Queen Breeding Program
We started breeding our queens in 2019 from stock that overwintered without treatments and presented the other qualities we liked, such as; gentleness, foraging, hive build-up, and pest resistance.
Breeding with a Purpose-
Beginning in 2022, we are now selectively starting our VSH queen breeding program. We will be selecting bees for the following behavior in this order- VSH Behavior, Gentleness, Brood Patterns, overall Pest and Disease Resistance, and Foraging Behavior. Anything less in our apiaries will be replaced with a higher quality queen. As part of our program, we will be adding VSH queen genetics from the top breeders to provide the highest quality VSH genetic diversity.
NO MORE Status Quo!
Most of the queens available on the market today are of poor quality and are produced to meet numbers, not objectives. These poor queen genetics may be one of the leading causes of the poor survival rates of colonies around the world and in the United States. Higher-quality queens that are bred for the purpose of survival are key to the species' success, and you can help by having local high-quality genetics. That's why our #1 priority is to breed high-quality VSH queens. Anything less is not acceptable!
Breeding Schedule and Tactics
2022 and Prior- We started selecting and allowing natural selection to take place within our Apiaries. Starting in 2022 we began adding VSH (Varroa Sensitive Hygiene) stock from 2 select VSH breeders to add to our overall genetic diversity. All of our 2022 queen bees for sale will be a first-generation stock crossed with our yard's very best queens.
2023- F1 Stock and VSH Queens
Starting in 2023 all of our bees for sale will be first-generation also known as F1 Kinnickinnic Bees VSH Stock. These bees will primarily be sold as virgin queens for them to mate with your local stock, helping provide genetic diversity.
2024- F2 VSH Queens
All of our F2 or second-generation stock will be of the highest level and scoring of VSH quality. We will continue to introduce new stock and test it to meet or add to the qualities of our Queens.
Virgin vs. Mated Queens-
A mated queen is one that is ready to start laying eggs and has been either inseminated by instruments, which normally means that drones were carefully selected from select hives. Or, in most cases the bees are open mated, meaning the virgin queen is put into a mating nuc, where she will fly and mate with drones from the area or from a selected mating yard.
Pros- You have a queen ready to go. Selected hive traits.
Cons- The genes may not fully suit your climates stressors (heat, cold, humidity, etc). Can be expensive
Our virgin queens are not ready to start laying yet and have been selected from our top-performing hives only. These queens will then mate with the local stock from your area or bee yard once placed in your hive and will be ready to start laying within a week or two of her release.
Pros- You get more diverse genetics mixed with your successful local stock. Less expensive than mated.
Cons- The queen needs to be mated before laying.