Out in the Bee Yards

This year we are proud to offer queens that have been raised from our VSH breeder queens and mated in select locations that are isolated by ridges typical in the Appalachians. We select colonies that are vigorous and yet gentle to use for producing the drones for mating.

When a colony is found to have an exceptional queen it is observed for one full season before being selected for breeding purposes. If it winters well, builds its population in time for the main honey flow, requires minimal mite treatment the colony will be used for grafting or drone production. We hope to begin testing for Varroa sensitivity with liquid nitrogen this season.

The majority of our queens are raised in spring and early summer. Good queens require abundant amounts of pollen from diverse sources as they develope. When pollen is abundant it can be collected from the stronger hives and used to feed colonies that are raising queens during the months when pollen influx is low.

We graft every five days in the earlier part of the season. Once the queens cells are developed they are placed in an incubator until they are ready to hatch. At this time they are transported to the mating yards and placed in mating nucs. It is only after they are sucessfully laying that they are caged and either sold or used to requeen production colonies. We do not bank the queens we sell.

To insure a steady supply of queens for fall requeening, we take care to feed fresh pollen during periods when there are few floral sources. We end queen production when there is no longer an abundant supply of mature drones.

We prefer that you pick up your queens the day we cage them, however we will be shipping queens this season. If you would like to order queens please fill out an Order Form.