We now begin Part Two:
Part one: A Short Beekeeping History, Queens we Sell, and a Summary of our Operations: http://www.CarolinaSurvivorQueens.com (Part one) Part two: Our Bees, Tier numbers, Marking Scheme, Nuc prices, Queen Prices, and Order Sheets: http://www.Survivorqueen.com (Part two) Part three: Booking, and Shipping Information: http://www.usedbeestuff.com (Part Three)
Our Own Survivor Stock
For many many years prior to having been solicited for membership in the Russian Honeybee Breeders Association I had purchased Russian breeder queens from either Charlie Harper or Glenn Apiaries or both at a time. I had also purchased through Glenn Apiaries both Minnesota Hygienic and SMR (Suppressed Mite Reproduction) breeder queens developed by Harbo and Harris at the USDA-ARS Lab in Baton Rouge. SMR was an established mite-resistance trait that "suppresses mite reproduction" later in 2005 after further study the USDA folks in Baton Rouge appropriately renamed the SMR trait as Varroa Sensitive Hygiene or VSH. The Minnesota Hygienic queens developed by Marla Spivak and Gary S. Reuter were my first queens specifically purchased from Glenn Apiaries as Breeder Queens with the intention that they would be used as breeder queens because Italian queens with hygienic traits were also determined to have a higher Varroa resistance than non-hygienic Italians and they also showed resistance to Chalkbrood, both American and European foulbrood and they exhibited a hygienic behavior to remove dead larvae and pupae. I also wanted to have the natural inherent traits carried by the Italians such as gentleness and having a natural resistance to American Foulbrood, European Foulbrood, and Chalkbrood as well as larger overwintering clusters able to cover brood while obtaining stored honey under the coldest of temperatures; and, of course honey production.
That was the basis for my first breeding program and it was quite successful having a very efficient summer queen rearing, excellent winter survivability, a strong spring buildup, Varroa and tracheal mite resistance, disease resistance, honey production, and gentleness. Folks in the Dakotas, Northern Michigan, New York and Vermont were happy with these queens and they ordered year after year. They were also quite adaptable and quite suited to our often long hot, humid and dry summers; but, I still treated and I still had higher Varroa related winter losses than normal. Then I went back to Tom Glenn and ordered SMR Breeder queens and later almost right after they were released I ordered Russian Breeder queens first from Glenn and later Charlie Harper, the CRADA Holder for the USDA-ARS Russian Honey bee program run by Dr. Tom Rinderer so when asked by Charlie Harper in 2005-2006 to join the Russian Honeybee Breeders Association I went 100% Russian as a Charter Member.
In 2008 my breeding strategy was changed to have both Russian and Italian breeder queens. I also developed a Survivor Stock from isolated yards having diversified climates from 735 feet above sea level in the Central Piedmont of North Carolina to over 3100 feet above sea level in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina that are used for drone mother breeder queens, honey production, research, and pollination. My drone mothers are at this writing currently SMR/VSH, Russian, Italian, and Survivor Stock drone mothers; the entire area around all my production queen yards is saturated with Russian and Italian genetics along with my own "Survivor Stock" that I have been developing over the past 7 years. These "survivor hives" gave over 88% survival rates for the last two consecutive years at two different Research Stations here in North Carolina, one at 730 feet and the other at 3100 feet above sea level having a Northern US-Southern Canadian type climate classified as Dfa on the climate classification scale.
I really believe that the hybrid queens that I sell will do you well no matter where you live. Read on and see for yourself how quality queens are still possible in today's time and age and why you should invest a few extra dollars today in order to save a lot more tomorrow while getting away from chemical treatments and using proven and tested hybrid queens that have higher rates of acceptance and lower rates of supersedure.
Tier-1 and Tier-2 Queens
The Truth About Some Commercial Mail Order Queens and Why I believe That I Am Different Than Most by selling Tier Level Queens
Most commercial queen producers raise queens by placement of a ripe queen cell in a mating NUC then removing the queen for shipment exactly 14 days later. This is done strictly on a 28 day schedule as it is the most efficient manner to raise and ship commercial queens. Technically the queen is 28 days old from the day that she was laid as an egg by her breeder queen; old enough to have mated and to have begun laying; but, there are many pitfalls. The first consideration is the age of the larvae when it was grafted. The queen removed to be shipped may or may not have been mated and often very little is known about her matriarchal abilities. Because of the 28 day cycle which begins with grafting to scheduleThe Italian race of honeybees in the USA is not the same now as it was when the US closed its borders to the importation of honeybees after the outbreak of the Isle of Wright Disease at the turn of the last Century; the Italian gene pool is becoming shallower with less genetic diversity. We need genetic diversity with defined and desirable traits. Sometimes a queen will mate but never lay; she will spend her whole life parading around her colony without ever laying an egg. Sometimes when laying is interrupted she will not retain her laying ability. Even if a queen is not a drone layer she may be superseded; or, she may become nothing more than a mediocre layer and her daughters marginal honey producers. And yes, sometimes she will knock your socks off with her laying ability; and, often a thought back to a year or two ago to that one marvelous queen will entice you to return to that commercial queen producer even though most of her sisters were average producing queens. Then there are shipped 28 day old queens that did not have the opportunity to mate until after their arrival to your bee yard or perhaps she may not mate at all and become a drone layer. That is why I sell Tier Level queens. We wait until our queens have established their brood patterns and their daughters emerge because we want to assure that our customers will receive a quality queen that will be an asset in their apiary. We put in a lot of extra time and effort but I believe that the result is a better quality queen and a very enthusiastic and satisfied customer. You will make more money on these queens and you will also spend less money on replacements and chemicals in the long run. These are proven queens with a history and they carry the genetics that are desired by breeders, producers, and hobbyists. All this takes extra manpower and additional production facilities which results in a much longer throughput than most queen rearing operations. I hope that I have opened your eyes to better beekeeping and better queens.
I had always believed that the length of time that a queen is allowed to establish her brood nest in her mating Nuc is inversely related to a statistical rate of supersedure after she has been introduced to her new home and it is directly related to a statistical rate of acceptance by her new "adopted" colony after she been introduced into a strange and often highly populated hive full of both young and older workers . A published scientific study has confirmed this theorem, please see: Rhodes, Somerville, Hardin. 2004 Queen Honeybee Introduction and Early Survival - Effects of Queen Age at Introduction. Apidologie, 35:383-388. This is one of the best reasons for raising and marketing our Tier-1 and Tier-2 queens but it is not the only reason why that for over the last 18 years we have been raising queens for ourselves and our customers that we do it.
A Tier-1 Hybrid Queen
Once we have a mated and laying queen we want to know if she will be suitable for our customers and our own standards. About two weeks after she has begun her laying we will inspect her larvae and her capped brood for viability and pattern. An assessment of the first complete frame of brood (~70% capped brood) is inspected for brood pattern, health, and viability. If all looks assuring then this queen may be sold as a Tier-1 Queen. This defined Tier-1 queen is at least 42 days old from egg " to ship", that's 14 days older than a 28-day-old standard commercial queenÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â.
A Tier-2 Hybrid Queen During the next two weeks and longer a Tier-1 queen if not pulled as a Tier-1 queen continues to lay and build up her colony. It is now possible for her to be at her peak of laying and pheromone production. Several days after her third week of laying, after her brood begins to hatch, her daughters are inspected as well. We inspect for Deformed Wing Virus, brood pattern, general health of the hive, and relative productivity. If things are not right she is culled! Only then after a long series of quality inspections will we sell that queen; that queen is now classified as a Tier-2 Queen. This queen is at least 56 days old from egg to "pull"; that's twice as old, 28 days older than a 28 day old commercial queen. This defined Tier-2 queen is now in her prime.
Our Queen Marking scheme for 2017 is as follows:
The need for our customers to assure that whether the queen found either six months or two years down the road is the same queen that they installed is imperative! That is very important, with the increase of Africanized honey bees in America; it is important to know that your queen has not been superseded; or, that the colony has not swarmed while you were on vacation and a new queen carrying unknown genetics in her spermatheca is now laying in your hive. You are assured of the year, the Tier level, and exactly what you are buying. Marking is a harmless, efficient, and an effective method of identification of your queen and it will tell you her age as well and with our marked queens it can tell you a whole lot more.
Front Left Thorax: YEAR 2018 is marked: Red
Front Right Thorax: VSHF-1Carolina Survivor is marked : Blue
Front Right Thorax: Carolina Survivor is marked : Green
Rear of Thorax: Tier- Level:
Tier-1 is marked: White
Tier-2 is marked: Yellow
Note: All queens ship with their uniquely Numbered Yellow ID TAG for her mating nuc and her wooden shipping cage or her plastic JZ BZ cage is also numbered accordingly. We use this same Yellow ID TAG for hives, splits and nucs.
Spring/Summer and Fall 2017 Survivor Queen Information and Prices:
Your choice of either 42 Tier-1 or 56 day old Tier-2 proven and tested queens having disease and Varroa mite resistance derived from either the grafted larva of (1) the daughter of one of Dr. John Harbo's pure VSH Breeder Queens open-mated with our feral Carolina Survivor drones or (2) our own proven and selected Varroa and disease resistant Carolina Survivor Breeder Queen's daughter grafted as a day old larvae and grafted into queen cups and transferred into mating nucs located on our 650+ acre isolated research farm with over 18+ years of feral drones from feral hives and our current VSH and Carolina Survivor Drone Mothers that are our own selected and proven Breeder Queens, Carolina Survivor Breeder Queens, developed from over 19 years of enhanced and natural selection.
From proven breeder queens these two different type queens are open mated on an isolated campus with Feral Survivor Drones having VSH/SMR, Minnesota Hygienic, Russian, Italian, Carniolan, and German Black genetics from over 18 years of natural selection from mating yards with Drone Mothers, and Breeder Queen hives having been placed on isolated 650 plus acre sites supporting commercial mating yards. During this period of over 18 years many of these hives have swarmed and settled within the confines and borders of these very large estates and later re-swarmed thus allowing for a period of over 18 years to accumulate by natural selection the above traits that help enhance the desired genetic survival traits among the feral population becoming a "melting pot" over time very much like the Russian Honey bee in the Primorski Region of Russia. In addition to natural resistance to Varroa and most honey bee disease as well as hygienic behavior our Carolina Survivor Queens are bred for honey production, solid brood patterns, quick spring build-up, disease, mite, and small hive beetle resistance, gentleness and of course winter survivability. This year, 2017, all of our selected for grafting Breeder Queens are starting on their third year, that by itself demonstrates survivability.
A Tier-1 = (42 days from Grafting)
A Tier-2 = (56 days from grafting)
ALL queens undergo the same series of inspections defining a Tier-1 queen. All Tier-2 queens continue additional inspections for an additional two weeks. During this time your queen's hatched brood will be inspected once per week and a day or two before she is pulled and shipped under magnification and when caged on her day of shipment. Hatched brood having workers with Deformed Wing Syndrome disqualifies the mother and she is dispatched this is one reason why Tier-2 Breeder Queens undergo further testing than Tier-1 Queens.
Order Sheet Instructions: Cut & Paste to your Word Processor then Print out. Fill in the blanks for your order form and include your name and shipping address or send this as an email file attachment from your word processor.
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|Table 1: 2017 Queen Pricing for 2018 Prices-R good until Monday, February 19, 2018|
Cut and Paste any applicable pages and either E-mail or send in the mail along with your payment to: Link
|Table 2: 2018 Queen Pricing Prices Good From Tuesday, February 20, 2018 until Sold Out|