Our bees are unique in that they are all native stock. Most bees are purchased as “package bees” (a box of just bees and an unrelated queen) or as a “nuc” (typically 5 frames of bees and a queen already started). The majority of these come from southern states like Georgia and Florida.
While we have purchased nucs in the past, we found our best and most hardy stock were from local, northern bees. Several years ago we began intensive swarm capture of local, wild (feral) bees. We found these have multiple advantages including being better acclimated to our climate, greater disease resistance, greater mite resistance and better success at overwintering. We have also found that they are as gentle and productive as southern bees.
At this time all our bees are northern stock with some being third generation “splits” off of the original, local bees. If we need to replace a queen we do so with one we raised ourselves or that comes from a queen breeder right here in the Hilltowns who is known for hardy, gentle bees.
We also know happy bees make great honey. Our hives are situated on the southern slope of the mountain, protected from the cold winter winds by dense woods to the west. The hives face the warm, southern sun, and are just a stone’s throw away from one of five ponds on the property. The surrounding farmland provides alfalfa, basswood, clover and wildflower nectar in abundance throughout the summer. These local, northern bees have the three essential ingredients needed to thrive and be happy – Sun, Water, and Flowers!
Local bees, Local honey.
Sun Mountain Apiary 127 Marcus Road Delanson, NY 12053