Welcome to the Warm Colors Apiary website. WCA produces and sells honey, pure beeswax candles, and products using honey and beeswax. We provide pollination services to local orchards and farms. Beekeepers can purchase queens and honeybees, equipment and bee supplies, and attend workshops in Warm Colors bee yards. In other words, most activities involving honeybees happen at our apiary.
Warm Colors Apiary was founded in 2000 to produce regional honey from western Massachusetts. Located on eighty acres of woodland, open fields, and wetlands, the land provides a variety and abundance of nectar & pollen plants that bloom from early spring to late fall. Having a location with flowering plants blooming successively throughout the warm months makes our apiary ideal for honey production and the raising of honeybees.
Our mission is to develop, test and use beekeeping methods that improve the health of the honeybee. Through selective breeding, we endeavor to manage a sustainable apiary system that minimizes the use of harmful chemicals and employ the natural defenses and heritable behaviors shown to improve the honeybees mite tolerance and resistance to disease.
Our goals include raising honeybees capable of surviving the rigors of a New England winter and having the individual & social immunities to withstand the stresses associated with honeybee decline. Our work focuses on using the best available breeding stock, providing natural sources of forage and nutrition, and the early detection and prevention of disease and pests. Proactive management that reduces stress and the resulting problems, before they become too serious to correct, is our long-range goal.
PLEASE NOTE THESE DATES: We will be closed on the following days.
October 6th, 2018 – attending a family wedding.
January & February – Please call 413-665-4513 to listen to our open hours. We are often away during the winter months when our bees are quiet. We do open when in town and to provide honey to our stores and schools.
Seasonal Information for 2018
Queen sales are closed for the 2018 season. We do have queens for emergency situations, but do not encourage re-queening this late in the year. Queens benefit from having related worker (offspring) during the long winter months. We have observed those queens able to lay several rounds of brood, late into October do best surviving New England winters. Workers related to the queen provide better care throughout the winter.
We ask is the colony large enough (minimum of 8 frames of bees), healthy enough (low mite counts, Nosema & disease) and having 60-80 pounds of honey & pollen to risk a late season Queen introduction. If the answer is no, then we combine the colony with a Queen-right colony needing more bees. This is taking losses in the fall, understanding that weak colonies do not survive and create extra work in the spring as “dead outs”.
Queens are considered 20% of the reason colonies fail during the winter. Varroa mites remain the #1 reason, followed by starvation @ #2. All are risks that can be reduced by proper management.
News: Warm Colors Apiary has received the 2018 “Local Hero Award” (farmer of the year) from CISA (Community Involved in Sustainable Agriculture) and a Congressional Award recognizing Warm Colors Apiary for our outstanding and invaluable service to the community from Congressman James McGovern.
Bonita & I appreciate these honors from people and organizations we respect and support. CISA and Congressman McGovern promote nutrition, farms, and access to fresh foods for all Massachusetts residents. We share their philosophy that all people deserve fresh, nutritious food. We thank CISA and Congressman McGovern for their ongoing commitment to make local food available to all citizens.
For the Beekeepers
Warm Colors stocks beekeeping equipment for pickup at our South Deerfield store. We are distributors for Brushy Mountain Bee Farm, Mann Lake Inc. and Starhart Hollow woodenware and bee supplies. Although we stock most commonly needed bee equipment & supplies, we encourage customers to plan ahead and order directly from manufacturers. Today’s bee supply model is free shipping (added to the cost, of course) and unless you order large numbers of items their is little savings buying from a local distributor. We do offer advice and suggestions for proper use of equipment – that is something the national suppliers cannot do. Our prices are competitive.
We have finished our 2018 workshop schedule. Our new schedule will be posted in November. We will begin accepting package and Nuc orders after Thanksgiving.
Knowledge + Management = healthy bees.