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Common Questions

PAYMENT
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 1st of the year your hive is colony is to be picked up. After this date, the order is non-refundable.

Prefer to pay by check? Click here to reserve your place on our waiting list.
PICK-UP
Pick-up location will be in the Metro Twin Cities area of Minnesota. Please contact Bolton Bees directly if you prefer to have the pick-up location be in Menahga, MN 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.
REUSABLE 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). 
NORTHERN VS. METRO LINES
In previous years we have sold two lines of starter colonies (Northern and Metro). For ease of sale, we have combined the two lines and call it MN-Hardy. 

 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
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