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They Keep Bees: Beekeeping

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Raising Resilient & Adaptive Hives

Our relationship with bees is rooted in sustainable stewardship and quantifiable research.  We maintain diverse lines of bees in our apiary.  We monitor and select for hygenic behavior in our bees, an adaptation to Varroa mites. 

All of this helps build resilient bees who can thrive.

Genetic Diversity

We work with diverse bees from Carniolan and Pol-lines who demonstrate hygenic behavior.   

Our mother lines are queens selected for Varroa Sensitive Hygiene who live for 2 seasons or more in the bio-regions where we work and are both prolific and gentle. 

High quality queens can help move beekeeping forward, ensuring that the bees we work with are equipped with the characteristics that safeguard their ability to thrive.  


Varroa Resistance

Several traits can indicate Varroa resistance in bees, but we select our breeder queens from hives that have demonstrated "Varroa sensitive hygiene" or VSH.  


That means they have shown an ability to uncap Varroa infested brood cells and disrupt the breeding cycle of the mites.  This behavior can be tested for using a test called a Harbo assay.  It is also a heritable trait passed through the mother line, which means daughter queens can inherit this resistant trait from their mothers. 

Want to  invite us to speak or teach in your community?

We love to collaborate with other apiaries and farms, host events and courses, and share information. 

Drop us a line


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