Our rearing apiary at our farm

Once our Queens have been Instrumentally Inseminated, we prove their laying and fertility using mating nucs. This allows us to assess the success of the queens before offering them for sale or selecting them to head colonies. Pre and post care of the queens is very important for the success of instrumentally inseminated queens and we constantly experiment to improve our techniques.

 

Instrumentally Inseminated Buckfast Queen with good brood pattern

To assess the success of the Insemination we first confirm successful acceptance of the queen into the nuc and subsequently laying. We then wait to confirm the fertility of the queen and good brood pattern. It is important to check the quality of each II queen and we update our records using the queens number and colony number so we can keep track of her progress.

 

 

Some of our mating nucs for proving inseminated queens

Once we are happy with the quality of the queens we will then use them to head our own colonies or offer them for sale. Queens offered for sale are not banked, they are just kept in smaller colonies and allowed to continue laying. We keep track of the queens selected to head our own colonies and continue to assess them against specific criteria to ensure that we maintain good breeding lines.

Checking the II Queens after Insemination