The WSU honey bee breeding program was established in the late 1990’s when a diverse collection of US honey bee stocks was purchased and screened for apicultural characteristics under Pacific Northwest conditions. Continuous selection criteria for these stocks includes hygienic behavior, gentleness, overwintering ability, honey production and disease resistance in the absence of antibiotics. Occasional introductions of new genetic material through the drone mother lines continues each year, including selected Carniolan and Caucasian stocks derived from recent importations. Queens are mated at our isolated mating station in the George Hudson Biological Preserve on WSU’s 800-acre Smoot Hill Farm.
WSU Program Queens – Naturally Mated
Due to our climate, queen production takes place in June and July. WSU Program Queens will be available for shipment starting in July through August. Limited quantities are available- priority will be given to beekeeping association in the PNW involved in local breeding efforts. Costs per queen- $75.00 prepaid online; prior to June 30, 2019.
Queens can be reserved online. [INSERT LINK TO ONLINE STORE]
For questions regarding queen orders and availability, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
WSU Old World Honey Bee Germplasm Importations & Queen Availability
In 2008, the WSU honey bee program began overseas collection and importation of semen from three European honey bee subspecies, Apis mellifera carnica, A.m. caucasica and A.m. ligustica, under permit from USDA-APHIS. This germplasm was used annually to instrumentally inseminate virgin queens initially derived from US commercial strains of Carniolan or Italian honey bees and, following viral screening, was released from quarantine by USDA-APHIS. Starting in 2011, aliquots of all released semen were also maintained in cryogenic storage and cryopreserved semen has been used for backcrossing and further enhancement of the proportion of Old World parentage.
Old World Caucasian germplasm is sometimes available through limited numbers of instrumentally inseminated (I.I.) breeder queens that are shipped from July to September of each year from the WSU honey bee breeding program, or by other arrangement. These queens are recommended for use by queen producers and organizations to propagate production queens. Experience in introducing I.I. queens is strongly recommended. We will provide instructions with suggestions for safe introduction.
Caucasian breeder queens- instrumentally inseminated. The Caucasian breeder queens will have greater than 80% genetic origin from Old World A.m. caucasica sources with the remaining genetic background sourced from US commercial Carniolan strains.
Breeder Queen- Cost per breeder queen is $1000.00. Prepayment is required by June 1. Breeder queens are shipped between July and September.
To place an order and to pay online, visit: INSERT ONLINE STORE LINK