Packaged Bees

Scandia Honey Company is proud to be one of the largest packaged bee importers in Canada. Whether you have 2 hives or 200 hundred hives, let Scandia Honey be your partners in your beekeeping journey every spring.

Packaged bees arrive from our friends at Kintail Honey in New Zealand during the months of March, April, and May. They are brought into Vancouver, BC where they are cleared through customs and placed in an air-conditioned truck and transported overnight to Scandia, Alberta. These bees travel thousands of kilometers to make it to their homes with you!

Contact us to place your package bee order and confirm availability. As the global supply of bees is so variable every year, we serve our customers on a first-come-first-serve basis. Thank you for understanding!

Packaged bees in a trailer with a smiling man posing in front.

Packaged bees arriving in refrigerated semi trailers.

Packaged bees being held up by a smiling man, ready to be placed in the hive.

Chai getting packages ready to be installed.

Man looking into the distance at sunset

Jose is the packaged bees master!

Packaged bees placed on top of ready hives, with a smiling man posing in the background.

Talon prepares hives for the packages.

Group of people standing in front of hives at sunset, waiting to shake packages.

Waiting for the sun to go down before installing 637 packages.

Girl standing behind packaged bees with hands in triumphant position.

Packages ready for pick-up from Tique and Tessa!




1) Start Bees in One Brood Box

As soon as is possible after picking up your packaged bees, relocate your bees from the supplied cardboard box into your own hive. They should be started in one bottom brood box with an in-frame feeder filled up with sugar water. There should be three drawn out wax frames in your box, which ensures the queen has a place to lay. The other frames may be drawn out or can be the Plasticell foundation frames.

Bees can be ‘poured’ from the cardboard box into your brood box. You may need to give the cardboard box a few good smacks to ensure they all come out.


2) Release the Queen

Immediately after pouring the bees into brood box, release the queen from the cage into the cluster of bees. This needs to be done right away so that she can start working. Do not wait for her to chew out of the candy.

Be sure to dispose of the cardboard box and the queen cage after this relocation. Bees could go back to the cardboard box if it is left on site. Close up your hive! Congratulations, you’ve done all you need to do for the first day. 


3) Keep Feeding

The next time you open up your hive (in about two days), gently place a pollen patty over top of the frames. Refill the sugar water whenever it needs to be topped up. Keep checking the pollen patty and sugar water levels every few days to make sure they are being adequately fed.

The bees will stop taking the sugar water when there are dandelions out, but there is often a dirth (nectar drought) after the dandelions and before other flowers bloom. As a result, make sure you always keep feeding them sugar water and pollen well into the beekeeping season. Keep feeding and your bees will excel!


4) Expand Brood Boxes as Necessary

Keep the bees in one single brood box until they have filled it up with eggs and brood. When all of the frames in the first box are full and thriving, you can add another brood box underneath the first brood box. This keeps the in frame feeder accessible in the upper brood box, easily accessible to you for periodic feeding. 


5) Add Honey Supers

When honey starts flowing around June, feel free to add a honey super. If one fills up, feel free to add more as needed! This is the fun part of beekeeping. Enjoy the fruits of all your hard work!


6) Extract Honey

At the end of the summer, remember to extract your honey. Try not to disrupt too much of the natural honeycomb that your bees have worked so hard at building out.

Ensure that you are supplementing with sugar water after you take the honey away.


7) Treat for Varroa Mites

Immediately following the honey extraction, treat for mites and get ready for winter! Do not treat for mites before honey extraction, as you could get medicine in the honey.