Browsing For Breeder Queens-Part 2

Last July 2021, I published the BIP blog "Browsing For Breeder Queens-Part 1" where I discussed what a breeder queen is and the various ways that you can obtain them. So now let's dive deeper into how to test bees for desirable traits to improve your stock. What To Look For In a Breeder Queen There are a number of traits that queen breeders evaluate when selecting breeder queens - color, gentleness, honey production, hygienic behavior, population size and growth rate. However, the weight given to these traits varies by queen breeder, and even by the region or state where the beekeeper is located. Color…

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Browsing for Breeder Queens-Part 1

What is a Breeder Queen? A breeder queen is selected to be the mother of multiple queens that will then head nucleus colonies "nucs" or other colonies made by splitting existing ones. Mated queens may also be sold to other beekeepers. A breeder queen’s genetics will be passed onto these new queens and, hopefully, her desirable characteristics will be as well. Every breeder queen should possess several general characteristics: solid brood pattern; gentleness; high brood viability; and Varroa/disease resistance. Obtaining a Breeder Queen Breeder queens can be obtained in a couple of different ways. The first is to choose a queen from your own operation.…

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