We select for mite and brood disease resistance traits from untreated colonies.
Our apiaries are located in Southeast Missouri along Crowley's ridge. They reside along rolling hills which includes row crop, pasture, stands of wild timber, and wildflower meadows. Our bees survive very humid and warm summers and occasionally sub zero temperatures during winter.
Our main focus is selecting and breeding for mite and disease resistant honeybees. To achieve this, we use no treatments on our colonies. This is the best method we've found to really test breeding candidates. In addition to mite and brood disease resistance, we select for aggressive foraging. Lighter colonies requiring feeding in the fall are not used for breeding candidates. Last year, we implemented Harbo's VSH assay (varroa sensitive hygiene) for all overwintered breeding candidates. Only colonies with very high VSH scores are used as breeding candidates. This ensures that we are steadily working our population to the highest achievable level of mite resistance. As a result of our choice to abstain from treatments, we can also offer raw honey guaranteed to be free from miticide and antibiotic contaminants.