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Bee enthusiasts gather at annual bee pickup event at IFA

Bees from Utah arrived at IFA in Cortez and were taken to their new homes on May 16. (Joe Nelson/Courtesy Photo)
The bees were ordered during the winter and came from Utah

On May 16 at 7:30 a.m., a group of people gathered at IFA to pick up bees that they have been waiting for since winter.

The bees arrived from Price, Utah, in a horse trailer pulled by IFA manager Tanner Young. The bees were unloaded from the trailer and taken to their new homes, where they will become vital pollinators in the region as well as providing enjoyment and honey to their new owners.

Bees are ordered in the winter, usually in December or January, and are delivered in May. The bees come from Utah, and are taken only as far as Price before an IFA employee picks them up and takes them the rest of the way to Cortez.

Bees are unloaded from a horse trailer after traveling to Cortez from Utah. (Joe Nelson/Courtesy Photo)

Once the bees are in Cortez, IFA notifies those who ordered the bees to let them know of the pickup date.

“We usually do them early in the morning because when they warm up they get a little frisky,” IFA’s Jayne Hopkins laughed.

There are two bee “packages” that can be ordered. A nuc is a complete beehive, while a package is more like a beehive starter.

“A nuc is a complete beehive that’s already begun production,” Hopkins said. “They get three frames of bees, and a frame of honey and pollen and then they get the queen.”

“Or they can get a three-pound package, and that’s a queen with approximately 12,000 bees. They’re just in this little package and they just go into their beehive and they can start producing honey,” Hopkins added.

According to Hopkins, a nuc costs around $189 and packages cost about $159, and 40 individuals ordered bees this year.

Some of those who bought bees are larger operations, while some have them as a hobby and to get honey.

IFA not only helps those who are interested obtaining bees of their own, but also help others learn about beekeeping, as well as having beekeeping supplies in stock at the store.

“We have all kinds of stuff on our website, information on beekeeping and how you do it and what you need,” Hopkins said.

Those who are interested in getting their own bees can learn more on IFA’s website or by contacting an IFA employee. Hopkins also added that orders for bees for 2024 will open in either December 2023 or January 2024. Orders will be accepted until the beginning of April 2024.