Bee CoOp Order 2020

UPDATE 2/24/2020:

If you would like to order please note the full details (including the Important Note) below.
There is a form to copy and paste into an email to send to the Local Living Venture, to place your order.
We will respond with an email confirmation that your order was received, followed by another email confirming the amount due once our order is completed and we know if we qualify for a discount for quantity.
If you have questions, please contact Chelle at (315) 261-1926 (text preferred). 

Thank you - and YEAH BEES!

Deadline to Order - 3/5
Payment is due immediately upon price confirmation of you order - we will email you!

For more information on our full non-profit program offerings for beekeepers see this page:

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

Everything except 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 five 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,  or Oxford, NY depending on the vendor.  This will run somewhere between $10 to $20 per family total for the transport, approximately.  Maybe a little less, 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 approximately $5-10 per nuc or package (depending on how many you buy, donation per unit goes down the more you order) 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 above.)  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:  E.J. Noble Medical Bldg., 80 E. Main Street, Canton, NY
The nuc's we have less information on the delivery date and where they will be delivered to, see more details in the Kutik 5 Frame Nuc's section below.

Delivery Dates: 
Package bees to be confirmed for last weekend of April or first weekend of May - the date will be set soon. 
Nuc's late April to mid-May, sometimes later!  We don't get notice until sometimes days before for the Nucs. 

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.  You understand and agree that ther are no refunds for cancellations, though we will do our best to find another buyer in that case.
2019 Addendum:  Last year we had one Saskatraz package arrive with 2" of dead bees, which is more than the acceptable 1" level.  It's never happened before, but it did this once.  Being part of a group order complicated the situation some, but the inability to drive back to PA for a replacement meant that the package had to be installed with less bees than usual.  Word to the wise, this could happen to you and we won't be able to do much for it.  It's only happened the once, but the recipient wasn't happy, of course.  :-/  We inspect each package upon pick up and you should inspect your package(s) upon delivery.  That's really the best we can do, so please note that when ordering, you are agreeing to assume this liability yourself and hold the LLV and the others referenced above harmless.

Please copy and paste the questions below in to an email, fill it in and send to us by February 25 at

Bee supplies may run low and late payment jeopardizes everyone's order!
We will contact you regarding the exact amount due, within a week to 10 days, via reply email. 
You must be prepared to send a check right away, the deadline to receive payment is likely March 15 in order for us to place the order.  We will not order bees that are not paid for.  Please budget for now based on the highest cost shown in the pricing below and you will not be disappointed if/when it comes in lower. 
There are no refunds or cancellations for orders we give the suppliers, so please be sure you are asking for what you want.

EMAIL TO LLV BY MARCH 5 to add on to the group order.

Copy the section below, paste into an email, fill it out and send!

* * * * * * Begin Copying Here * * * * * *
PLEASE copy and paste this format to make it easier on us to record!


Cell Phone (for pick up day)  

I can receive texts on this phone YES / NO
Cell phone provider (so we can email the text to all of you easily)  AT&T  /  VERIZON  /  TRACFONE  /  OTHER (please name)

Daytime Phone (if different)  

Number of WOODEN Nuc's from Kutik's
Number of PLASTIC 
Nuc's from Kutik's  
Number 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 Oxford, NY (large truck or cargo van needed.)
Yes / No  

Number of Italian Packages  
Number of Carniolan Packages  
Number of Saskatraz Packages  
Number and types of extra Queens from Mann Lake (one comes with each package already) - specify type  

We do have a driver set, but (as back-up) I may be able to be the driver/would like to ride along to pick up the group order of packages in Pennsylvania (truck with a cap or van needed.)
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 Plastic/Wooden Nucs Jane Glow 315-555-1212
Send to :-) Thank you!

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

Copy the section above, paste into an email, fill it out and send!


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, 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 by mail 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 that the prices they quote do not include the 6% tax you will would pay, so factor that in to the cost you see.

NOTE:  We have rejected the idea of purchasing (sometimes cheaper) packages from the southern U.S., as 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 regardless, and if there's a mild winter...they could hold over.  We also will not be considering bees that come through places like local feed stores - if you want those bees, please feel free to get them on your own.

 Choose Between Three Types of Bee Packages Available this Year

The cost is based on * how many we order as a group *, as per below.
There is also a delivery cost that we all share, which is a savings to you - to not have to drive to PA yourself to get them.

The cost for Mann Lake Packages:
Prices went up by about $5

$182- each
 (not including transport) for 1-19 packages.
Below is the most likely price, but there is no guarantee - budget for the higher price!
The 20 or more pricing is $177- each. Keep your fingers crossed!

$182- each
 (not including transport) for 1-19 packages.
Below is the most likely price, but there is no guarantee - budget for the higher price!
The 20 or more pricing is $177- each. Keep your fingers crossed!

$187- each (not including transport) for 1-19 packages.
Below is the most likely price, but there is no guarantee - budget for the higher price!
The 20 or more pricing is $182- each. Keep your fingers crossed!

QUEENS from Mann Lake Package supplier
Note that a caged, mated Queen is included in each package but you may also order more seperately.
Usually $30-40 depending on type, note your interest (including breed type) on the order form and we'll confirm a price for you.
If you do not specify a breed type we will assume it's of the same type as the majority of your package bee order and assume no liability if that is incorrect.

Kutik's 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.

​Pay $15 more for plastic nuc boxes that do not have to be returned, or pay the lower price but pay a wooden nuc deposit of $20 per nuc that is returned when you return your nuc boxes.
Prices went up by about $5, and a new nuc box option is available

The cost for Kutik's Honey Farms nuc's is based on how many are ordered, as per below.
Figure on the higher price until we know our order totals, and you'll be happy when it's less! :-)

Wood Nuc: 1-2 $160 - or $170 if we don't make the quantity price break (plus deposit check for $20 ea.)
Plastic Nuc 
1-2 $175 - or $180 if we don't make the quantity price break (no deposit check needed)

Wood Nuc: 3-6 $155 - or $165 if we don't make the quantity price break (plus deposit check for $20 ea.)
Plastic Nuc 
3-6 $170 - or $175 if we don't make the quantity price break (no deposit check needed)

Wood Nuc: 7+  $150 - or $160 if we don't make the quantity price break (plus deposit check for $20 ea.)
Plastic Nuc 
7+  $165 - or $170 if we don't make the quantity price break (no deposit check needed)
We may be able to do a better price for 11+ too, but it depends on whether it gets us over a price break threshold!

QUEENS from Kutik Nuc Supplier
Each nuc comes with a Queen but you may order more seperately.
$30, or $26 if more than 10.

Nuc Deposit
If you choose the wooden nuc box option, 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.  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.
If you choose the plastic nuc box, it is now yours to keep!

Usually early-mid May pick up/delivery (though they were late last year, it was later in May, which is usually better, weather-wise.)
There MAY also a transport cost that we all share, which is a savings to you - to not have to drive to Oxford yourself to get them.  For the last two years, they've brought them up to Roland Moore's farm in West Potsdam, so we had no transport cost.  It is likely they will do so again this year, but other years they delivered to Pamelia so we didn't have to go as far as Oxford, but if we do need to go anywhere to get them we will share the gas expense for the driver, in cash upon pick-up.
If we do need to go to Pamelia or Oxford, we do not yet 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.  We'll check in with everyone if we need this kind of help!


1)  Reply now to - copy in the questions above, fill out your answers and send your email by midnight 3/5.
2)  When we've determined what the prices are, based on whether we met price break minimums, we'll send you a "bill" by emailwithin a few days.
3)  Once you receive your bill, mail your check right away please, to  Local Living Venture, PO Box 736, Canton NY 13617.
     If ordering wooden nucs, one check is made payable to the LLV (for the bees) and another made payable to Kutik's ($20 per nuc box refundable deposit.)
4)  Your check must be received within one week of sending the bill, so please be ready and checking your email! 

Let's make this thing happen, people!

Bee Happy!
for the Local Living Venture team
a 501(c)(3) community-based educational non-profit

The Local Living Venture is coordinated entirely by volunteers.
With a small staff, and your support, we make big things happen!

Local Living Venture Website
Donate to support our work
Please 'Like' us on Facebook (if you are so inclined)
Email us:
315. 347. 4223 * PO Box 736  Canton, NY 13617