Honeybee Breeding Program

Using the tool of instrumental insemination, modern honeybee breeding was pioneered by a number of visionary beekeepers in the mid to late 20th century. These far thinking breeders and scientists embarked on a relentless quest to breed the optimal honeybee. We know them as the pioneers.

Fast forward a half century, and we find another band of visionaries continuing the quest. Modern VSH queen breeders, such as Dr. John Harbo and Tom Glenn of Glenn Apiaries, among others, have worked tirelessly to establish optimal, mite resistant honeybees. Their tools? Genetic selection, instrumental insemination and the VSH trait.

Inspired by this pursuit of raising optimal honeybees, the queen bee breeders at Wildflower Meadows are grateful to these innovators who have taken us under their wing and inspired us to carry their vision forward.

Our Wildflower Meadows’ VSH breeding stock originates from our leading instrumentally inseminated candidates: Queens are that selected to show at least 75% VSH behavior in their offspring, plus the other desirable behavioral phenotypes of gentleness, rapid buildup, and overall hardiness. We also carefully choose drones from colonies expressing similar desirable behavior.

Utilizing the technique of single drone insemination, we are able to develop uniformity in our breeding stock. This promotes desirable traits, and leads to development of optimal Wildflower Meadows’ F1 VSH lines that form the backbone of our artificially inseminated breeder queens.

Wildflower Meadows is proud to be a founding member of the Harbo Bee Cooperative, providing our queen breeders with the ability to evaluate and incorporate additional VSH stock being concurrently bred throughout the United States.