All my queens are open mated here on Whidbey Island.
That means that the queen has naturally mated with whatever local drones are in the area. I do not control this.
Queens are daughters of queens that have overwintered.
The mother queen must have overwintered at least one year. Preferably two years.
I select the mother for desirable traits.
How they overwinter in our long, cool, wet winter and spring periods. Good brood pattern, honey production, how nice and calm her daughters are. In addition if I see varroa resistance, I’m definitely raising queens from her as long as she meets the other criteria. I want queens whose workers have varroa mite coping skills by one means or the other – that bees survive with the mites without treatments of any kind. It’s a goal. A milepost. That said, since I’m unable to control the drones that a virgin queen mates with, I’m unable to breed for any varroa resistance.
Only natural treatments used.
Powdered sugar, Hopguard, oxalic acid, and essential oils.
I’m a very small scale producer.
That means that I only have a small limited supply at any time. I don’t raise queens to sell in bulk.