Wednesday, February 3, 2016



Cumberland/Buckingham area. About an hour from Richmond.

I will be selling full size bee hives in the spring. These hives will be as followed:

• Deep and Medium box full of bees and a summer/fall 2015 overwintered queen, i.e. a fully functioning complete hive
• Internal 1.5 gallon mann lake cap and ladder feeder
• Screened bottom board
• Mann Lake migratory top

These are my personal hives I am selling, not imported from the south. They are of course in used equipment, some fairly new as of last year and others a couple years older, but nothing "antique".

I am selling these hives in order to help fund the building of a new garage, so I am not selling because I need to but because I want to. I am not and will not sell "junk". You will be getting hives as if I was keeping them myself. . .

As per state law, I will be and must be inspected prior to the sale or transfer of any hives.

Currently I am only taking a waiting list, and you will be treated accordingly on a first come first serve basis. Pickup dates will be according to weather etc. . .

If you have any questions please feel free to ask.

I also may except credit card if needed... I would just need to know in advance.

Doug Ladd
Buffalo Bee Farm
Buckingham, VA
804-690-7055 (leave a message)

 Why should you buy full size hives versus nucs or packages? Here are some thoughts to contemplate. . .

I am thinking of new beekeepers, some who have not even taken any training yet. These members need quite a bit of support to navigate through all the equipment options. This applies even to those who have taken a beginners course, we all forget!

Wise words, but why put them through all that even before they have had a hive and produced any honey?

What is often not taught, but should be is that buying packages or nucs, boxes, frames and all the various parts is a lot like buying a car in pieces at a parts store and figuring out how to put it together, rather than walking onto a lot and driving away with a working car.

Why hobbyists are advised to buy beehives and bees piece by piece and subject themselves to being carpenters, painters and general handypersons is beyond me. When buying packages, nucs and equipment in pieces there is a very considerable likelihood of failure or frustration and limited success.

Even experienced commercial beekeepers with years of experience, the best suppliers, and the best resources at hand figure the failure rate -- on average -- for packages is 10%, and that number can be much greater some years. Beginners can expect a greater failure rate. Assembling equipment is work that many are unsuited to doing or will not understand or enjoy.

The costs of buying a proven, working hive are roughly the same as buying in pieces and the amount of work and worry is far less. It is also possible to get support from the seller in some cases.

I really can never understand why the emphasis on the harder, more complex, time-consuming and risky approach is taught by some as preferable to just getting a hive and producing a crop with no hassle. Scaremongers automatically and without much thought emphasize a risk of disease in used equipment, but there is a similar risk with the parts and pieces approach that is ignored and proper inspection reduces that risk to acceptable. There is risk of loss either way, so why choose the far more difficult route to getting going?

In agriculture it is standard practice to buy and sell mature animals. Bees are no different. Commercial beekeepers buy and exchange hives and equipment in all stages without much concern. They generally, hive for hive, have the lowest incidence of disease and pests compared to hobby beekeepers, and have a lot more at risk than hobbyists. They just make sure that they know the source and history and that it is properly inspected.

Unless you want a lot of needless work and worry when starting out or expanding, think seriously about buying established hives.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Sorry but all nucs have been sold.

The year is underway after a late start thanks to a long winter. But we are on the ramp up now...

I am partaking in a USDA based breeder program with VP Queens as well as two other local beekeepers and friends. So that will be exciting. I will post more later on this...

Thanks, Doug

Tuesday, November 27, 2012



I am once again offering for sale 5 frame deep nucs in the spring of 2013. I will only be offering spring made nucs this year with an expected ready date (weather dependent) of the middle of May. Prices will stay the same as last year’s prices. Please see attached documents for further information.

If you are interested please feel free to email me at DOUGLADD AT GMAIL DOT COM with any questions.

Payment must be made in full to hold a nuc. This was the same as last year and worked very well for all parties involved. First Paid First Served.

Here are the details:

- A plastic Jester EZ nuc box with strap and entrance plug
- No frame exchange
- A solid laying queen raised in 2013 from my Buffalo Queen Bee Line
- 5 solid deep frames of drawn comb , no foundation
- 2.5 frames or more of brood
- 1 frame of honey
- 1 frame of pollen/mix

Buying Nucs:
When comparing nuc prices make sure your comparing apples to apples as many sell 3 frame deeps, 4 frame deeps, 3 frame mediums, 4 frame mediums, 5 frame mediums. All of these are less than a 5 frame deep or 8 frame medium.

You also need to make sure you’re not getting a nuc made from a bought queen, if so just make sure you know this. There are many good suppliers and I can work with you if you want a certain breeder in your nuc, I have no problems with this, but you will assume any losses with an introduced queen etc. This is a one off basis and we can talk further if interested.

I am also open to having beeks come and inspect my hives, work with me, etc. I am selling bees to help people enjoy beekeeping while making some extra money for my family. I am not out here to sell and run. I will ALWAYS be here to help you if needed. Anyone who has worked with me, emailed  me, etc knows this.
                Queens come from the selected best of many different tested and selected sources from some of the top  queen breeders in the country. This list includes Dann Purvis, Glen Apiaries, VP Queens, Honey Run Apiaries, and Hunter Queens, amongst others.
                I have spent the past 4 years purchasing, selecting, and breeding what I find to “work” in my area of central Va. This has seeming provided me with a very versatile bee that not only produces honey but survives well under Varroa mite pressure and the seasonal extremes we see in Va.
                My bee’s temperament side closer to a Carni/Italian line with the  nice build up in the spring of the Italian while shutting down nicely during a dearth like the carni. The bees are gentle in nature as most anyone can attest who has worked my hives, but bees still sting…
                I also have my 2012 USDA test report if anyone wants to see evidence of my yards hygienic behavior and low (non-existent in the test) Nosema score…


Doug Ladd
Cell 804-690-7055

Monday, July 23, 2012

Summer Dearth and Brood Break

Things are finally settling down around my house… I have been busy, but at a slower pace. Its been nice… I was able to get some hive inspections done yesterday. Its been a while since I could methodically work down a row of hives with nothing but inspections to do. Usually I have to make splits etc so its always something to do other than inspect. In doing so my purpose for this round was to see “where we are” in relation to brood rearing etc… Just as I expected brood rearing is slowing down and in one case (1 out of 21) the hive has completely shut down. This is exactly what I want to see in my operation. Also I have ZERO drones being raised… which is not good for fall supercedures which occur. The reason why they slow down is related to the pollen and nectar flow. As feed comes in, in lesser amounts the queen slows down producing brood. Makes sense, less feed = less brood. This all said, a solid brood break combined with a solid fall flow is fine, however IF we don’t have a solid fall flow the hives can be in danger as they will have reduced in population size and will not have the pollen stores to produce healthy winter bees. Personally I never bet my hives on the fall flow… I spend an estimated $30 per hive per year on feed. Not a whole lot considering what a hive cost. Also with extended forecast showing extended drought and high temps into late October its not looking good for a fall flow, especially when a flow is typically related to ground moisture levels and not overhead rain… in the Midwest there is a good chance they will exceed the “Dust Bowl” drought levels in just a week or so!!! As many of you know I am a firm believer in feeding and practice what I preach when it comes to feeding. I budget for 6-8 lbs of pollen patty per hive per fall at a MINIMUM. I will typically start anywhere from Mid July to the first of August and continue feeding until mid to late September at a rate of one lb (one patty) per week per hive. I want my hives to have ATLEAST 3 rounds of HEALTHY well fed brood reared before winter. This is an industry “rule of thumb” for many and I find it to work well for me. I have used several commercial products and some homemade recipes, but find it’s not worth my time to make my own for my operation. I have used MegaBee, Bee Pro, and Ultra Bee with great success. One concern with feeding patty’s is IF you have high levels of small hive beetles AND the hive doesn’t consume it fast enough, the small hive beetles will reproduce in it… However a hive that doesn’t consume 1lb in 5-7 days “paper and all” is either a small starter hive or something is wrong… Many folks place the patty’s in the incorrect location for fast consumption. NURSE bees are the only ones that consume pollen patty’s and they use it to produce royal/worker jelly. So put it where the nurse bees are… in between the bottom and top brood boxes (between the 2nd and 3rd medium if you use mediums for brood chambers) (NOT on top under the inner cover!!!). Well I hope this finds you all well and enjoy this break in the heat we are having and inspect those hives. Have a good one!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Few Summer Thoughts

So its been a long while since I posted anything bee related. Been far too busy with both bees and moving into a new house to discuss much… But so far this has been one of the best seasons I can remember even before I had bees. So far there seems to still be a little nectar coming in from clover and misc wild flowers so that’s good as usually our flow has pretty much stopped by mid june. I am going to be extracting honey this weekend and hope to have plenty to sale, but we shall see… Most of my thoughts recently have been around building hives up and how to control late season swarming as I plan to overwinter mostly single deep and double medium hives. I also want to max out my equipment and basically go into winter with nothing in storage. So we shall see how this goes. For those of you who may have been wondering, this year I don’t plan to start pollen patty feeding until the first of August and stop about mid September, in years past I have fed until they stop taking it, but have found the hives to be slightly larger than I would want and harder to keep food in front of them, however in singles I will have to feed anyway and they should minimize their population much like fish grow to their tank size, I see this in my overwintering nucs… they grow to the size they need in the space they have… Also i have a few new breeders I am going to be grafting from this year as well for fall queens, several have 4-6 honey supers on them at the moment so working them is not easy so I have not grafted from them yet… However, I have been grafting from others and now have 2 new Inseminated breeders from Glen Apiaries to try which are a pure Carni and the new Pol-Line from the USDA. The Pol-Line may be more Italian than I want, but breeding with my Carnis and other mutts I have should provide a good continual mix of both wintering ability and honey production as well as gentleness. So I hope it works out.. only time will tell. The other things I havnt discussed is next years nuc plans, Nuc sales were great this year and I could have sold more, but the one thing I learned was I sold too many different types, 4 types in total. In 2013 I will sell only 1 type and that will be spring made deep 5 frame nucs. What happened was with 4 types it turned into a management issue and was a royal pain for me to manage. I know this may disappoint some as I will not be selling medium nucs, but time may change that who knows. What I may do with those is increase the price and include a bottom board, wooden 10 frame box, and additional 2 foundation frames. This way I can still sell medium nucs to those few that want them. So I hope all is well and remember you need to be preparing NOW for any fall treatments or feeding that you may need.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Any thoughts?

I know its been a while since i posted something bee related... been so busy with a new house (closing today), selling nucs, and recently severe arm pain... Here is one image from my MRI i think is odd and might be the problem... see that shaded area on my spinal cord?
Any thoughts?