We now begin Part Two:

Part one: A Short Beekeeping History, Queens we Sell, and a Summary of our Operations: http://www.CarolinaSurvivorQueens.com (Part one)Part two: Our Bees, Tier numbers, Marking Scheme, Nuc prices, Queen Prices, and Order Sheets: http://www.Survivorqueen.com  (Part two)Part three: Nucs (Overwintered and Spring Pricing), Booking, and Shipping Information: http://www.usedbeestuff.com  (Part Three)

Our Own Survivor Stock

For many many years prior to having been solicited for membership in the Russian Honeybee Breeders Association I had purchased Russian breeder queens from either Charlie Harper or Glenn Apiaries or both at a time. I had also purchased through Glenn Apiaries both Minnesota Hygienic and SMR (Suppressed Mite Reproduction) breeder queens developed by Harbo and Harris at the USDA-ARS Lab in Baton Rouge. SMR was an established mite-resistance trait that "suppresses mite reproduction" later in 2005 after further study the USDA folks in Baton Rouge appropriately renamed the SMR trait as Varroa Sensitive Hygiene or  VSH.  The Minnesota Hygienic queens developed by Marla Spivak and Gary S. Reuter were my first queens specifically purchased from Glenn Apiaries as Breeder Queens with the intention that they would be used as breeder queens because Italian queens with hygienic traits were also determined to have a higher Varroa resistance than non-hygienic Italians and they also showed resistance to Chalkbrood, both American and European foulbrood and they exhibited a hygienic behavior to remove dead larvae and pupae. I also wanted to have the natural inherent traits carried by the Italians such as gentleness and having a natural resistance to American Foulbrood, European Foulbrood, and Chalkbrood as well as larger overwintering clusters able to cover brood while obtaining stored honey under the coldest of temperatures;  and, of course honey production.

That was the basis for my first breeding program and it was quite successful having a very efficient summer queen rearing, excellent winter survivability, a strong spring buildup, Varroa and tracheal mite resistance, disease resistance, honey production, and gentleness. Folks in the Dakotas, Northern Michigan, New York and Vermont were happy with these queens and they ordered year after year. They were also quite adaptable and quite suited to our often long hot, humid and dry summers; but, I still treated and I still had higher Varroa related winter losses than normal. Then I went back to Tom Glenn and ordered SMR Breeder queens and later almost right after they were released I ordered Russian Breeder queens first from Glenn and later Charlie Harper, the CRADA Holder for the USDA-ARS Russian Honey bee program run by Dr. Tom Rinderer so when asked by Charlie Harper in 2005-2006 to join the Russian Honeybee Breeders Association I went 100% Russian as a Charter Member.

In 2008 my breeding strategy was changed to have both Russian and Italian breeder queens. I also developed a Survivor Stock from isolated yards having diversified climates from 735 feet above sea level in the Central Piedmont of North Carolina to over 3100 feet above sea level in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina that are used for drone mother breeder queens, honey production, research, and pollination. My drone mothers are at this writing currently SMR/VSH, Russian, Italian, and Survivor Stock drone mothers; the entire area around all my production queen yards is saturated with Russian and Italian genetics along with my own "Survivor Stock" that I have been developing over the past 7 years. These "survivor hives" gave over 88% survival rates for the last two consecutive years at two different Research Stations here in North Carolina, one at 730 feet and the other at 3100 feet above sea level having a Northern US-Southern Canadian type climate classified as Dfa on the Köppen climate classification scale. 

I really believe that the hybrid queens that I sell will do you well no matter where you live. Read on and see for yourself how quality queens are still possible in today's time and age and why you should invest a few extra dollars today in order to save a lot more tomorrow while getting away from chemical treatments and using proven and tested  hybrid queens that have higher rates of acceptance and lower rates of supersedure.

Tier-1 and Tier-2  Queens

The Truth About Some Commercial Mail Order Queens and Why I believe That I Am Different Than Most by selling Tier Level Queens

Most commercial queen producers raise queens by placement of a ripe queen cell in a mating NUC then removing the queen for shipment exactly 14 days later. This is done strictly on a 28 day schedule as it is the most efficient manner to raise and ship commercial queens. Technically the queen is 28 days old from the day that she was laid as an egg by her breeder queen; old enough to have mated and to have begun laying; but, there are many pitfalls. The first consideration is the age of the larvae when it was grafted. The queen removed to be shipped may or may not have been mated and often very little is known about her matriarchal abilities. Because of the 28 day cycle which begins with grafting to  scheduleThe Italian race of honeybees in the USA is not the same now as it was when the US closed its borders to the importation of honeybees after the outbreak of the Isle of Wright Disease at the turn of the last Century; the Italian gene pool is becoming shallower with less genetic diversity. We need genetic diversity with defined and desirable traits. Sometimes a queen will mate but never lay; she will spend her whole life parading around her colony without ever laying an egg. Sometimes when laying is interrupted she will not retain her laying ability. Even if a queen is not a drone layer she may be superseded; or, she may become nothing more than a mediocre layer and her daughters marginal honey producers. And yes, sometimes she will knock your socks off with her laying ability; and, often a thought back to a year or two ago to that one marvelous queen will entice you to return to that commercial queen producer even though most of her sisters were average producing queens. Then there are shipped 28 day old queens that did not have the opportunity to mate until after their arrival to your bee yard or perhaps she may not mate at all and become a drone layer. That is why I sell Tier Level queens. We wait until our queens have established their brood patterns and their daughters emerge because we want to assure that our customers will receive a quality queen that will be an asset in their apiary. We put in a lot of extra time and effort but I believe that the result is a better quality queen and a very enthusiastic and satisfied customer. You will make more money on these queens and you will also spend less money on replacements and chemicals in the long run. These are proven queens with a history and they carry the genetics that are desired by breeders, producers, and hobbyists.  All this takes extra manpower and additional production facilities which results in a much longer throughput than most queen rearing operations. I hope that I have opened your eyes to better beekeeping and better queens.

 

I had always believed that the length of time that a queen is allowed to establish her brood nest in her mating Nuc is inversely related to a statistical rate of supersedure after she has been introduced to her new home and it is directly related to a statistical rate of acceptance by her new "adopted" colony after she been introduced into a strange and often highly populated hive full of both young and older workers . A published scientific study has confirmed this theorem, please see: Rhodes, Somerville, Hardin. 2004 Queen Honeybee Introduction and Early Survival - Effects of Queen Age at Introduction. Apidologie, 35:383-388. This is one of the best reasons for raising and marketing our Tier-1 and Tier-2 queens but it is not the only reason why that for over the last 18 years we have been raising queens for ourselves and our customers that we do it.

A Tier-1 Hybrid Queen 

Once we have a mated and laying queen we want to know if she will be suitable for our customers and our own standards. About two weeks after she has begun her laying we will inspect her larvae and her capped brood for viability and pattern. An assessment of the first complete frame of brood (~70% capped brood) is inspected for brood pattern, health, and viability. If all looks assuring then this queen may be sold as a Tier-1 Queen. This defined Tier-1 queen is at least 42 days old from egg " to ship", that's 14 days older than a 28-day-old standard commercial queen.

A Tier-2 Hybrid Queen  During the next two weeks and longer a Tier-1 queen if not pulled as a Tier-1 queen continues to lay and build up her colony. It is now possible for her to be at her peak of laying and pheromone production. Several days after her third week of laying, after her brood begins to hatch, her daughters are inspected as well. We inspect for Deformed Wing Virus, brood pattern, general health of the hive, and relative productivity. If things are not right she is culled! Only then after a long series of quality inspections will we sell that queen; that queen is now classified as a Tier-2 Queen. This queen is at least 56 days old from egg to "pull"; that's twice as old, 28 days older than a 28 day old commercial queen. This defined Tier-2 queen is now in her prime.

 

 

Our Queen Marking scheme for 2017 is as follows:

The need for our customers to assure that whether the queen found either six months or two years down the road is the same queen that they installed is imperative! That is very important, with the increase of Africanized honey bees in America; it is important to know that your queen has not been superseded; or, that the colony has not swarmed while you were on vacation and a new queen carrying unknown genetics in her spermatheca is now laying in your hive. You are assured of the year, the Tier level, and exactly what you are buying. Marking is a harmless,  efficient, and an effective method of identification of your queen and it will tell you her age as well and with our marked queens it can tell you a whole lot more.

Front Left Thorax:      YEAR               2017 is marked: Yellow

Front Right Thorax:    VSHF-1Carolina Survivor  is marked  BLUE

OR

Front Right Thorax:          Carolina Survivor  is marked  Green                           

 

Rear of Thorax:                  Tier- Level

                                            Tier-1 is marked: White

 

                                            Tier-2 is marked: Yellow

 

A 2017 Fall Nuc overwintered and For Sale in April 2018, will be marked: Blue ( A Tier-3 Queen)

 

Note:  All queens ship with their uniquely  Numbered Yellow ID TAG for her mating nuc and her wooden shipping cage is also numbered accordingly. We use this same Yellow ID TAG for all our hives and splits.

Spring/Summer and Fall 2017 Survivor Queen Information and Prices:

Your choice of either 42 Tier-1 or 56 day old Tier-2 proven and tested queens having disease and Varroa mite resistance derived from either the grafted larva of (1) the daughter of one of Dr. John Harbo's pure VSH Breeder Queens open-mated with our feral Carolina Survivor drones or (2) our own proven and selected Varroa and disease resistant Carolina Survivor Breeder Queen's daughter grafted as a day old larvae and grafted into queen cups and transferred into mating nucs  located on our 650+ acre isolated research farm with over 18+ years of feral drones from feral hives and our current VSH and  Carolina Survivor Drone Mothers that are our own selected and proven Breeder Queens, Carolina Survivor Breeder Queens, developed from over 19 years of enhanced and natural selection.

From proven breeder queens these two different type queens are open mated on an isolated campus with Feral Survivor Drones having VSH/SMR, Minnesota Hygienic, Russian, Italian, Carniolan, and German Black genetics from over 18 years of natural selection from mating yards with Drone Mothers, and Breeder Queen hives having been placed on isolated 650 plus acre sites supporting commercial mating yards. During this period of over 18 years many of these hives have swarmed and settled within the confines and borders of these very large estates and later re-swarmed thus allowing for a period of over 18 years to accumulate by natural selection the above traits that help enhance the desired genetic survival traits among the feral population becoming a "melting pot" over time very much like the Russian Honey bee in the Primorski Region of Russia. In addition to natural resistance to Varroa and most honey bee disease as well as hygienic behavior our Carolina Survivor Queens are bred for honey production, solid brood patterns, quick spring build-up, disease, mite, and small hive beetle resistance, gentleness and of course winter survivability. This year, 2017, all of our selected for grafting Breeder Queens are starting on their third year, that by itself demonstrates survivability.

A Tier-1 = (42 days from Grafting) 

A Tier-2 = (56 days from grafting)

 

ALL queens undergo the same series of inspections defining a Tier-1 queen. All Tier-2 queens continue additional inspections for an additional two weeks.  During this time your queen's first hatched brood will be inspected as well usually a day or two before she is pulled and shipped. Hatched brood having workers with Deformed Wing Syndrome disqualifies the mother and she is dispatched. Our inspected and selected Tier-2 Breeder Queens undergo further testing than Tier-1 Queens.

 

 

 2017 Queen Order Sheet  (Revision A)

 Instructions: Cut & Paste to your Word Processor then Print out.  Fill in the blanks for your manual order form and include your name and shipping address.

 

 

 Cut Out - Fill in - Order Sheet

Name:__________________________________

Address: _______________________________

City:____________________________________

State: _____ Zip Code ___________________

Cell Phone:_____________________________

Queen Prices

Until

July 31st

 

Order QTY

Each

Spring & Summer

Queens

Price Total

 per Line

Fall Queens

Aug. 1st

until

Sept. 12th.

Order

QTY

Each

Fall Queens

 Price Total

Summer&/or Fall Queens

Price Total

VSHF-1 Carolina Survivor Queen, Tier-1

$ 50.00

 ___

$ _______

$  45.00

 ___

$ _______

$______________

VSHF-1 Carolina Survivor Queen, Tier-2

$ 70.00

 ___

$ _______

$ 65.00

 ___

$ _______

$______________

Carolina Survivor Queen, Tier-1

$ 40.00

 ___

$ _______

$ 35.00

 ___

$ _______

$______________

Carolina Survivor Queen, Tier-2

$ 55.00

 ___

$ _______

$ 50.00

 ___

$ _______

$______________

Deposit (10% of Order Enclosed)

Total for S&H, Battery Box, Clipping, etc. Charges:

Total for all queens: Spring Summer & Fall; Note for either Shipments or Pick-ups

 

 

 

 

 

 

$______________ 

 

$______________

 

 $______________

Grand Total:

Balance Due:  2 weeks prior to shipment or your Scheduled Pickup Date:

 

 

 

 

 

 

$___________

 

$___________

 

 

All our queens are available only after they are fully established and passed all individual testing criteria for Tier-1 and when applicable Tier-2 performance as well. Inspections include visual inspections of each queen and her brood and a pre-ship inspection with magnification. Weather depending the scheduled date for our First Grafting of both our Carolina Survivor Queens and our VSH daughter queens was Saturday, February 25, 2017 and the first shipments of Tier-1 queens are expected to ship six weeks later on April 5th provided we have good queen flying weather and sexually mature drones to coincide with mating conditions during late March and early April. Part of the poof of the pudding of measuring queen quality is observation of brood patterns at 6 weeks from the day that the egg was laid and assessment of her vigor by the amount of brood and the pattern she has laid in the last two weeks prior to shipping. We graft on day 3.5.

 

Our first shipment of Tier-2 queens is scheduled for two weeks later on May 9th. We plan to ship on Tuesdays and Wednesdays every week thereafter until some time in early to mid September.

 

These Survivor Queens are your replacement queens and queens for splits that are very good honey producers having disease resistance, mite resistance, all with inherent gentleness that will survive winters all over the US from Oregon to Minnesota and Wisconsin to Vermont and Maine and from Wyoming to Florida to North and South Carolina each marked and numbered queen is tested and inspected and she will be culled if she does not meet our criteria for a Tier-1 Queen. We do not sell Seconds! And, for an additional two weeks with more inspections and testing including her hatched daughters undergo additional testing and analysis in order to qualify for a Tier 2 Queen. Each queen will be shipped with her 5-Frame Nuc ID Tag and a copy of her check-off list will be sent in regular mail. In addition we will give you a coupon for a 20% DISCOUNT on your next year's first queen purchase if you will consent to begin keeping records for at least 18 months with reporting each month (April to October) by email and a copy of the completed 18 month form to be returned by mail at the end of the 18 month period. In doing so we will give you a coupon for up to 10 queens of your choice at a discount of 60% off the advertised retail price. We need good honest feedback from our customers.

 

All queens are marked. I do not ship unmarked queens unless specifically requested.

  1. Clipping on one side is available at  $ 7.50 per queen.
  2. Queens are currently shipped by default in 3-hole wooden cages or in Capped JZsBZs cages with 6 to 8 attendants unless a battery box with plastic JZsBZs cages is requested.
  3. You can upgrade to a battery box with only the queen in each JZsBZs cage with approximately 15 attendants per queen cage outside in the Battery Box with water and queen candy for an additional $ 15.00. (Max capacity is 16 queens in cages with ~100 -150 workers per battery box) .

    4.    I pull and ship the same day because I strongly feel that a laying queen should have minimal interruption of her routine. I do not bank laying queens as it is not a prudent   

          practice for many reasons; in fact, it can be quite harmful at times to the queens being banked.

These VSH Survivor Queens and Car