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Shamrock “S” Queen Bred Bees – from March thru July
In the past years Shamrock “S” depended on queen breeder to supply the needed new queens for our apiary operation but the quality of queens has been getting worse each year. In the summer 2009 a decision was made to start our new adventure – queen rearing. The corporation had invented the Universal Mating Box, so the next step would be to make quality queen cells that will turn into make quality queens. First step, purchase excellent queen stock to get the baby queens from. We choose Glen Apiaries in Fallbrook, California as our source of good breeder queens. We purchased two of each kind breeder queens that Mr. Glen had. 2-VHS (Varroa Sensitive Hygienic) 2-Minnesota Hygienic Italian, 2-Cariniolan Italian, 2-Cardovan Italian (red-head) and 2-Russian (1-Black and 1-Yellow). We discovered that a new queen after being bred must lay eggs for 10 days and eating royal jelly will make a good lasting queen. Commercial queen breeders only let the queen lay for one day and send her off to a beekeeper. This early day cycle does not allow her female parts to fully develop thus an inferior and short lived queen. With the Universal Mating Box the queen has ten days plus to become an excellent queen. At this time, we can ship 20 or more Bred Queens or pick-up is also available.
Shamrock ”S” Queen Cells – from February thru July
This year we tried several ways to ship queen cells but the fragile last stage of the queen has not been a successful adventure. The mail and UPS are so very rough plus the climate change. At this time, I personally believe that the queen cells should only be on a pick-up only basis for good quality queens. Perhaps, if a beekeeper was ready for queens an option would be sending overnight delivery virgin queens but drones must be ready for her arrival.
Shamrock “S” Virgin Queens – February thru July
Virgin queens are a better buy for your money, you can see the quality, health, and size of the live queen. The percentage of living is better than a cell without the high cost of a bred queen. The disadvantages to a virgin queen is that a queenless hive must be ready for queen when she arrives and male drones must be ready for her. She can not be held-over, there is a three day window from hatch to hive placement in a queenless hive.
The nice thing about a new virgin queen is that she is alive and can be placed in a queenless box right in the field without the fear of not hatching or dyeing before she hatches for several reasons.