Breeding for Varroa hygienic behavior

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We carefully select breeder and drone stock each year from our northern apiary and raise our own queens to start each nucleus colony. The stock we draw upon for breeding queens never travels south during the winter season and derives from the highest quality Carniolan and Russian breeders.

Amongst many issues we focus on, Varroa hygienic behavior is paramount. A colony must prove an ability to detect reproducing mites under capped brood and clean them out effectively in order to qualify for breeder stock.

Our philosophy on breeding bees and beekeeping is to promote honeybee families that are regionally adapted i.e. cold climate acclimated.This is uncommon in our industry as queen bees born and bred in the south account for the majority of the stock available for beekeepers. We would like to see this trend reverse towards local beekeeping and regional self sufficiency.

Each year we purchase an assortment of queens from at least two other reputable, northern queen breeders. We position each queen on a level playing field with her counterparts and note which one performs the best over the course of two seasons. The queen that proves superior to her (at least 19) competitors is used to start a new breeding family. Doing this every year is steering us towards an apiary with a high level of genetic diversity. This is perhaps the most vital work we do as a commercial apiary and is hopefully something that will benefit the next generation of beekeepers.

Each season we have nucleus colonies and queens available for the beekeeping community to purchase.  



2020 PRICING

Five frame nucs: $170

Queens: $25

Overwintered nucs: $210

Pickup for overwintered nucs is typically in April.

Pickup for 2020 nucs and queens ranges from late May-June. PLEASE BE AWARE THAT NEW YORK STATE QUEENS AND NUCLEUS COLONIES ARE NOT READY IN APRIL AND MAY. ADEQUATE DRONE SOURCES ARE NOT AVAILABLE IN TRUE NORTHERN APIARIES UNTIL MAY.

Further information: michael@underthesunhoney.com


Beekeeping Equipment 


Beginning in 2019 we will be representing Mann Lake as a regional dealership. As commercial beekeepers we know first hand that Mann Lake towers above any other manufacturer in our industry not only in the quality of their products but also in their steadfast commitment to American beekeeping and improving the health of pollinators. We use Mann Lake products in our operation and are thrilled to provide them to the beekeeping community in WNY.

Mann Lake offers everything needed for beekeeping from wooden ware and frames to hive tools and nutritional supplements. They are the top choice of every commercial beekeeper we know.

Healthy Beekeeping | Healthy Bee Products

A PROGRESSIVE HONEY COMPANY WITH TRADITIONAL BEEKEEPING METHODS

Under the Sun Honey is a western New York beekeeping operation and hive products brand focused on the sustainable husbandry of locally adapted, genetically resilient honey bees and the conservation of diverse and crucial ecosystems.

We are New York State focused and our bees live throughout the year in the Allegheny Mountains.




Around 80% of honeybee colonies are used primarily for crop pollination, honey production isn't the priority. Commercial pollination, while necessary for agriculture as a whole, is deadly for the bees as they come into contact with pesticides that contaminate their honeycombs and the pollen that is fed to bees in developing stages.




Under the Sun Honey is free from antibiotics, High Fructose Corn Syrup, and any remnants of hard chemical treatments. Practicing local, in season beekeeping in wild locations allows me to keep my bees healthy with a natural diet of pollen and nectar with minimal interference. It continues to be my experience that bees thrive when they are not stressed by unnatural habitats and are given opportunity to harvest nature’s healthy pollen and nectar resources.




I’m convinced that the answers to the world’s honeybee problems, while complex and requiring a steadfast approach to learning, reside in the bees themselves. Breeding bees that demonstrate hygienic behavior i.e. the detection and removal of contaminants and parasites remains my focus and governs all the decisions made as an apiary.


There is much talk these days about ”saving the bees.”

Diligent work with honeybee genetics to reproduce bees equiped to deal with environmental stress factors and the conservation of wild habitat are the two primary ways to help pollinators.


Thanks for reading!


Mike (The beekeeper)


”For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14