We recommend all beekeepers be selective in where they obtain their queens and bees. Doing so can help ensure you're not contributing to the spread of Africanized bees, and that you're supporting the development of genetics that are well-adapted to resisting diseases Varroa infestations. Buying from a supplier in your area will help ensure your bees are adapted to local conditions.
We recommend asking your prospective supplier the following questions before purchasing queens or bees.
Do you rear your own queens?
Yes: Where are your mating yards located?
No: Who is your queen supplier? In what state are your queens reared?
Do you overwinter bees in other areas of the country?
Yes: Where do you overwinter bees?
Are you a involved in migratory pollination?
What is your mite control strategy?
Answers will inform you about the bees' resulting resistance/lack of resistance to Varroa, as well as inform you of possible exposure to chemical treatments.
Do you treat for nosema?
Answers will inform you about the bees' resulting resistance/lack of resistance to Nosema, as well as inform you of possible exposure to chemical treatments.
Do you bank queens?
Answer has implications for the quality of the colony and/or queens.
Note: This list of questions is a work in progress. Please get in touch with your suggestions and feedback!