Bishops Bees is a UK queen breeder specialising in producing high quality queen bees for sale. Using a combination of Instrumental Insemination (also referred to as Artificial Insemination) and open mating we produce a good supply of UK bred queens. As part of our beekeeping operation, we also offer honey bee nucs for sale. Our nucs are raised throughout the year using UK queens. These nucs have proven very productive and easy to work with.

Based in the heart of North Devon on the edge of Exmoor, we have a number of apiaries used for rearing queens. By using separate sites for our queen lines, we can maintain good consistency in our breeding. At the moment we produce Buckfast queens, both Instrumentally inseminated and open mated. We also have a queen line produced in conjunction with a local honey farm which we have called Honeymaker. These are the result of years of hard work to produce a productive bee that is easy to work with. These are also comparable to Buckfast queens.

A frame of honeybees

With apiaries across North Devon, we send a lot of time out in the countryside. Inspecting the bees can be very relaxing whilst the weather is good.

Queen Rearing at Bishops Bees

Instrumental insemination of queen bees has bee an important tool for us to produce good quality queens for sale. It allows us to selected from both the queen line and the drone line. This has given us the ability to maintain strong genetic lines.

We maintain strong buckfast lines and produce both II queens and open mated queens for sale. These are bred in line with the criteria set out by Brother Adam. In addition, we utilise the latest methods and research to improve our rearing practises. All our breeder queens are subject to appraisal to ensure that we use only the best for queens and drones.

In conjunction with a local honeyfarm, we are also able to offer our own honeymaker queen bees for sale. These are the result of many years of stock improvement. This has been to obtain queens that head strong productive colonies that are easy to work with. Honeymaker queens are an excellent choice for both hobbyist and commercial beekeepers alike. They have proven themselves great queens which we are sure you will be happy with.

We are also running a breeding project to produce British black bees, Apis mellifera mellifera. By working with a number of genetic lines and utilising Instrumental Insemination, we have made good progress to produce stable AMM queen lines. We will continue this breeding project in hope that we will be able to provide good quality British black bees for sale.

Queen Rearing frame

Queens are raised by grafting young larvae into cell cups. These are added to a cell rearing colony by fixing them to a rearing frame. The bees in the queen rearing colony will then raise new queens.

Honeybee nucs

We raise honeybee nucs throughout the beekeeping season. This means that we are able to offer well established nucs for sale which are ready to transfer to your hive. The nucs which we raise later in the season will be over wintered and offered for sale next spring. These will be well established and will produce a good honey crop that year. We are one of the few companies that offer UK delivery. We able to offer delivery to the whole of the UK mainland for both honeybee nucs and queens.

Brood frame of Bees

A complete frame of sealed brood with very few missed cells shows that the queen is a productive layer. You can see that the queen has laid right out to the edges of the frame.


As we order in a lot of equipment for ourselves, we also offer some for sale at competitive prices. As everything we sell we also use, we know that what we offer is good value for money.

If you are interested in carrying out Instrumental Insemination yourself, then we can help you get set up. We can supply a range of Instrumental Insemination equipment, from consumables to complete set-ups. If this is something that you are interested in then please contact us.

Instrumental Insemination unit and accessories

Instrumental Insemination is a useful tool for breeding high quality productive queens. We can supply Insemination Units and complete set-ups.