This year marks the 18th anniversary of Zia Queenbees Farm here in New Mexico and also the 10th anniversary of our collaborative early spring bee breeding projects in the Santa Cruz coastal mountains of Northern California. We receive inquiries about our bees, the timeline, and the process and so here’s some info for the curious….
- All Packages come with a:
Fresh, well-mated ZQB Queenbee x Wings of Nature-NorCal drone stock from our collaborative breeding efforts with producers who have integrated our ZQB breeding stock into their production systems. We travel out to Northern California to prepare these and so we are a part of the whole process. Cost for 3# packages (loose bees with a freshly mated caged queen in a screened transport crate) is $220. They can be picked up at the farm or with an added delivery fee to Santa Fe (+$10) and Albuquerque (+$15). To reserve a 2021 ZQB Package of bees please visit our online order and payment portal.
- All Starter Nuclei come with a:
Fresh, well-mated ZQB Queenbee x NorCal drone stock from our collaborative breeding efforts in the Santa Cruz Coastal Mountain range on the Bay Peninsula Preserve of Northern California. We travel out to Northern California to split, breed, and nurture these starter hive families. Cost for 4-frame starter nuc (bees on established comb with food stores and a freshly mated queen bee in a reusable transport nuc box) is $300. These can be picked up at the farm or with an added deliver fee to Santa Fe (+$10) and Albuquerque (+15). To place a reservation for 2021 Starter Nuclei, please visit our online order and payment portal.
ZQB Queenbee Cells & Virgins
Survivor Queenbee Cells are limited availability during the spring and summer months. Virgin queens are also available for purchase and can be shipped. We will need to know at minimum two weeks in advance in order to prep and rear large quantity of cells for desired emergence date. On occasion we have some extras from our grafting rounds and can accommodate local pick-ups for small quantities. This is an interesting way to introduce new genetics that are out-crossed with your surrounding drone population. Contact us for pricing and shipping options.
CELL PRICING – for shipments via UPS Overnight (minimum 15 cells)
Virgin queens are shipped 1-2 days after emergence; once their exoskeletons have hardened and they are accompanied by attendants. Splits or Nucs should be prepared ahead of time (de-queened) and ready to receive virgins upon arrival. Once installed, they should be left alone for at least 3 weeks (preferred) to ensure successful mating and establishing of laying posture.
VIRGIN QUEEN PRICING – for shipments via UPS Overnight (minimum 15 cells)
We use JzBz cell cups and cages. Timing of cell pick-up must not be too early as damage of wings could occur (no good having virgins that can’t fly to mate). Incubation should remain at 93-95F (33-35C) degrees. Excessive chilling will delay emergence and can adversely affect virgin development. Too high heat and cells will mature faster with earlier emergence time or will cook and die. Beware of cells hatching early as first virgins out will attack the other cells.
Virgin shipping methods involve overnight and insist upon immediate installation of cells into prepared splits or mating nucs regardless of weather.