The queens sold by Four Seasons Apiaries are daughters from colonies managed year-round in Minnesota. We provide queens suited for your hives in the Upper Midwest.
Choosing Our Best Bees
Unlike many breeders, we do not maintain lines. Our bees are not Italians or Carniolans, but a mix of both and then some. We track the lineage of each queen and ensure we maintain a diverse stock.
Each mother and drone source colony have overwintered under our management and have a record of being productive and free of brood diseases. We do not tolerate aggressive hives. Four Seasons Apiaries is continually improving testing to evaluate our bees for further disease and pest resistance. We are breeding our best bees and taking any opportunities to collect and evaluate other promising genetics.
Raising Them Right
We graft young larvae from a breeder queen’s colony into cell cups. Cell cups are started in a swarm box then placed in a very strong, well-fed colony free of chemical treatments. This provides an ideal environment for new queens to develop and is a crucial step in producing quality queens. (Contact us if you are interested in buying queen cells at this stage.)
Just before emerging, the cells are then transferred into their own mating colony containing two deep Langstroth frames. Queens are open-mated. Selected colonies are placed nearby to provide a diverse source of drones. We invest time and resources at every step to raise queens right.
Weather permitting, we expect to have queens available June through August.
Due to Minnesota’s climate, we cannot produce queens as early as breeders in Southern states.