The NCBA Queen Program is a county-wide Darwinian approach to increase Varroa-resistance, health, winter survivability, and sustainability in our hives and apiaries.
We want to place evolutionary pressure, where it will do the most good: by encouraging our members to replace queens that exhibit no-to-low Varroa resistance.
NCBA encourages members to conduct frequent mite testing and identify their most Varroa-besieged hives. Hives with high mite counts that need treatment should be considered to have weak queens, and we encourage beekeepers to requeen with a northern-raised Varroa-resistant queen.
To help incentivize beekeepers, NCBA will contribute 50% towards the purchase of a new queen from four local queen breeders (Northeast Bees Apiary, They Keep Bees Apiary, Warm Colors Apiary, and Wetlands Apiary). For this 2023 program, we will use a coupon system. To initiate the process, please answer the challenge question (below) correctly and hit submit. Within two business day, NCBA will email you a coupon. Please print it and present it to one of the two authorized queen breeders. YOU MUST BE A CURRENT MEMBER WITH at least one year in the club or have taken our bee school this year. You will not be able to join this year and participate in this program.
As with every season, please take any opportunity to improve the genetics of your apiary, avoid using southern raised, treatment-dependent queens, and maintain a sustainable apiary.
The ultimate goal of this county-wide drive is to reach a future of treatment-free or at least treatment-low bees. Improving our queen stock with northern-raised, Varroa-resistant queens will most critically affect the area’s drone population. Drones carry the balance of the genetics for the next generation of worker bees and any queens they raise. By creating a large zone of drones with Varroa-resistant traits, we can ensure that these beneficial traits are on both sides of the family trees.
The benefits of the NCBA Queen Program are:
- Remove Varroa non-to-low-resistant queens in Norfolk County
- Allow northern-raised, varroa-resistant queens to raise generations of drones that share the new queen’s genetics
- Allow these improved drones to populate the county’s DCAs and statistically drown out southern-raised drones
- Increase chances that a queen daughter of a northern-raised, Varroa-resistant queen will mate with a drone from another northern-raised, Varroa-resistant queen; providing positive genetic features on both sides of the family tree.
- Allow beekeepers raising queens (aka any beekeeper contending with swarming - so all of us) to breed quality queens
- Allow these daughter queens to extend Varroa resistant attributes into subsequent generations of workers, drones, and queens.
- Allow beekeepers to treat less and enjoy improved winter survival rates.
The purpose of this program is to target the least varroa-resistant queens and to improve the genetics of honey bees in Norfolk County. We request that coupons be used only in cases where either the beekeeper will squish their queens due to low-to-no varroa resistance, requeen a split, or to requeen a swarm.
For instances where beekeepers find themselves otherwise queenless, the Club encourages them to requeen with a northern-raised, VSH, or mite-resistant queens, but please save the coupons for beekeepers looking to correct for non-Varroa resistant queens.
NCBA Authorized Queen Breeders 2023
Northeast Bees Apiary
Leave a message at 508-934-6673
They Keep Bees Apiary
Warm Colors Apiary
Bonita & Dan Conlon
2 South Mill River Road
South Deerfield, MA 01373
Phone: 413.665.4513 (Between 8am and 6pm ET please)
201 Alger St., Brockton, Massachusetts
(508) 559-1046 • (617) 909-3331