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From the shores of Lake Superior to the banks of the Rio Grande, Quality through the Seasons.

Queen Cells, Nucs and Equipment

Transferring Mating NucsRipe Queen Cells

Zia Queenbees Langstroth & Top Bar Starter Nuclei are recently established "mini-colonies" — the honeybees know their queen, and their queen is a confirmed egg-layer with a solid brood pattern. Starter nucs are a great way to establish a hive that is gentle, hearty, productive and pest/disease resistant.

All starter nuclei come with a:
• Fresh, well-mated Queenbee of your choice: Rocky Mountain Reina or Great Lakes Sooper Yooper
• Four Frames of drawn comb containing: open & sealed brood, as well as honey stores and pollen

Healthy BeesStarter Bee HiveTransporting Nuc Boxes

Langstroth Starter Nucleus Colonies

4-frame Langstroth nucleus colonies w/ freshly mated
2012 Survivor Queens Available May/June - $155
Early Season 4-frame Overwintered/Tested Rocky Mountain Reina Nuc
Ready to bust! 2011 Select Queens - Proven Layers - $230
Anticipated availability starting in April

Pick Up home ZQB farm in Truchas, NM.
Delivery to Upper Peninsula-Marquette, Michigan in May/June.
No Frame/Bar Exchange.
All nucs sold in reusable transport nuc boxes included in purchase price.
NOTE: We do not offer "package bees," loose bees & queen without comb.

Initial supplemental feeding is recommended when transferring the starter nuclei into your equipment or establishing a top bar nuc - view recipes at "Colmena Comida" under HIVE JIVE. Honeycomb is the honeybee's biggest asset and requires adequate energy from the honeybees. Once established through proper management, starter nuclei develop into enduring, self-sufficient, productive colonies crafted by Mother Nature's hand.

Top Bar HiveTop Bar Hive

Top Bar Hive Starter Nucleus Colonies

Note: Modified Langstroth nucs to fit top bars are also offered. Frames can be cut in half and then screwed into a top bar. Once the bees have begun to pull fresh comb on new bars, modified starter bar-frames can be rotated out.

4-comb Top Bar nucleus colonies - No Bar Exchange - $155
Includes Reusable Transport nuc box.
*We use 19" long and ½ inch thick top bars to accommodate longer
top bar systems and match Langstroth standardized top bar length. Nucleus top bars can be transferred into stewards' boxes via three methods:
1) Attach nucleus top bar to underside of home bar (screws, tape, wire),
2) Remove recycled Pierco starter strip screws and screw comb onto home bar,
3) Cut comb and attach with string/wire to home bar. Rotate out nucleus bars & combs during wax production and population growth.

As a standard, we utilize 19 inch long wooden top bars that are ½ inch thick with a recycled Pierco starter strip. This starter strip (holding the honeycomb) can be unscrewed and screwed onto personally sized top bars. By using 19 inch long top bars that are ½ inch thick, one is better able to interchange their top bars with other size top bar and standard Langstroth users.

Read Melanie’s article: Integrated Top Bar Management: A Story of Rebellion & Cohesion - archived on HIVE JIVE under articles.

Starter Nuclei

Survivor Queenbee Cells

Survivor Queenbee Cells are available for purchase and can be shipped. We will need to know at minimum two weeks in advance in order to prep and rear large quantity of cells for desired emergence date. On occasion we have some extras from our grafting rounds and can accommodate local pick-ups for small quantities. This is an interesting way to introduce new genetics that are out-crossed with your surrounding drone population. Contact us for pricing and shipping options.

CELL PRICING - for shipments via UPS Overnight (minimum 15 cells)
1-25 $12/each
26-100 $10/each
100+ $8/each

We prefer to ship no earlier than day 10 post graft (day 13 larvae). Expected emergence dates are day 15. Nucs to receive cells should be prepared ahead of time.

We use JzBz cell cups and cages. Timing of cell shipment must not be too early - as damage of wings could occur (no good having virgins that can't fly to mate). Shipping methods involve overnight and insist upon immediate installation of cells into nucs regardless of weather. Incubation should remain at 95 degrees. Excessive chilling will delay emergence and can adversely affect virgin development. Too high heat and cells will mature faster with earlier emergence time. Beware of cells hatching early as first virgins out will attack the other cells.

Cells in a rack

Healthy BeesHive Frames

Top Bar Equipment

We do not currently sell Top Bar Hive Bodies. There are numerous designs on the web. Our suggestion is to initially standardize and to try to incorporate complementary measurements such that you can exchange and interchange bars with others. Bees make their nests in a variety of "containers". For respectful bee stewardship with timely revisions, constructing a home for the bees that can be accessible without major destruction and bother to their well being is highly suggested.

Langstroth Equipment

We are limited on storage space – advanced notice required for pick up.

hive boxesAssembled Deep Boxes

Item #001: Inner Cover and Telescoping lid $35.00 unpainted
Item #002: 9 5/8” Deep Super (includes 10 wood frames w/ plastic foundation) $53.00 unpainted
Item #003: 7 5/8” Super-this is not a medium nor a shallow (+ 10 wooden frames w/ plastic foundation) $51.00
Item #004: Screened bottom board $40.00
Item #005: Deep Feeder $12.00
Item #006: Shallow 5 5/8” Feeder $10.00
Item #007: Deep Wooden Frames (w/ plastic foundation - beware of manufactured beeswax foundation, which has been found to contain toxic residues) $4.00/each
Item #008: Langstroth Starter kit: includes screened bottom board, 1 brood chamber, 1 inner cover, 1 telescoping lid & 1 feeder (bees sold separately) $140.00
Item #009: Waxed-Coated 5-frame nuc box (w/ lid and plug)
Also accommodates Top Bars up to 22" long. Works well for swarm retrievals.
**We are limited on storage space - advanced notice required for pick up**