Learn About Our Bee Packages

Not quite ready to catch a wild swarm? That’s ok. We pre-sell packaged bees which can be picked up from our store and easily installed in your hive in the spring. Here’s how it works.

Every year, Bee Thinking purchases honeybee packages from an apiary in California that shares in our values regarding honeybee health: They support strong genetics in honeybees and never treat them with antibiotics or miticides. Beekeepers in our Portland community pre-order these packages, and come pick them up in our shop in late April and early May.

There is still a lot of confusion around this whole process (“You mean you buy hundreds of thousands of live bees?”) so we thought we would go through it step by step. Don’t forget that our bee packages are ready for pre-order right now! We always sell out, so BEE quick!  

Step One: Pre-Order Your Package

Click here to pre-order your bee package for the Spring. Our bee packages come from an apiary in California named Honeybee Genetics. We've selected the highest-quality, hygienic, treatment-free, hybrid Carniolian and Russian honeybees. Each package includes one Queen Bee, about 9,000-10,000 female worker bees, and several dozen male drones. These honeybees have not been treated with antibiotics, which is a shockingly rare occurrence in the industry.

REMEMBER: We do not ship bees! These packages are to be picked up at our shop in Portland, Oregon in late April or early May.

Step Two: We Go Pick Them Up

The day before our annual Bee Day celebration, we head to the airport to pick up our bee package shipment and take them back to our shop in Southeast Portland. Truthfully, we always get a kick out of seeing the look on people’s faces when we arrive at the airport and announce that we are there to pick up 720,000 live bees.


Step Three: Bee Day!

We will let you know when Bee Day will take place as we get closer, but Bee Day is an annual event at our shop when folks come pick up their packages. We will have staff available to talk you through installing your package in your hive, too—particularly helpful if this is your first year as a beekeeper! We will also have complimentary mead and honey tastings to make it a true party.


Step Four: Installing Your Package

Finally, the time will come for you to take your bee package home with you and install it in your hive. Don’t worry—installing a beehive is not as difficult or scary as it may sound! All you really need to do is give the opened package a good shake, letting the majority of the bees fall into the open hive. You can then prop the package up against the hive, and the rest of the stragglers will find their way into their new home over the next few hours.

Well, what are you waiting for? Pre-order your bees today for Spring pick-up in Portland, Oregon.

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