Mating Nucs on a 2022 summer afternoon.  These newly emerged queens will replace last year’s queens, then produce next year’s Spring Nucs and a round of daughter queens in July.

 

My 2023 Queens will be available later in July, maybe a few in June. This is a good time to requeen to improve your stock or to reinvigorate spring nucs and packages that didn’t work out as hoped for. Queen rearing can be early or late, depending on….well, that’s a long list!.  I try to match “mating week” with balmy-calmy July weather after the new queens emerge late June. It surprises me that this usually works!

A recent “Carniolan-ish” Queen. Colors range from the two-tone amber seen here, to all-black or all-amber.

 

My queens originate from admirable local stock and I’ve been improving those qualities for 14 years, since 2010. Each year, breeder queens are selected from colonies that produced lots of honey last year, survived the winter handily, then produced a strong 10-frame nuc in the spring and rapidly built up a powerful foraging force for the summer flows.

These are Carniolan-style bees, so slightly more “swarmy” than other mellifera subspecies. I don’t select against swarming as I’m able to prevent all swarms most years.  Every beekeeper should strive to do this. Swarms generally go uncaptured and without Varroa control they become “mite-bombs,” jeopardizing the health of all colonies within flying range.

All my queens survived last winter’s record cold and the long, cold spring that followed.  Their bees produced my largest honey harvest ever. All hives were requeened and none combined as they were all strong enough to over-winter. I’m pretty satisfied with these queens.

JZBZ queen cage, a versatile beekeeping tool. Always keep one in a back pocket when I’m in a hive.


Queens are supplied in a JZBZ cage that’s secured in a brown paper bag. I include a small strip of absorbent fabric soaked with syrup to keep the bees and queen nourished in transit. Queens are marked bright fluorescent yellow for high visibility on the frame.  There will be a few dozen attendant bees in the bag, not in the cage. When you’re ready to install the queen, remove the cage and shake the attendant bees out. Install the queen cage using your preferred method, or use the cage hanger I provide.

Queens: $60 each

Two or more: $50 each

Contact me or text (360) 483-9754.