Bee Breeding Work Northumberland Honey Company

Our Breeding Work

Since 2015 we have been helping to address a shortfall in quality home bred UK queen bees for sale. 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 a number of queens to rear drones and queens for our breeding programme. 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.

Queen and Drone Mothers Instrumentally Inseminated Queens | Drone Semen Harvesting

Queen and Drone Mothers

Utilising Instrumental Insemination we can try out new breeding combinations and assess breeding a season or two ahead. Although the vast majority of our queens are open mated, we find Instrumental Insemination a really useful tool when aiming to improve the qualities of the bees we can produce. On the whole most of our queen and drone mothers have been instrumentally inseminated and assessed over the course of 1-2 years before being brought forward to the main breeding efforts in spring. Each year we offer a limited number of instrumentally inseminated queens for sale, these are highly sought after and sell out quickly, often being pre-ordered the season before, so if looking for one of these queens, please order in good time to avoid disappointment.

Virgin Queen | Dark Bee | British Black Bee

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. Pre-orders for the first virgin queens of the 2022 season are now live. If looking for early virgin queens please book quickly as these are often limited in number and sell out quickly.

Bee Breeding Assessing Queen Matings

Queen Matings

We use Apidea Mating Nucs, finding mating success to be strong, and being able to fully assess queens laying patterns prior to dispatch. Matings are acheived naturally on the whole, working from 40 drone rearing colonies. 20 Buckfast type around our Buckfast mating apiary, and 20 Dark bee type drone rearers around our Dark bee mating apairy. We have both Mated Queens for Sale and Virgin Queens for Sale as well as instrumentally inseminated Queens for Sale.

Queen Shipping Cages | Newly Caged Queens for Shipping

Shipping of Queens

Once laying patterns are assessed, Queens are caged on the day of posting. Ensuring when they reach you they have spent the minimum time in the cage. 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. You can buy queens online via the online shop.

Buckfast Queen For Sale UK

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. Queens come in their own cage with attendant workers. When you receive there will also be guidance notes on how to introduce a queen bee, although please be aware 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.