There is a scarcity of bees this spring. I usually send away for a few packages to help with the pollinating but because we had such a mild winter and warm spring the peaches are already out and the apples will probably bud in the next two weeks. the problem is that between the mites and Colony Collapse Disorder, and the early spring everyone is trying to buy bees. There will be all anyone would want by May but now they are scare as hen’s teeth.
I have found one bee supply guy named Simpson who has package bees ready for April 17th. He is in Canton Ohio and while he will ship them, he gets them from down South and so by the time he ships them and I receive them it will be late and the bees will probably be quite weak. There is another bee yard down in Cranbury NJ, not that far away who says they may have bees next Thursday but call first. So if I get lucky I’ll head down to New Jersey. If not I may take to the road again to Ohio. the gas will probably cost more than the bees.
I know after 35 years of doing this I should probably hang it up but I’m a creature of habit and when a good colony of bees get into fruit trees they really do well. Last year after I had picked a lot of my apples a neighbor was able to get five bushels of drops and those still on the trees to make apple wine.
I still keep a few colonies over at Barton orchards but haven’t even been over to check them out yet this Spring.