After completing two courses at the University of California, Davis Mary devoted a full year to mastering instrumental insemination – while still managing 100 plus hives and 15 out yards. We decided to sell our instrumental insemination equipment after we discovered the effort required to master instrumental insemination was taking time away from our normal beekeeping duties and our cloake board queen rearing operation.
Since we flood the areas surrounding our two breeding yards with desirable drone stock, we concluded that naturally mated queens are perfectly acceptable, and also much more efficient to produce for our queen rearing operation. We have not used chemicals for the last 10 years and during the last 5 years we have incorporated hygienic testing as part of our methodology. Our naturally mated queens have shown good hygienic traits and this is important for our queen rearing goals.
If we lived in an area where Africanized bees were present, it would be essential to control our queens mating habits. Or if we were involved in a breeding research project, the instrumental insemination skill would be an important tool. However, our goals are to produce naturally resistant queens for beekeepers and for our own use, and to produce the best honey for our customers. We are proud of the queens we produce, and have been getting good reports from our queen customers.