Our Queens

We are shipping queens via Priority Mail and UPS. Please select the shipping option you want after adding the queen or queens to your shopping cart. We will not ship via UPS ground to zones that take more than 2 days for delivery. For example; if you live on the west coast please choose USPS Priority Mail, UPS Next Day or UPS 2nd Day Air shipping only. Thank You!

Italians or Carniolan
Clipped and/or marked queens add $8.00
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Package Bees

All packages will be shipped by Priority Mail.
Texas Italians
Customer responsibility ONLY. We can not ship package bees to Alaska or Hawaii.

About the Different Kinds of Honeybees

(Origin: Georgia)

Survivor Italians continue to be our most popular strain. This strain has been maintained by introducing queens from survivor colonies where mite damage has been extensive. The assumption is that these have characteristics to enable them to withstand damage caused by mites.

(Origin: Texas)

GENTLE - The Texas Italians bees are not inclined to sting. They are easy to handle because they remain quiet on the combs and do not run and boil out of the hive when it is opened.

QUICK BUILD-UP - The Queens are prolific and, under favorable conditions, build up very quickly. In some northern areas truckloads of two pound packages produce an average of 225 pounds of honey year after year.

LOW SWARMING TENDENCY - It is characteristic of the species that unmanaged bees must swarm to preserve the race. Although our bees build up very strong, they have been bred not to swarm if they are given plenty of room.

HIGH HONEY PRODUCTION - The Texas Italians will produce more honey than ordinary bees which means more money for the beekeeper at the end of the year. They are capable of producing enormous crops if the weather cooperates.

WINTERING - The Texas Italians keep a rather large open brood nest, but normally will store honey in the brood nest if they are crowded down during the fall honey flow. They winter best in two- or three-story colonies.

PROPOLIZING - Not bad - about medium

HOUSEKEEPING - These bees keep a very clean, neat, orderly hive with very little brace comb

ADAPTATION - The Texas Italians seem to be well adapted to all climatic conditions. In the northern latitudes they are used successfully by beekeepers who overwinter, by beekeepers who operate with package bees, and by beekeepers who go south to make up nucs.

COMPATIBILITY - These bees cross well with other breeds

COLOR - Variable. While breeding in good characteristics we did not give much weight to color. The general appearance of the colony is that of dark and hardy Italians.

(Origin: Texas)

At Buckfast Abbey in Devon, England, Brother Adam's primary aim was to breed a bee with high resistance to tracheal mites. When he had accomplished that, he began incorporating good traits he found in various races of bees during his extensive travels. He developed a bee which was gentle, had highly fecund queens, were high honey producers with a low swarming tendency, and were good wintering bees with a low consumption of stores. An excellent choice for the Northern States and the East Coast Region.

During a two year test of six stocks of bees at the University of Minnesota, the Buckfast ranked:

Nosema in Queens - none

Acceptance - BEST (100%)

Spring Buildup - BEST

Gentleness - very gentle (second just behind Midnites)

Swarming Tendency - very low (ranked second)

Propolizing - slight (All Buckfast colonies)

Longevity of Queens - TIED FOR BEST (87% after 16 months)

Wintering - TIED FOR BEST


HONEY PRODUCTION - BEST (during two years). For details see the February, March, and April 1982 issues of American Bee Journal.


The bee is the subspecies of the Western honey bee that has naturalized and adapted to the Carniola region of Slovenia, the Southern part of the Austrian Alps and North Balkan. These bees are known as Carniolans, or short Carnies, in English. At present this race (i.e., subspecies) is the second most popular among beekeepers (after the Italian honey bees). It is favored among beekeepers for several reasons, not the least being its ability to defend itself successfully against insect pests while at the same time being extremely gentle in its behavior toward beekeepers. These bees are particularly adept at adjusting worker population to nectar availability. It relies on these rapid adjustments of population levels to rapidly expand worker bee populations after nectar becomes available in the spring, and, again, to rapidly cut off brood production when nectar ceases to be available in quantity. It meets periods of high nectar with high worker populations and consequently stores large quantities of honey and pollen during those periods. They are resistant to some diseases and parasites that can debilitate hives of other subspecies.


Introducing Queens: Make sure your hive is queenless. Remove the cork from the candy end of the queen cage. Wedge the queen cage between two of the center frames with the screen on the cage exposed downward toward the bottom of the hive so that the bees can access the queen through the screen. You can also carve out a spot in one of the frames, if you have drawn comb, for the queen cage to fit into with the sugar side down and the screen facing inward between the frames. The bees must also have access to the hole in the candy end of the cage. Take care to ensure that the queen cage is securely embedded in wax. If the cage falls to the bottom of the hive the queen may not survive. The queen must be placed in the part of the hive where the bees are clustered. Close the hive and wait for 3 or 4 days before opening it. After that time open the hive. If she is not out of the cage, release her by taking the screen off.

Hives that have been queenless so long that all of the brood has hatched out do not accept queens very well. If possible, such a hive should be given one or two combs with open brood in them from another colony before introducing the new queen.

When you are re-queening, you may install the new queen immediately after killing the old one or you may wait as long as four or five days before installing the new queen.

Hiving Package Bees: Have your hive ready before the package bees arrive. Be sure the hive has been provided with honey or sugar syrup for feed. Take the cover off the package, remove the feed can, and remove the queen cage. This procedure is made easier by prying the can up with a hive tool, then gently banging the package down on the ground to dislodge the bees from the can and the queen cage. Look in the queen cage to make sure the queen is alive. If the queen is dead, telephone us immediately for a replacement. Remove 5 or 6 frames from the center of the hive. Turn the shipping cage bottom up, over the hive and shake the bees into the hive. Carefully start inserting the frames back into the hive.  Remove the cork from the candy end of the queen cage and hang the queen cage, candy end down, between two of the center frames in your hive. The bees must have access to the screen on the queen cage. Cover the hive and do not disturb it for at least 3 or 4 days. After that time the queen should be out of her cage and should have eggs laid in one or two combs. If you have started the hive on foundation only, the bees should be drawing out two or three sheets of the foundation. Starvation of the bees is the biggest hazard to successful establishment of the package of bees. Continue to feed them, taking care not to get robbing started, until you are sure the bees are producing enough honey to maintain themselves.

Call for any questions 800-233-4273 or 570-537-2381

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