The total amount owed is due up front. You will be placed on a wait-list according to the order in which payment is received. The availability of each Starter Colony depends on the weather and on other unforeseen circumstances. All orders will be 100% refunded if Bolton Bees is unable to fill the order.  You will be notified as soon as possible if your order cannot be completed.  If you need to cancel your order, Bolton Bees will refund 50% of the payment only if you cancel by April 1 for the 2018 Spring-Made Hives.  After these dates, the order is non-refundable.

We offers discounts on Bulk Orders for more than 5 Starter Colonies. Contact us for more information.

Prefer to pay with a check? Use this contact form to
reserve your place on the wait-List. 


Pick-up location will be in the Metro Twin Cities area. Times will either be in the early morning or in the evening to ensure that you are receiving the field force that is foraging during the day. You will be contacted by email prior to your pick-up date with information about location, date, and time.

Quality Inspection 

Prior to your pick-up, each Starter Colony will be thoroughly inspected to ensure that there is a healthy queen and recently laid eggs. There will be plenty of brood and bees of all ages, all of which are offspring of the queen that you are buying. This allows for continual build-up of the colony without a decline in productivity.
This is our guarantee. 
We will not discourage opening hives on pick-up day, however, know that when hives are opened, there is greater likelihood for angry bees and chaos that could result in hurting the Queen. If you have any questions on pick-up day, please do not hesitate to ask.

Reuseable Nuc Boxes 

We make the wooden nucleus boxes ourselves. The box is yours to keep. This eliminates the hassle of deposits and returning equipment. The wooden nuc boxes are higher quality and sturdier than the cardboard nuc boxes that are typically used. You can set them up as bait hives, use them for making splits, or for catching swarms.  We often use this box to place the frame that the queen is on while we are checking hives. This reusable nuc box is our gift to you! If you do not need the Bolton Bees Nuc Box, we will gladly take it back. 


Marked Queens

All Queens will be marked according to the International Color Chart. This spot on a queen’s thorax denotes the year of the Queen's birth.

The International Color Chart works like this:

Years ending in 0 or 5 are blue.
Years ending in 1 or 6 are white.
Years ending in 2 or 7 are yellow.
Years ending in 3 or 8 are red.
Years ending in 4 or 9 are green.

Marking not only helps to locate the Queen among the tens of thousands of workers and drones, but also shows you that you have the same Queen... and that the colony has not replaced her (swarm/ supersedure). 

Answers to Common Questions:

In previous years we have sold over-wintered starter colonies. This year we will only be selling spring-made colonies. This is due to the high demand for our location specific honey. Instead of selling our over-wintered colonies this spring, we will be keeping them within our operation and transferring them into production hives. This will allow us to grow our production hive numbers and collect a greater amount of honey. 

In previous years we have pre sold mated queens. We will not be doing that this year. We make queens throughout the season for our own operation and often have a surplus available. Please give us a call and we will try to help you out. Otherwise, our spring-made starter colonies have queens that carry our MN-hardy genetics.