In 2021 we decided to only sell mated queens that have been mated on a 21+ day schedule and to sell mated queens only upon advanced request. That means if you want a mated queen, then you must give us a three week lead time. If we have extra mated queens available, we will gladly bump you up the list.
We are doing this for two reasons:
We want to focus our mating energy on developing and evaluating our stock. To analyze our stock, we need to make a minimum of 10 nucs from each potential breeder queen that is sidelined for observation. In order to select for traits like varroa resistance, resource consumption, productivity and pattern. Each nuc needs to be mite tested multiple times and if it passes, then tested via the uncapping process and analyzed in order to full see the extent of the VSH behavior. We work hard for you to select the best traits possible in our queen lines. If you want to learn more about VSH testing, please check out Harbo’s explanation of the process Here
Virgin queens are so much better! The best queens are the ones that stay where they are mated. You can’t get that kind of quality by doing a walkway split or using mated queens. Mated queens are great if you just want ALL the genetics from the supplier’s yard, but the drawback is that they cost more, there is a chance of damaging her during the process of caging/transport/introduction and colonies do not receive a brood break. This is why we are offering discounts on our virgin queens and cells!
Mated Queen Introductions
For those who may not know what a push in cage is, it is used for queen introduction and allows the queen to lay during the introduction process.
This increases the queens pheromones which generates a higher level of acceptance. We use these for the queens we produce and for breeder queens that can cost upwards of $1,200 apiece.