Over the past few years, due to disease and pests, the total US Honey Bee population is down to a 50-year low. These devastating losses have captured the repeated attention of the national media. This attention has led to a greater interest in beekeeping, resulting in a 35% increase in the number of beekeepers in the past four years. In the meantime, Virginia remains dependent on imported bees, continuing to spend money on bees from other states that pose substantial risks through the inadvertent introduction of Africanized Honey Bees (AHB) or virulent strains of diseases and pests. A successful path forward toward sustainable apiculture as this market experiences such dramatic growth must include several elements, foremost of which is a local queen rearing program.
Horseshoe Point Honey LLC is leading an effort to develop queen bees that are locally acclimated, gentle, resistant to disease and pests, and excellent honey producers and pollinators.
Keys to our success:
- Leverage any documented successes achieved by experienced queen bee breeders within our region. This involves networking with experienced queen bee producers, both within the state and with other producers in neighboring states to collect potential breeder stock.
- Surveys of large number of local beekeepers to assess the viability of local survivor stock. This entails working with beekeepers and collecting data on colonies, including: documented proof on the history of a given genetic line, honey production records, varroa mite resistance, and gentleness.
- Limited Importation of state-of-the-art Varroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH) stock from highly respected sources. We add value thru our own selection, based on data we collect on local survivability, mite resistance, and performance.
- Education. We will offer courses on various aspects of beekeeping and queen rearing to aspiring Virginian beekeepers.
We produce and sell varroa mite resistant queens bees, using a combination of VSH, Pol-Line, and local survivor queen genetics. Please contact us for availability and pricing.
Birth of a Queen Bee 2012
Here’s a great reference for the hobbyist interested in rearing queen bees.