Arataki Packaged Honeybees
Arataki Packaged Honeybees
|Buy 10 +
|Buy 40 +
Last Updated February 24th, 2024:
ETA March 17th-18th
Please note the above tabs with additional information (right under the pricing table). We encourage customers to fully review these tabs, including: "Description", "Quick Facts", "Payments/Deposits", "Transporting, Installing & Feeding Packages", "Queens & Replacements", "Terms".
We have been supplying Arataki packages from the beginning here at Urban Bee Supplies and they are a customer favourite. Long-time customers have come to expect year-after-year the same results from Arataki: predictably gentle, productive and easy-to-manage bees. It is unlikely you will find a gentler bunch of bees to start your beekeeping journey with!
Unfortunately the effect of the pandemic on international air freight had a particularly severe effect on New Zealand tube package transport, and we were not able to supply Arataki in that period. Fortunately this year they are back and we couldn't be happier!
Each package includes one caged queen already in the package. Queens are of Carniolin descent. Carniolin queens tend to produce colonies that adapt well to colder, wetter climates and shorter seasons. We have found they are a good fit for BC.
These bees come in tube-style packages (see product image). The plastic top can be unattached, and the bees poured out through the top of the tube. Many customers find this method quite quick & easy.
Packages are for pick-up only. Currently we expect Arataki packages to arrive in late March. Usually once packages arrive to our store you will have 1-2 days to pick-up - the sooner the better for the bees.
Full payment will be required for smaller orders. For 10+ ordered, you can pay a 50% deposit. For 40+ ordered, you can pay a 25% deposit. For partial payment please contact us via email, over the phone or in store and we can generate a partial payment order with you.
Reservations Include $30 Non-Refundable Deposit per Package *
* This means that if you have to cancel your order, you will be refunded fully minus $30. This amount is considered your commitment fee. Please note that you must still give us at least 2 weeks notice of cancellation, or we may retain 50%-100% of your payment.
Please view the 'Payments/Deposits' & 'Terms' tab for full details regarding reserving, deposits, refunds and other important details. Proceeding with an order for packaged bees is taken as acknowledgement that these terms and conditions have been understood and that you are in agreement with them.
- Pick-up will be at our store located in Ladner, BC: 5300 34b Avenue, Delta.
- Queens are included with each package in a cage hanging inside the package where the bees can care for her. You DO NOT need to buy a queen separately.
- Arataki have a reputation for being very gentle bees and great for beginners.
- The package contains the most standard size of 1 KG of bees.
- Coming a little bit later in March helps reduce the chance of receiving the packages during a significant cold spell.
- Come in a tube style package.
- Arataki packages are a long time customer favourite. These are great backyard beginner bees.
Non-Refundable Deposit Details
Upon receiving payment your reservation will be confirmed. Each package pre-payment includes a $30 non-refundable deposit amount. If you cancel a package reservation at least 14 days before pick-up you will be refunded fully minus the $30 deposit. This is regardless of package type.
For example, if you reserve 2 packages for $290 each and later have to cancel your order, you will be refunded $260 per package.
If you cancel less than 14 days before pick-up day you may only be refunded 50% of your total pre-payment if we do not have a wait-list. If you cancel less than 4 days before the package pick-up dates you may not receive any refund. If you are a no-show for your packages we will issue no refund.
Please note that in the unlikely scenario that we are unable to supply your package order due to any unexpected supply issues or losses in transit, and we are unable to provide a supplemental bee supply option to your satisfaction, we will issue a full refund including deposits.
We are taking full pre-payment to reserve packages at this time.
However, if you order 10+ packages you will only need to pay a total of 50% of the total cost up front, and at 40+ packages only a 25% deposit is required per package; the remainder will then be due prior to pick-up.
We take full pre-payment for most orders prior to pick-up to reduce wait times on the pick-up day, which can be very substantial. It also helps prevent payment issues on the day of pick-up and confusion over reservation status.
Ideally the Arataki package is stored and transported in an upright position for airflow purposes, and never fully horizontal. The more upright the better. However if the package must be transported in a leaning position for a short time, the green mesh MUST FACE DOWNWARDS - this is because the queen cage is attached to this green mesh facing towards the center of the cluster. By orienting the tube in the right position the bees are still able to access the queen and feed her in the cage.
It is usually safe for bee packages to travel with you inside of an enclosed vehicle. The packages are built to be fully contained so there is no risk of bee escape unless the package is damaged.
However as no system is perfect and in the interest of caution we encourage customers to bring their protective bee clothing with them, as well as a light blanket or sheet that could be put over a package if needed, or even better a fine net if you have one available. This ensures you will have options in case of unlikely scenarios such as accidental damage to the package or stragglers on the outside of packages (for example if a different package is damaged in transit and leaks, sometimes loose bees will land and hang in small numbers on other boxes).
If you are picking up in a truck and will be transporting bees in the truck bed, you will want to have a way to keep them securely in place such as a strap or rope. You will also ideally have some sort of wind break, and will also want to have some sort of cover available in case of poor weather on the day of pick-up; cool temperatures are rarely an issue, but pouring rain may be.
With all types of transportation ventilation will need to be maintained (no blocking of air flow), temperatures kept cool rather than warm, and moisture exposure minimized. This is especially important for longer distances of travel, so if you are coming from out-of-town and/or will be travelling for multiple hours with your packages, please keep these needs in mind.
When installing tube-style honeybee packages, you detach the top piece and pour the bees gently into the hive.
The queen is in a cage, and that cage is hanging in the cluster of bees by a green mesh strap. The queen cage will need to be taken out prior to pouring the bees into the hive. More details on queens in another tab.
We will provide more detailed installation instructions via email prior to pick-up.
Feeding Installed Packages
Please note that upon introducing your package you will typically need to introduce sugar syrup feed and pollen patty. This will definitely be necessary in the case of a brand new hive with no honey or pollen on the frames, and consistent feeding will be necessary to prevent starvation and guarantee honeybee health and growth.
We recommend feeding even if you have irradiated honey and pollen frames available as this will stimulate the colony to build up and increase queen laying. It significantly reduces stress on a colony, which helps maintain resilience to sickness and unfavourable weather conditions following installation. Providing the resources for a colony to build up rather than conserve stores is important to help quickly raise an adequate amount of young bees to replace the older workers that came in the package. This is especially important in early Spring when foraging conditions are often not optimal.
If weather conditions are quite cold when the packages arrive, it may be difficult for the bees to process the sugar syrup, as it can be too cold for them to leave their insulated clusters, and cold sugar syrup is itself difficult for bees to process. In this case it is highly recommended to add fondant or at least a dry sugar supplement of some kind. Bees can cluster on these supplements placed right above them, and allows them to keep warm while getting access to the energy they need. If in doubt, it is good practice to add both syrup and the sugar feed in the early Spring, so you know they have access to the appropriate resource for the conditions regardless.
When we send an email with package installation instructions we will include more detailed queen handling recommendations for your package installation.
Each package comes with one queen in a cage. This cage will be hanging inside of the package by a wire or mesh attachment which allows her to be easily pulled out at the time of installation. Hanging a queen inside of the package this way minimizes the chance of damage to her, and allows the packaged bees to get used to her.
The queen cage is first removed from the package before introducing the rest of the bees. She is then inspected to verify she is alive and healthy; this is an important step as any queen issues will want to be recognized right away.
Once queen health is confirmed, her cage is introduced to the hive along with the rest of the packaged honeybees. Some queen cages come with plugs, which at this point must be removed. Other queen cages may have a strap stapled in such a way as to cover the exit hole, which must be moved out of the way. In either case, there will still be a candy plug which stops the queen from escaping. You will introduce the cage WITH the candy plug still in the cage. This plug must not be blocked because the colony must be able to chew through it to free the queen after installation. These worker bees in the now installed hive will eat the candy and release her normally after a few hours to a few days, depending on the hardness of the candy.
If she is not freed upon the next inspection you may need to reposition the cage, put a thin hole in the candy to make it easier for the bees to chew, or carefully undo the plug on the other side of the cage and either manually release her or add a small bit of soft candy to help her be fast-released upon putting the cage back in the hive (be very careful not to release the queen or hit her with the plug during this step). If in doubt about this process there are resources online, or you are welcome to contact us for more info!
Dead Queens & Replacements
Please note that a very small percentage of queens die in their cages while in transit. As such, it is important to inspect your queen cage right away during your installation. We are provided a small number of extra queens for replacement purposes. This is for queens found dead on package opening, not later on after installation.
If you are ordering a larger number of packages from us we typically will supply you extra queens along with your packages at the time of pick-up. Our suppliers typically provide us at least 2% extra queens (relative to the total number of packages we ordered) or more, depending on the package type, in anticipation of some queens dying in transit. As such, we typically provide at least 2% extra queens as well; for example, if you reserved 50 packages with us, we will provide you at least 1 extra queen at pick-up.
If you are ordering a smaller number of packages we will still be able to provide replacements for dead queens if you find a queen dead in its cage prior to installation, and your packages were transported safely and installed in a timely manner. Please keep the cage with the dead queen and reach out to us, ideally sending a picture of the dead queen, and we will be happy to help arrange a replacement once we confirm the situation.
If you find a queen dead in her cage prior to installation please proceed with the package introduction normally, minus adding the queen. Colonies will survive sometimes for weeks without a queen, though that is certainly not ideal. We should be able to provide your replacement within an adequate time-frame. It can be made available for pick-up immediately once a dead queen is confirmed. If you opt to have it shipped to you it will be typically be shipped out the upcoming Monday or Tuesday, depending on your address, as shipping it too late in the week can mean it is left uncared for over the weekend in the mail stream, sometimes in less than ideal conditions for their health.
Please note that qualifying replacement queens are free of charge, but if you need it shipped additional shipping charges will apply. We cannot guarantee packages will all arrive with living queens and as such we do not provide shipping cost coverage, this potential outcome is understood to be the customer's risk. Replacement queens will be shipped express within BC for ~$30-$50 depending on address, fully at customer risk (no insurance is possible for honey bee shipping).
Additional conditions apply for the replacement of dead queens; please review the Terms tab for full details.
Special Note: It does often occur that packages with queens dead in their cages are not actually queenless. We have found that in some cases the reason for the death of the queen in the cage was due to there being a loose queen in the package (accidentally installed from the production yards). This typically results in the packaged bees ignoring the caged queen, resulting in her death.
In cases where installing the replacement queen fails and you find the colony shows signs of laying, or the colony otherwise behaves like its queenright, that colony may happily not be in need of a replacement queen after all.
We encourage customers to keep this in mind as a possibility when introducing any replacement queens provided. If you add a replacement queen and she in turn dies in her cage, that may be the reason why.
Proceeding with an order for packaged bees is taken as acknowledgement that the below terms and conditions have been understood and that you are in agreement with them.
Non-Refundable Deposit Terms
All packaged bee reservations will include a $30 non-refundable deposit per package. If you have to cancel a package reservation with us, we will grant a refund for each package reservation canceled minus the $30 deposit for each package. For example, if you reserved 2 packages at $290 each for a total of $580, and later cancel your reservation for both packages, we will provide a refund for $520 and retain the $60 non-refundable deposit amount.
Final Payment Terms
At all quantities ordered, barring special alternative terms being established at the time of ordering or an exception provided by Urban Bee Supplies staff, full payment must be received no later than 3 days before the set expected date of delivery. After this time if payment has not been received we reserve the right to cancel a package reservation order either partially or fully and/or require renegotiation of terms of sale including pricing.
Communication & Pick-up Date Terms:
Upon a customer providing pre-payment we will begin providing updates via email as we get closer to the delivery date. Although we will set more specific dates as time goes on, at no point can we guarantee that the expected delivery dates will not change. This is due to the nature of livestock production and the shipping process involved.
Reservation Cancellation Terms:
If a delivery date has been set, and you cancel less than 14 days prior to delivery, we reserve the right to provide only a refund of 50% of the total cost of the quantity of packages ordered. If you cancel your order less than 4 days before the package pick-up dates we reserve the right to provide no refund and fully retain the pre-paid amount. If you order and pre-pay for packages and they are not picked-up within the set pick-up dates we reserve the right to provide no refund and fully retain your payment.
If you cancel a package reservation and a refund is issued to you, and then at a later date you reserve packages with us again for the same shipment, we will require payment in full again. We will not provide a credit for any amounts withheld from prior cancellations.
Package Pick-up Terms:
Upon package arrival, we will make your packages available for pick-up for a specified length of time as set and communicated beforehand by Urban Bee Supplies; this time frame will be provided as far in advanced as possible once we receive expected delivery dates and times of the packages to us. We provide no guarantees as to the exact delivery dates and times, and these set times are subject to change at any time including up to and past the date of their arrival into our care.
We will provide packaged bees feed as needed and the best care we can until they are picked up. If you choose to pick them up after the designated pick-up period we will continue to care for them but we DO NOT guarantee their health and if colonies begin to experience attrition (such as some amount of colony loss, stress-related symptoms such as dysentery, etc.) we will not provide any form of refund or supplementation. We highly encourage customers to pick-up in the set time frame.
If your bees arrive and are not picked-up, and we have not heard from you by the end of the designated pick-up period after attempting to contact you, we may attempt to supply the packages to another customer or otherwise utilize them for our own purposes.
We are released of all liability and obligation with regards to the health of honeybee packages if they are not picked-up within the pre-established pick-up time frame, and any ill health effects observed after this time will not result in any compensation or supplementation.
Communication Non-Receipt Terms:
If a customer does not receive communications from us despite our attempts using the contact information we were provided we will not at a later date provide refunds, credits, supplementation of packages or compensations for any costs incurred that directly or indirectly resulted from communication non-receipt. This includes the missing of package pick-up dates, payment deadlines, etc.
Non-Guarantee of Supply Terms:
Due to the realities of livestock production we cannot guarantee the number of packages ordered by us will always be provided. Although unlikely, the possibility of production issues on our supplier’s side may result in some amount of our order being cancelled. In the very unlikely circumstance this does occur we will provide customers with the option of switching to another shipment and/or receiving full refunds. We have not had this occur to us so far, but due to the nature of livestock production it is a possibility (possible reasons for undersupply would be extreme weather issues, disease outbreak among or near source populations, natural disasters, etc.)
Once packages are shipped to us by our supplier we DO NOT have any guarantee of their safe arrival. There is always a possibility of losses in transit, and while losses in transit are rare they can & do occur. This is an unavoidable risk with livestock transportation. If losses do occur, we will attempt to arrange a supplementary delivery from our supplier. If they are unable to accommodate this we will provide a full refund to customers who ended up not receiving their reserved packages. We may also, depending on availability and timeline, arrange for a supplementary shipment of bees in the form of packages or nucs from another supplier and/or of a different type, if a customer approves.
Once packaged bees are picked-up the conditions and handling they experience are no longer in our control. As such upon a customer picking-up and travelling off-site, we will consider the packages to be received by the customer in good health and to their satisfaction. If packages appeared healthy upon pick-up and at any later time or date negative health effects occur we will not provide any form of compensation or supplementation.
We will not provide any amount of refund or supplementation in cases where packages have non-optimal outcomes after installation; for example: slowness to build-up, queens with non-optimal laying patterns, early queen supercedure, the appearance of dysentry or other symptoms of stress or illness or infestation, low productivity, etc.
Queens, Queen Cages & Queen Replacement Terms:
If packages are transported safely and installed in a timely manner, and the customer finds upon opening the package that the included queen cage contains a dead queen, we will attempt to provide one free replacement queen. We must be informed immediately after the dead queen is discovered, and we may require the queen cage be brought in or a picture/other media be sent to us showing the dead queen. Replacement queens will only be provided in cases where the queen was dead upon first opening the package, and NOT at any point after installation; for example, if you install a package and find the queen is dead on your next inspection, we will not provide a free replacement queen.
We will attempt to provide one free replacement queen for each dead queen discovered in her cage upon first opening, however if introduction is unsuccessful we reserve the right to charge for any additional queens past the first free replacement.
If shipping of any replacement queens is required, additional charges for the shipping of the free replacement queen(s) will apply. The replacement queen(s) will be shipped via an express method. Any replacement queens shipped will ship fully at customer risk without insurance. Notwithstanding any projected cost for shipping that we may quote verbally or via any written mediums we reserve the right to increase the queen shipping price as deemed necessary to recover costs. If a replacement queen dies in transit we can provide another replacement subject to availability; we reserve the right to charge for any additional queens past the first free replacement, and shipping charges will be applied in each case.
We will not provide any amount of refund or supplementation in cases where there is difficulty successfully introducing a replacement queen to an installed package that had arrived with a queen dead in her cage, even if this results in the need to merge a queenless package colony or if the colony expires as a consequence of prolonged queenlessness.
Any queen cage candy plugs are provided as a courtesy and are not to be considered part of any packages purchased.
Suggestions & Advice Terms:
While Urban Bee Supplies may provide recommendations and suggestions for the handling and installation of livestock, proceeding with the order of any livestock products from Urban Bee Supplies is taken as full acknowledgement by the customer that handling and installation of livestock products and any outcomes is fully the customer's responsibility. In the spirit of the possibility of misunderstanding, mis-speaking, and/or exceptional circumstances surrounding a particular's package installation and care Urban Bee Supplies is acknowledged to have no liability or obligation with regards to the outcomes a customer experienced following said advice & suggestions from an Urban Bee staff member or any Urban Bee correspondence. Any suggestions or advice provided by Urban Bee staff is simply to the best of staff knowledge and provided as a courtesy, rather than as part of the product being purchased, and Urban Bee is not liable for any issue that may actually or allegedly arise from those suggestions or advice.
Acknowledgement of Handling Risks:
Proceeding with the order of any livestock products from Urban Bee Supplies is taken as fully acknowledging the inherent risks of livestock proximity, engagement and handling (including stings and/or any other possible injury), and the customer fully taking responsibility for these possible outcomes resulting from their engagement, proximity and handling of these livestock products. This includes acknowledging the possibility of exposure to contact with livestock where attempts have been made to minimize or eliminate such direct contact (for example, in the case of packages where they are meant to be fully enclosed and self-contained in a container, but bees get loose). This also includes acknowledging the inherent risks in transporting of livestock and the customers full responsibility for addressing these risks. Urban Bee is not responsible for any harm caused by livestock proximity and handling, in any circumstance.