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  • Honey bee queen production: Canadian costing case study and profitability analysis - research paper

  • Queen breeding specialism discussion forum.
Queen breeding specialism discussion forum.
 #5589  by Chrisbarlow
 28 Jan 2020, 17:50
In Canada, beekeepers manage colony losses by relying on the importation of foreign bees, particularly queens from warmer climates, to lead new replacement colonies. Unfortunately, the risks associated with imported queens include the introduction of new and potentially resistant pests and diseases, undesirable genetics including bees with limited adaptations to Canada’s unique climate and bees negatively affected by transportation. Importing a large proportion of our queens each year also creates an unsustainable dependency on foreign bee sources, putting our beekeeping and pollination sectors at an even greater risk in the case of border closures and restrictions
 #5746  by AdamD
 18 Feb 2020, 11:49
Some reports say that there's a poor success rate with imported queens - if they have been stuck in a queen bank and haven't laid for a while, they are not accepted or if they are, they are superceded or become drone layers quite quickly. An anecdotal report I heard the other day from a retired beefarmer, I believe, was that only a 1/3rd of the queens are any good. And someone told me a few years ago that his result was about the same after buying a few queens.
 #5750  by Patrick
 18 Feb 2020, 22:49
I suppose it all depends on the alternatives available and your chosen way to keep bees.

A personal experience of bought in foreign queens was a mate of mine and it was a total pain in the proverbial and took most of the foraging season to get his colony queen right. Another very good beekeeper locally buys in a few queens every year from a foreign source most of us would recognise and is very positive about them.

One of the joys of our craft is it accommodates a very wide range of options and motivations. I am happy with my home bred queens but that could change if my desired outcome changed. I see Canadian beekeeper blogs and quickly realise how different their world is to mine.