The Best Bees You Can Find

BeeWeaver Best Bees

The Best Bees You Can Find

BeeWeaver Apiaries is dedicated to the selection and production of the best bees you can find. BeeWeaver queens are better than the rest - Bar None. Because we have been unable to keep pace with demand for the past several years, this year we are offering breeder queens for sale to enable beekeepers like you to produce your own queens from our genetically resistant stock. If you need large numbers of queens and we are unable to supply your needs then consider this option for obtaining the benefits of improved tolerance of or resistance to mites.

During the past 15 years we have focused our efforts on the selection of queens that carry heritable traits for mite resistance, especially resistance to the exotic parasitic mite, Varroa destructor. We started losing hives to Varroa mites shortly after they were first introduced into the US. Ever since then, we have worked to select bees with genetic resistance to Varroa mites, enabling them to survive and thrive in the presence of mites without the need for chemical treatments.

We screened tens of thousands of colonies for the ability to survive parasites and pathogens without chemicals, and still produce strong, healthy hives and abundant honey crops. Initially nearly all of our hives perished without acaricides. Our early days of selection for Varroa resistance were a struggle and we were unable to completely and suddenly stop acaricide treatment on all colonies. Had we done so in the beginning we would have had only a handful of colonies left alive. We did not want to push our population through a bottleneck and our business into bankruptcy so we settled operating part of our colonies without miticides, and managing the rest by treating for mites only when we had to. In the process, we identified both a few hives that survived without treatment, but even more that developed high Varroa mite loads more slowly. After years of selection and breeding from the hives that survived without treatment we stopped using acarcides entirely for most of our operation in 1999. By 2001 we had gone completely organic. Because we constantly introduce new stocks into our breeding population to ensure genetic diversity, some of our hives still succumb to Varroa infestations. While not every queen we produce is perfectly resistant, the percentage that do fall prey to Varroa is very small. Fewer than 5% of our queens succumb to Varroa even when deliberately exposed to dying hives with very high mite populations.

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