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Answers to Common Inquiries

  • What are the genetics of your bees?
    As a member of the Indiana Queen Breeders Association, our goal is to promote queen stock that has been proven in the field to have traits that are important to Indiana beekeepers. Unless you purchase an instrumentally inseminated queen, your queen will have been open-mated. This means that the male side of the genetic pool is, for the most part, out of the breeder's control. An open-mated Carniolan queen, for example, could mate with a majority of Italian drones, producing offspring with Italian genetics. Instead of focusing on a specific breed of watered-down genetics, the focus should be on local queens that survive year after year. It is also important that the breeder or rearer has kept queens long enough to access the brood pattern and assure acceptance from a colony. A high-quality queen should spend very little time in a cage waiting for sale. I do not bank queens (keep mated queens in a cage). When you purchase a queen from me, you are getting a queen that has been accessed for at least 21 days and caged just prior to pickup.
  • What is the best time to buy bees?
    Overwintered nucs go on sale for pre-order in October and are usually sold out by the end of January. Spring nucs go on sale in October, and the first round is usually sold out by the end of February. After the first round of spring nucs are fulfilled, nucs are usually available for the rest of the summer through early fall. You may have heard that buying bees in the spring is necessary so they can develop sufficiently to survive the winter. This is the furthest thing from the truth. I have fantastic overwintering success selling nucs all the way through August into September.
  • Which type of nuc should I buy?
    I recommend first time beekeepers buy the spring nuc. You can avoid the possibility of feeding or dealing with an early split by getting the nuc later in the spring. If you have some experience and are comfortable with the possibility of feeding and splitting the nuc before the summer honey flow I would recommend the overwintered nuc.
  • Where do your bees come from?
    All nucs and queens are produced by McComBees Apiaries.
  • How many nucs should I start with?
    It is generally recommended to start with at least two hives, as this provides a backup in case one hive fails or encounters problems. However, I started with one hive and recommend you do what you think is best for you. There really is no right answer.
  • What equipment do I need to keep honeybees?
    To keep honeybees, you will need a hive, protective gear, a smoker, and basic beekeeping tools. It is also important to have a basic understanding of beekeeping practices and to be prepared to invest time and effort into caring for the bees. I recommend joining your nearest bee club. Often they will assign a bee mentor to help you during your first summer. Online equipment suppliers include: Mannlake, Dadant, Beeline and Betterbee Local to the Fort Wayne Area include: Wheelers Bees and Apis Enterprises
  • What is the best type of hive for beginners?
    The Langstroth hive is the most popular type of hive for all beekeepers, as it is easy to manage and widely available. Top bar hives, Warre hives and Flow hives are other options that may be more suitable for certain beekeeping practices.
  • How much does it cost to start beekeeping?
    The cost of starting beekeeping can vary depending on the equipment and supplies needed, as well as the number of hives being kept. As a rough estimate, it may cost several hundred dollars to get started with one or two hives, including the cost of bees, hives, protective gear, a beginning bee class and other supplies.
  • Is it legal to keep honeybees in the city?
    The laws regarding beekeeping vary by location, so it is important to research the regulations in your area before starting a hive. Some areas may require permits or have specific rules regarding the placement and management of hives. Indiana law for example states that a city, town or county cannot ban beekeeping on a property you own, rent or lease. The law still lets cities and towns create rules like how many beehives you can have and the location of those hives on a property. Fort Wayne, IN has a two colony limit with some location rules.
  • Do your bees produce all of the honey you sell, or do you buy honey wholesale locally or otherwise?
    All honey is produced by McComBees Apiaries from our locations just inside Allen County and Wells County in Northeast Indiana.
  • Does the location on the label mean that is where the honey is from?
    No. The labeling rules only require the location where the honey is put into the container. Also a seller who does not have a wholesale/retail honey license in Indiana is required to have a disclaimer on the label stating that their honey was packed in a non commercial facility and has not been inspected by the state (rarely enforced). Always ask the person selling you honey where it is from. Many beekeepers buy honey and pass it off as local.
  • What is creamed honey?
    Creamed honey, also known as whipped honey or spun honey, is a type of honey that has been processed to create a smooth, spreadable texture. It is made by taking a small amount of already crystallized honey, known as "seed" honey, and grinding it into smaller, smoother crystals. It is then mixed with liquid honey. The mixture is then stirred to encourage the formation of small, fine crystals throughout the honey. This process results in a smooth, creamy texture that is easy to spread. Creamed honey has a distinctive texture that is often described as velvety and luxurious. It is also known for its light color and mild flavor. Because it has a spreadable texture, it is often used as a spread on toast, bread, or crackers and as a sweetener for coffee, tea, and other hot beverages. Creamed honey is a popular product among honey lovers because of its unique texture and mild flavor. It is also shelf-stable, having already crystallized. McComBees creamed honey is an award-winning example of the creamed honey category.
  • Is honey vegan?
    The answer to this question is somewhat controversial. While honey is technically an animal product, some vegans still choose to consume it as they believe that it is produced by bees in a way that is not harmful to them. Other vegans choose to avoid honey altogether as they believe that it exploits bees and interferes with their natural process.
  • Does honey ever expire?
    Honey has a virtually indefinite shelf life when stored properly. It may crystallize or become cloudy over time, but it is still safe to eat.
  • What are the health benefits of honey?
    Honey has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries and is believed to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It may also help soothe coughs and sore throats and improve digestion.
  • How should I store honey?
    Honey should be stored in a cool, dry place in a tightly sealed container. Avoid exposing it to heat or moisture, as this can cause it to spoil or ferment.
  • What is raw honey?
    Raw honey is honey that has not been pressure filtered or pasteurized, meaning that it still contains all of the natural enzymes and nutrients found in honey. It is typically thicker and cloudier than regular honey.
  • Can babies eat honey?
    It is generally recommended that babies under one year of age do not consume honey, as it may contain spores that can cause infant botulism, a serious illness.
  • Why do some honies crystalize?
    Nectar is a sugar made up of glucose and fructose. The ratio of these sugars in the nectar determines the rate of crystallization. It is perfectly natural for raw unpasteurized honey to crystalize over time.
  • What are the benefits of using beeswax candles?
    Beeswax candles are natural, non-toxic, and emit a pleasant honey aroma when burned. They are also believed to have air-purifying properties and to burn longer and brighter than other types of candles.
  • Why are beeswax candles more expensive than soy or parraffin candles?
    Beeswax candles can be more expensive than other types of candles, as beeswax is a relatively rare and expensive material. However, they are often considered to be worth the extra cost due to their natural properties and long burning time.
  • Do beeswax candles produce soot?
    Beeswax candles produce little to no soot when burned, making them a good choice for people with respiratory issues or sensitivities to airborne particles.
  • Are your beeswax candles scented?
    Beeswax candles have a natural honey aroma when burned. I do not add any scents to or essential oils to my candles, They are 100% pure beeswax.
  • How should I store beeswax candles?
    Beeswax candles should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or heat sources. They should be kept in airtight containers to prevent dust and dirt from accumulating on the surface. Over time beeswax develops a white oxidation on the surface. This can easily be removed with a soft cloth.
  • Are beeswax candles sustainable?
    Beeswax candles are considered to be a sustainable choice, as they are made from a natural and renewable resource (beeswax) and are biodegradable. McComBees Apiaries beeswax is produced on a small-scale using sustainable beekeeping practices.
  • What are your store hours?
    I do not have set hours because I am in and out of the home location throughout the day. However, you can text or call me at 2606384943 and let me know when you would like to visit and I will make sure I am at the home location. If you order and pay online I will have your order ready for pickup regardless if I am home.
  • Where do you sell your honey?
    Click on the links below for more information Fort Wayne Farmers Market Allen County Marketplace Cedar Creek Meats The Process Market Wagon Home Store
  • How often do you get stung?
    During the season almost every day I work the bees.
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