This year we started offering untested, or not yet laying II'd VSH breeder queens. These are VSH daughter queens that are II'd to a blend of drones from our top colonies that tested very high on Harbo's VSH assay. All test colonies have thrived at least a full season, survived winter, and received no miticide or antibiotic assistance. The queens that are shipped next day air the day after the instrumental insemination procedure, and two CO2 treatments. I modeled this after John Harbo's untested breeder queens as a more cost effective alternative to my breeder nucs that are available pick up only. My intro recommendations differ from others a bit, which usually involve a push in cage. I developed this method after unexpectedly receiving a couple untested Harbo breeders and needed a quick and successful intro. I picked out a medium sized colony that was healthy, and took out ALL the brood frames, and the queen. This left a fair sized population of bees with plenty of stores, hopelessly queenless and broodless. (queenless shook or packaged bees work very well too) I cap or tape over the candy to prevent them releasing her pre-maturely. I like to let her sit four days. After four days, I manually release the queen and make sure everyone is being friendly towards her. If they are being aggressive towards her (biting legs, pulling wings, trying to sting), return her to her cage. You will need to make sure there are no queen cells on a patch of brood that was overlooked. If so, remove them, and repeat the process after letting her sit in a cage for a couple more days. After successful release I would leave them alone for a minimum of ten days to a little over two weeks, to start laying and get established. Feeding thin syrup is recommended. (2 parts water to 1 part sugar)
Our breeder queens will be available to ship UPS next day air very late April through mid June. We will also have limited availability in August if you would like to winter breeder queens for early spring use. This is definitely recommended if you are in a warmer climate that starts queen rearing very early.