Queen Bees For Sale
Buy a Queen Bee Bred in the UK
Queen Bees For Sale
Since 2015 we have been helping to address a shortfall in quality queen bees for sale in the UK. Bred and raised in Northumberland, UK.
Producing both dark black queens and VSH buckfast queens. All bred in Northumberland from our own stock, selected for over many seasons.
With the reliance of the beekeeping industry on imports for many years we are bucking the trend and actually breeding queens as well as rearing queen bees for sale in the UK. The cornerstone of our breeding work is selection and instrumental insemination for producing breeder queens.
Queen can be purchased directly via the queen section on the online shop or browse the range of queens below.
We aim to have queens available for Next Day Delivery in the beekeeping season as we appreciate when you need queens in a hurry, you can also pre-order for specific days and weeks ahead.
Queens are supplied marked according to the year colour (2023 – red) and can be clipped or unclipped.
Pre-orders for the first delivery weeks of the 2024 season are now open. Early ordering is highly recommended.
If we have remaining queens for the 2023 season through September these will be listed on the queen section of the online shop as an when they are available.
Queen Bee Breeding – Buy a UK bred Queen
We utilise Instrumental Insemination to produce our breeder queens and to test out new breeding combinations for years ahead.
Selecting from in excess of 200 colonies every year, each season we graft from around 6-8 queen mothers, and maintain over 40 drone rearing colonies in our mating locations.
The benefits of selection and breeding has been very clear to us. For example since 2015 we have been able to increase our average honey yield per hive from 20kg to over 50kg. Whilst also increasing the bees resistance to varroa.
We have received some great feedback from the 2021 and 2022 season with many beekeepers reporting our queens to show mite mutilation, un-capping/ recapping and a reduction in varroa levels and placing significant repeat orders.
Since 2017 we have only used sublimation of oxalic acid for managing varroa, coupled with breeding resistance to varroa in the bees. VSH traits are selected for by culling 100 cells of brood, re-visiting 24-48 hours and monitoring the percentage of brood removal. Only colonies exhibiting 85% + removal are put forward for further selection to become breeders.
We are dedicated to producing better bees, offering choice and service when looking for queen bees for sale in the UK.
Queen Line Origin & Traits
Below is a table of our line origin for our 2023 and 2024 breeder queens and traits including honey production, hygienic behaviour which we place particular emphasis on for our breeding work. This certainly increases the survivability of the bees in the long term and has seen our overwintering losses reduce to 2.5%. We hope this table will give you some confidence in the work we are doing to produce the best possible bees produced, bred and reared in the UK. You will also be able to directly see the comparison between the dark bees and buckfast bees.
You can request on the queen ordering page which queen mother you would like for your queen. Use this table to review your selection.
We offer both our Northumberland Buckfast and Northumberland Dark Bees for sale as Virgin Queens as well as Mated Queens.
Virgin Queens are posted on the same day as hatching to ensure they arrive with you around 24-48 hours old. The perfect age to introduced into your own mating nucs. They are also thoroughly checked including checking pheremone pads and weight – only sending queens out that are a minimum of 200mg in weight on emergence.
Coupled with the fact virgin queens are cheaper, these queens may be more of an economical solution for you.
You can pre-order virgin queens for specific delivery dates / weeks via the queen page on the online shop
If virgin queens are out of stock, please check back on the Sunday or Monday of the hatch week as we will release any surplus on these days.
How our Queens are Mated
We use Apidea Mating Nucs, finding mating success to be strong, we fully assess queens laying patterns prior to dispatch. Matings are acheived naturally on the whole, working from 40 drone rearing colonies per queen mating location.
Having separate remote sites for our dark and buckfast queens enables us to maintain different lines.
Both Dark and Buckfast Mated Queens for Sale are available depending on your preference.
How we ship our Queens
When offering queen bees for sale we take great care to ensure they get to you in the best condition possible. The majoirty of our queens are sent within the UK, but we are able to ship internationally.
Queens are caged fresh on the day of posting.
A great example of how freshly caged the queens are is in the photo of the caged queens ready to send. If you look closely you’ll see the queens are very much in full lay as the white specks are eggs!
Queens are available to either have shipped by Royal Mail Special Delivery, or can be collected from our base at Haltwhistle, Northumberland.
Importantly queens are not caged for long. With imported queens or queens from re-sellers they are often caged for over a week. When introducing queens success of introduction and how productive the queen is in future is heavily dependent on how long a queen is caged for and how she is handled. We take the upmost of care with this stage.
How to Buy a Queen Bee
When buying a queen bee, be sure of why you need one. If this is your first time in receiving a queen bee, please read about the shipping of queens and introduction guidelines.
If you are unsure if you have a drone laying queen or laying workers, please have a read of the blog post on these and how to deal with these situations.
Queens come in their own cage with attendant workers. Before you receive your queen it may be useful to read our blog post on how to introduce a queen bee so you are prepared. Please be aware although we provide some guidance on introduction, queen introduction is never 100% successful.
We accept orders online or over the phone if you’d like to discuss your individual queen requirements with us.
The office number is 01434 322981 or mobile 07752534953 which is often easier to contact us on during the busy beekeeping season. If we are unavailable at first please leave a message and we will get back as soon as possible.
Selecting VSH Behaviour
As part of our selection process for choosing breeder queens, we use a stop test for VSH traits. Ensuring that only the most hygienic queen mothers and drone rearers are brought forward for further breeding given the bees handling of varroa is at the forefront of our breeding work.
In the image you can see a patch of 100 cells, which underwent a pin prick test, culling the pupae beneath the cappings. On returning within 24-48 hours a measure of how hygienic the colony is can be made. In this case there was 100% removal of culled pupae within 12 hours.
The queen heading up this colony was Instrumentally Inseminated from our 2022 breeding lines and is now being selected for as a possible queen mother for the 2023 season.