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Northumberland Dark Queen Bee | British Black Queen Bee | Mated Queen Bees For Sale

(6 customer reviews)

Our Northumberland Dark Bees / British Black Queens are selected from our own stock bred in Northumberland, UK. These are the result of many years of selection, looking for the best breeding material to work with from our own native / adapted bees.

These bees are bred to show more resistance to disease than black bees of old, and will produce as much of a honey crop as other more prolific bees.


Order Process

Select a delivery week and delivery day.

Queens are always sent Royal Mail Special Delivery, or can be collected by appointment.

If you need a queen urgently, select Next Day Delivery on the delivery week option otherwise select your delivery week and day and pre-order. Orders for next day delivery received by 12pm midday will be sent the same day (Monday to Friday).


Availability is live on the website

Discounts on Quantity

10 or more queens are £38 per queen. Use coupon code QUEENBEE5 at the checkout.

20 or more queens are £37 per queen. Use coupon code QUEENBEE6 at the checkout.



(6 customer reviews)


Northumberland Dark Queen Bee | British Black Queen | Mated Queens For Sale


Bred on the Northumberland / Cumbrian border by Northumberland Honey Co. These bees are known as our Northumberland Dark queen bees, after years of trying to select for a good British Black Queen we have bred a Northumberland Dark Queen which we feel performs well. We are fortunate to be working in a remote area with few other beekeepers and a known population of dark bees.


Dark / Black Queen Bee Breeding

Over the years we have been selecting from the best of these bees, to produce a dark bee that works well in the UK climate, selecting bees based on not only their colouration (which may be varied due to open mating) but also selecting amongst these bees for good temperament, low swarming tendancy, good honey production and disease resistance. We now have dark bees which are as disease resistant, and produce a significant honey crop with dark queen mothers having produced over 50Kg of honey in the previous season.

We are currently assessing varroa sensitivity in these bees and hope soon to be able to release VSH (varroa sensitive and hygienic) trait dark queens for sale too. It is only after many seasons of work on these traits can we start to see the results in the daughters of VSH queen mothers and therefore reliably offer VSH characteristics for sale in the dark bees. We are very nearly there. But please appreciate that breeding takes many seasons of work with both forward and backwards progress, and a lot of Instrumental Insemination of queens to produce sister queens that can be assessed and selected through. Our breeding work with these dark bees is a work in progress but we hope we are making good progress.

Please note, although we do select for colour amongst these dark bees and select for dark queens and bees, it is not our only selection criteria. There may be some slight colour variation amongst them so if you are wanting a queen purely for it’s colouration notwithstanding the other features that are selected for, this queen may not be for you. Our stock is raised from our local dark bee population amongst other genetics we have brought in over the years from other dark bee breeders with first and foremost good disease resistance, honey production and temperament.


How we raise queens

We graft in Queen Right cell starters and finishers, which stimulates the supercedure impulse for raising cells, which is known to produce a better well fed queen larvae than in a rushed stimulated queenless starter set up. Once the cells are sealed we transfer to an incubtor for the cells to hatch. This ensures that the temperature and humidty during development is exceptionally well controlled and the development of the queen is as near to perfect conditions as can be.

On the day of hatching, the virgin queen is introduced to a mating nuc (we use Apideas in preference). These apideas are situated in one of two queen rearing valleys we have depending on the breeding of the queen we are looking for. These valleys are populated with at least 20 drone rearing colonies to ensure the areas are flooded with our drones.

After 2-4 weeks the apideas are checked for successful mating. Once there is sealed brood the queens are then marked for being available to ship or used in our own colonies.



These queens will be available from end of May through to September. Earlier weeks become booked very quickly so we advise if interested in these queens that you plan ahead and pre-order in good time.

Generally queens are caged on the same day as posting. A lot of producers will bank queens (ie cage for long periods of time in order to manage stock) we prefer to let queens lay fully up to the point of postage in this way you get a queen which is ready to get laying straight away.


Postage or Collection

  • Postage – Queens are only sent by Royal Mail Special Delivery as this is a guaranteed and insured service. It is too risky to send queens in the normal post by first class.
  • Collection -if wanting to collect, please select this option, but liase with us via e-mail or phone for a suitable collection time. We can usually supply queens for collection at quite short notice. But nonetheless arrangements need to be made to ensure your queens are available for collection at a given time as we are a working bee farm we need to ensure plans can be made for collection that fit into our beekeeping schedules.

Marking and Clipping Queens

  • Marking – Queens will be marked white in keeping with the year colour code. Occassionally if we are trialling new breeding lines these queens may be marked with a numbered disc or multiple colour which simply helps us with tracing their breeding lines and helps us to keep track of information about queens.
  • Clipping -Queens can also be selected to be clipped or not. The advantage of clipping is that you are less likely to loose a swarm as the old queen cannot fly from the hive, nonetheless it doesn’t take the risk of swarming away completely but signficantly reduces it.

How to Introduce a New Queen Bee

For Queen Introduction Guidelines see our Queen Introduction Guidelines Page


Terms and Conditions

  • Queens found dead on arrival –  a photo should be taken and sent via e-mail to [email protected] on the day of arrival. The queen must then be returned to us in the original cage and packaging with the contents intact for examination.
  • Laying patterns and quality – all queens are checked before being sent, however rarely queens may become drone layers if mating with insufficient numbers of drones due to poor weather etc. Any queens that are reported to be drone layers should be reported to us within 21 days. If a queen is reported to be a drone layer we ask that the queen is returned to us alive for examination in a queen cage with attendents and fondant. Sent by royal mail special delivery. We will then assess the queen, checking the spermatheca and if found to be infertile within 21 days we will send a replacement. In the case of replacements of mated queens, the return postage cost will be borne by the customer, but the replacement queen will be provided free of charge . Queens will only be replaced once.

For full terms and conditions for bee purchases please see here

Additional information

Weight 0.01 kg
Dimensions 10 × 1 × 1 cm

Yes, No

Delivery or Collection Week

Next Day Delivery, W/C 27th June 2022, W/C 4th July 2022, W/C 11th July 2022, W/C 18th July 2022, W/C 25th July 2022, W/C 1st August 2022, W/C 8th August 2022

Delivery Day

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

6 reviews for Northumberland Dark Queen Bee | British Black Queen Bee | Mated Queen Bees For Sale

  1. Jan Blanthorn-Hazell (verified owner)

    So pleased! My Native Black Bee Queen has settled in beautifully. She arrived safely with her attendants and after a short time in the cage I removed the seal and she is now released and laying well. I needed new genetics as my original Queen and her daughters are very aggressive and constantly swarming
    so was my only option for calmer bees. The bees are already covering the 2nd super so the 3rd has gone on. Thank you Luke and Co. for the super service – great support and delivery. First time I’ve bought a Queen Bee will definitely order from Northumberland Honey Co. again.

  2. Guy French (verified owner)

    Great queen.Very calm and placid.Arrived a few months ago.Wanted to introduce more native strain to bees.

  3. Nick Marsh (verified owner)

    Queen and attendants arrived in tip top condition. After a drink and a rest, the queen cage was introduced to the Queenless hive. Thank you Suzie, Luke and Co at Northumberland honey for providing such an excellent service. I will not hesitate to order from you again when the need arises.

  4. Stephen Martin (verified owner)

    As a fairly newbie to bee keeping I collected a cast from last year, Totally useless and lost the Queen in May! As the bees were dark as the description in the picture above I decided to have a dark Queen to replace her. Best decision! the Queen supplied is very productive her offspring a bit feisty compared to my Buckfast but the honey flow soon caught up with my other bees. Will definitely Recommend the Northumberland Honey Company and purchase from them in the future. Many thanks!

  5. Lynne (verified owner)

    I purchased a dark Queen in May very pleased arrived well packaged and all occupants in great condition, introduced and accepted into a nucleus, and ordered a second in July. Very pleased both have expanded well and are very busy. Inquisitive when hive opened but nice to handle.

  6. Ivan Wilson (verified owner)

    Very happy with the two British dark queens. And I’ve just ordered another one.

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