What to Know When Buying Queen Bees.
When purchasing queen bees, it is crucial that you purchase them directly from a reputable queen breeder rather than from a beekeeping supply company. This is because beekeeping supply companies are neither queen producers nor beekeepers; instead, they are middlemen and warehouse-style operations solely focused on brokering and selling equipment. They are not hands-on beekeepers, nor are they experts in queen rearing.
Also keep in mind the importance of direct and streamlined shipping. A queen bee that is purchased from a beekeeping supply company has already been shipped once, usually from a large-scale mass producer to the supply company. Then it is handled, stored and banked, often for long periods of time. Once you purchase the queen, she is then handled and shipped yet again to you. All of this shipping and handling is wear and tear that can be detrimental to the performance and longevity of your queen, which then affects your colony. This is precisely why at Wildflower Meadows, we prioritize direct, streamlined shipping, quality packaging, and careful handling throughout the entire delivery process.
When you purchase queen bees from Wildflower Meadows, you don’t just receive your queen—you also gain a direct channel to the expertise of the beekeepers that meticulously select, raise, and care for the queen bees that will become the backbone of your operation. Our philosophy is that a queen breeder should always be focused on small batches and quality over quantity. Some queen breeders are determined to produce as many queens as possible, and as a result are less mindful about careful selection and close monitoring of the queens that are shipped. This is why it is worthwhile to consider the source of your queen bees: Are the queens mass produced in a large-scale factory-farm style operation, or are they raised in an environment that emphasizes quality and respect for the bees?
At Wildflower Meadows, we are fully committed to our limited-sized batches and attention to detail. Each queen raised represents our highest efforts from top to bottom within our organization. We believe that our customers and friends deserve a direct line to the queen breeder, and we want you to feel confident in where your bees come from and how they were raised and cared for. In the end, this helps us ensure we have happy customers who are keeping healthy bees.
Wildflower Meadows is not a “factory farm” that produces queens on a mass scale with all eyes focused on maximizing production and the bottom line. Instead, we take pride in raising queens in small batches and grading each and every queen individually. We treat our queens and our bees with respect, keeping our focus on quality and care.
The heart of any queen rearing operation are the cell building colonies that raise queen cells. Cell building colonies provide the attention and feeding to each and every queen cell. Each cell building colony must not only be well-fed, healthy, and disease-free, but it also must be well stocked with attentive nurse bees. It goes without saying that the greater number of queen cells that are introduced into each cell building colony, the lesser amount of care can be provided to each individual queen cell. Too many queen cells divide the attention of nurse bees and can result in small and undernourished queens.
That is why Wildflower Meadows produces queen cells in small batches. Wildflower Meadows’ queen cell batches are about two-thirds the size of the industry norm. This results in superior care to each queen cell. From larvae to pupae to virgin queens, Wildflower Meadows’ cell building colonies are set up to provide the maximum nutrition and support to each and every developing new queen bee.