Pricing and reservations for April delivery are being established by most of the major suppliers I track. When one factors in shipping of 3 lbs packages they are running about $90 on the low end to to $140+ on the high! Screw honey, we should all be getting into the live bee business. It is a shame that we don't have a more active commercial apiary environment in the Metro DC area that would allow us to buy local bees bred for this climate and flow, and from whom we could pick up packages rather than dealing with the post office. I am hoping our local beekeeping associations are planning a bulk buy from Georgia so I can grab a few packages there.
That said, I just put a UPS-shipped order in at Rossman Apiaries for a package of Italians, a breed with which I have yet to work and I hear good things about that supplier. I think the total cost was around $90 and was among the most cost effective I found. Gardner's Apiaries, which is a little less internet-savvy, is still showing 2010 pricing that is very competitive but unclear what the total with shipping will be. I'd love to buy a package from Long Lane Honeybee Farms as their bees seem gentle, accustom to cold winters, and David has been very responsive to my prior inquiries. His packages are running $106 (shipped USPS - ugh!) which isn't too bad but hard to rationalize at this moment.
In the meantime, this weather has been a boon for our colonies, with continued and aggressive pollen collection and consumption of 2/1 syrup. Five hives today, five in March?