.

Queens $32.86 each includes 6% tax - note that a caged, mated Queen is included in each package.
Italians & Carnolian queens are available at this time, but Carniolans did run short last year, FYI.

Bulk Syrup
Also, we'll deal with this later, but it's possible to get in on buying some bulk syrup from Mann Lake - you provide the 1 to 5 gallon pail(s). Don Matheson says it's a good price and high quality.  If it happens, this would be an add-on at the "last minute," we don't have to pre-order - also, part of this decision is how much room there is in the van outside of the packages.


Five Frame Nuc's
The pricing on the nuc's is for 5 Frame nucs.
There are 4 frame nuc's available also, but I'd have to get pricing for you as everyone seems to go with the 5 frame.

The cost for Chuck Kutik's Honey Farms nuc's is based on how many we order, as per below.
1-9      $155 each includes tax and $5 each for LLV donation
10-49  $145 each   "                                                      "  This is the most likely price, but there is no guarantee - budget for the higher price!
50+     $135 each    "                                                      "
There is a $20 per nuc deposit for the return of the box.  You can keep the box and forfeit the deposit if you wish. When you return your box, you get your check back (there will be no wait on return this year!)  This is a separate check, made out directly to Kutiks, not to the LLV.  Your deposit check should be included in with your separate payment check, and you'll be reminded of that when I send the email with your total bill.
These are South Carolina-raised bees of various types (can't say they're Italian or Russian or Carniolan, they're a mix.)  The bee group was very happy with their nuc's last year (our first year ordering nuc's as well as packages.)  The Kutik's have a very good reputation for good bee stock and customer care. That said, these are livestock and no one can guarantee anything, though they also seem willing to replace any less than vigorous nuc's on the rare occasion this comes up.
There is also a delivery cost that we all share, which is the main savings to you - to not have to drive to Norwich yourself to get them. Last year, they brought them up to Pamelia and Mark B picked them up in his mega-bee truck.  It is unclear who or how we will get them this year, but these details will be worked out.  If you prefer to drive to Pamelia yourself, it would have to be the same day as the group driver to eliminate confusion and extra responsibility for the Kutik's, but you'd save the delivery cost (though this is likely not cost efficient for you unless you live closer to Pamelia than Canton.)  This is only IF they deliver to Pamelia and we don't have to go to Norwich, of course.
We do not have a driver set to pick up this order - a large cargo van or truck is needed. Drivers are not paid for their time, but the cost for gas is covered entirely.

Italian or Carniolan, from SC 
1-9 $28
10-24 $26
25-99 $24
100+ $23 
Late April to mid-May 2017 delivery


If you want bees:

1)  Reply now to - copy in the questions above, fill out your answers and send your email by midnight Sun., 2/5.
2)  When we've determined what the prices are, based on whether we met price break minimums, we'll send you a "bill" by email, on Tues. 2/7.
3)  Mail your check right away please, to  Local Living Venture, PO Box 736, Canton NY 13617.
Your check must be received by Friday, 2/10

Let's make this thing happen, people!
Bee Happy!