Queen FAQ

Are these queens Laying?

Our open mated queens are mated and have begun laying before they are shipped.  Virgin queens however have not been mated and will make mating flights from your hives after introduction and will mate with drones in your area.jzbz.jpg


How are queens shipped?

Queens may be shipped via Priority Mail (2-3 days), Express Mail (1-2 days) and UPS Next Day Air (1 day), 2 Day or 3 Day. We typically ship on Mondays and Tuesdays (weather permitting) when shipping by USPS to avoid queens being caught over the weekend. We cage the queens the morning they are shipped so they will be in the best condition possible. Sometimes poor weather in the morning of shipping will force us to delay shipping until the next day. We will send an e-mail when they do ship. We may also have to delay shipping if the temperature is excessively hot to avoid overheated and dead queens in shipment.

Note, USPS does not guarantee delivery times.  USPS also will not refund the shipping on Express mail shipments of live bees that do not make it in the normal time.  USPS reserves the right to take up to 3 days when shipping live animals by Express mail and we have found them to take longer than normal in recent years.

We highly recommend shipping by UPS

How do I introduce queens?

We have an entire page dedicated to queen introduction!


What queen cages do you use?

We use the plastic JZ-BZ queen cages. They are lightweight, and we find it easier to place then between top bars for introduction because they are narrower than many wooden cages. They are also easier to open for those who use press in introduction cages.


Do you bank queens?

We avoid banking queens if at all possible. We rear queens in 3  to 5 frame nucs so they may be stored in the mating nuc for many weeks if necessary.


Can I pickup my queens?

You are welcome to stop by to pickup your queens. Please do call first to make sure we’ll be here. Click here for a map.


What is a battery box?

Queens are usually shipped in a queen cage along with 4-5 workers to tend and feed her during shipping. At the customer’s request however only the queen will be placed in the queen cage and the queen cages, along with some workers will be placed in a larger cage. This is referred to as a battery box. Often large shipments of queens will be sent in a battery box. This can make it easier if you intend to remove the attendants before introduction and we think the queen often arrive in better shape because more bees can attend to each queen. One such commercially available battery box for JZBZ queen cages is pictured below.  For larger order cardboard boxes designed for use with queens are used.