Honey Bee Queens
2023 California/Oregon queens should be available starting in late April or early May.
Availability for locally raised queens is weather dependent. We will post here with an estimate on local queen availability once we are reasonably confident that new queens will be able to mate well.
We do not ship queens. During checkout, select "Pick Up". You will not be able to proceed with your order if you select "Ship". Call or email Peter if you have any questions or issues during the checkout process.
Our local honey bee queens are produced from our most productive, mite resistant, and gentle hives from previous years, with preference being given to queen mothers who have survived multiple winters. All queens are open mated in the Seattle area (usually Carnation or Buckley), so color, productivity, mite resistance, and temperament of specific daughter queens will vary.
Our local queens are maintained in mating nucs until they are sold or introduced into a new hive. Keeping them laying in nucleus hives ensures that your queen's pheromones are strong when she is introduced into a new colony, increasing her acceptance rate.
Local queens are generally available from June through early September, weather (and Peter's queen rearing schedule) dependent. Please email us for availability at any other times.
Queens are also available from respected California and Oregon producers before and after we are able to make local queens. California/Oregon queens may be maintained in queen banks while we are actively installing them into our own hives. Once we have used however many queens we need for RDB's own operations, extra queens are installed into nucs or queen castles. The queen supplier varies, so if this matters to you, feel free to email and ask about our current California/Oregon queen source.
- Pickup in Shoreline. Special arrangements can be made for pickup in Carnation. We do not ship bees.
- Be sure to enter your preferred contact information during checkout so that we can schedule your pickup!
- Queens will be provided in queen cages with candy, and can be introduced into the hive in their cage, allowing the bees to chew them out.
- Because we prefer to keep queens in nucs rather than banked, we have very limited numbers of queens in the city. Email us or call Peter (206-519-8505) for same day availability, if needed.