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My Bees

I began beekeeping in Vermont with nucleus colonies and queens raised in Vermont and upstate New York. A few years later I began raising my own queens and building my own nucleus colonies. Today my bees are mostly descendants of VSH Carniolans and Russians from Vermont.

Rather than aim for a pure strain of bees, I reproduce queens based on traits and work to maximize genetic diversity with those same traits in my drone population. I populate my mating yard with colonies and graft from queens who have maintained these traits for multiple seasons. For example, in 2022 I grafted from 2020 queens who kept their colonies gentle, produced a good honey crop, and kept mite infestations down with either no treatments or one mite treatment per year. Obviously these queens also survived two winters and did not swarm.

I do not migrate any of my bees for pollination or send them south to avoid northwest Iowa winters. I am glad there are migratory beekeepers who pollinate the crops we all enjoy. My focus is on developing bees adapted to their local climate.


I follow Mike Palmer's "sustainable apiary" model on a small scale. This involves, among other things: 1) raising my own queens in the summer, 2) building nucleus colonies to overwinter for the following year, and 3) utilizing support hives to provide brood for cell builders, mating nucs, and nucleus colonies.

My main goal is to keep bees that are gentle, winter-hearty, productive, and require minimal mite treatments.

I usually develop more queens and nucleus colonies than I need so I have some to sell fellow beekeepers.

My Bees: About
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