Friday, July 13, 2012

Getting a Honey Bee Queen Preggers

I have been wondering how they mate the queens and keep the varieties separated. When you purchase a queen she is usually already mated and comes to you as a specific breed. Italian, Carniolan, etc...Since you are paying a good price for the queen and you are looking to rear a specific breed it stands to reason that they don't just let the queens go out on a mating flight and hook up with any old Tom, Dick or Harry drone. I discovered yesterday that most of the mated queens we purchase are instrumentally (artificially) inseminated. That answered one question but created another. How was this done? I asked on a couple of bee forums but got the usual "no answer". Good old Google to the rescue. Here is an informative Youtube video that shows exactly how it's done. No, I will not be purchasing expensive lab equipment to try my hand at this. I was just curious.

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