Queen Bees For Sale

Since 2015 we have been helping to address a shortfall in quality home bred UK queen bees for sale.

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.

Queen can be purchased directly via the queen section on the online shop. 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.

Bees and Queens For Sale by Northumberland Honey Co

Queen Bee Breeding

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 season with many beekeepers reporting our queens to show mite mutilation, un-capping/ recapping and a reduction in varroa levels.

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.

Queen and Drone Mothers Instrumentally Inseminated Queens | Drone Semen Harvesting

Virgin Queens

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

Virgin Queen Bees For Sale | Northumberland | UK

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.

We have separate remote sites for our dark and buckfast queens to maintain different lines.

We have both Dark and Buckfast Mated Queens for Sale

Queen Bees for Sale | Bee Breeding Work Northumberland Honey Co

How we ship our Queens

We are often asked how queen bees arrive or how queen bees are shipped. We take great care with this, to ensure queens reach you in peak condition.

We cage queens 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.

Queen Shipping Cages | Newly Caged Queens for Shipping | How are queen bees posted

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.

Queen Shipping Cages | Newly Caged Queens for Shipping | How are queen bees posted