Instrumentally Inseminated Buckfast Queen Bee

We’ve had a busy year so far with our Instrumental Insemination and experimenting with new methods to help increase success and queen care. By selecting good quality queens as drone mothers and queen mothers our inseminated queens should head productive queens next year.

The process of Instrumental Insemination allows us to have a large degree of control over the queens mating as we select the breeding lines of both the queens and the drones.


Instrumental Insemination Unit and microscope set up

Using good quality insemination kit and microscope gives a high success rate for inseminated queens. The use of such equipment requires lots of practice.

Instrumental insemination involves the collection of semen from drones. It takes at least ten mature drone to provide enough semen for one queen, during natural mating a queen will mating with many more drones.



Insemination tip full with honey bee semen

Once enough semen has been collected then the queens can be inseminated. CO2 is used to anaesthetise the queen during the insemination process so that she remains still and doesn’t feel a thing.

Our queens are marked with numbered discs to help better keep track of their success. This aids in record keeping and colony assessment which allows for good breeding lines to be maintained.

Queen Rearing at Bishop’s Bees