Our Bees

Our mission is to produce strong, healthy, productive bees that can survive with minimal intervention.  Our goal is to produce better bees for northern climates that can handle current pests and pathogens.  Our stock is a combination of Michigan survivor queens and the Purdue Mite biter Line.  This year, we will be adding VSH (Varroa Sensitive Hygienic) stock.

We will be offering queens, queen cells, and clinics in 2017 - I may have some splits and nucs available, but they will be first come first serve - I'll send out notices to the mailing list once they exist and are ready to be picked up.  
  • If you would like to be on the mailing list for future classes or 2017 nuc and queen info, please sign up here.
  • For information on 2017 queens and nucs Click here. 
  • To order 2017 queens  Click here
Scroll down for information on our queens and how we select for the best bees. 

 

Purdue Mite Biters Developed by Greg Hunt and Krispn Given at Purdue University, these bees were selected to target phoretic mites (mites that are running loose in the hive).   They are more likely to recognize, attack, and damage mites when they are in the hive.  Breeder queens and drones for insemination are selected from colonies with over 40% mite drop showing damage.  For 2016 we will use a breeder queen, and use unrelated daughter hives as drone stock. Read more in the Bee Culture April 2016 article on the Purdue Breeding Program.   I will be getting a Purdue II queen the second week of June, 2017.  I will start grafting off of her as soon as I can (usually about 1-2 weeks for her to be happily accepted, laying, and for larvae).   That means I will have mated queens in July and August for fall requeening and late season splits.  I'll make as many daughters during that time as I can. 

VSH Varroa Sensitive Hygienic bees were bred to recognize mites that are underneath the cappings.  Worker bees will remove the damaged pupae, making the mites at risk for predation, and disrupting their reproduction cycle.  I'll be getting a breeder queen from VP bees in the end of May/ beginning of June.  I'll also start grafting off of her as soon as I can, and will have queens from early July through August. 

Michigan Mutts The bulk of our stock are bees that we collected from swarms, cut outs, or were trades from other Michigan Beekeepers.   We evaluate colonies for two years before they can potentially become breeder stock.  In order to make the cut, the bees have to have good temper and temperament (they have to be nice and nice to manage), must produce sufficient honey, and must be able to handle varroa without chemical intervention.  The first year, the colony grows, and must survive the winter. The second year, it must operate as a full colony, have low levels of varroa without treatment, and survive a second winter.  

 

All of the queens that I sell are open mated in our home apiary in Munith, MI.   I have drone yards surrounding the yard with big colonies with drone frames, and I provide queens to my neighbors, so I try to flood the area with good genetics. For 2017, the bulk of the drone yards have Mite Biter Daughters from 2016 (unrelated to the queen I'll get in 2017).   I'll add VSH daughters this coming year, for drones for 2018.