Entries by owa

2024 revised Queen Introduction Checklist

OWA Checklist for Requeening an Existing Colony OWA QUEENS HAVE DIFFERENT PHEREMONES, REQUIRING SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS BEFORE YOUR QUEENS ARRIVE: Choose a sunny location for your colonies, at least 50 yards from frequent human & livestock traffic. If available provide the new queen w drawn comb. Set up your supplemental feeding system prior to installing queens […]

OWA Breeding program successfully survives extreme DWV exposure

Because we have been breeding mite and disease tolerant stock for over 22 years, our threshold for unmedicated mite-tolerant genetics is very strict. Late summer is a time we are especially careful to evaluate every hive, with particular attention to potential breeder colonies. In the fall of 2017 we began to see the presence of […]

Ordering / Cancellation Policy

Ordering / Cancellation Policy Change in ordering policy … Because we have always enjoyed a good-faith relationship with our customers, we regret the need now to require a down payment from our customers to safeguard the welfare of our business. Historically beekeepers have always understood that ordering queens is a contract between two parties. But in recent years, we […]

2017 August Smoke in the Air affects OWA Queen availability

August 2017 – Since most in the rest of Washington State are living with hot dry weather this summer, it may be difficult to imagine the unprecedented conditions we are experiencing here in the microclimate of our apiary. Persistent smoke from wild fires just across the Straights of Juan de Fuca in British Columbia has […]

I think My Hive is Queenless

No eggs, no larvae does not necessarily mean you are queenless.  Here is a simple method to help you know for sure… Shake the bees off of a frame of uncapped brood (eggs and young larvae) from a queen-right colony, being careful not to transfer the queen from that hive. Mark that frame with a magic marker.  Remove a frame […]

A Word About our Drones

 OWA maintains isolated mating yards in a very remote area of the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. Our drone colonies are selected for hygienic behavior, disease, and mite resistance. They are fed high quality pollen supplements, and are provided with additional drone combs to insure abundant populations.

A Brief History

In 1997, when feral colonies were thought to be near extinction due to varroa mites, we began capturing wild honeybee swarms from very remote wilderness locations on the North Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. Reliable oral history of the area confirmed that these isolated bees had managed to survive for over 40 years without human intervention.  Believing they […]

Nosema Tolerance

Today’s microsporidian:  nosema is frequently misunderstood, even by experienced beekeepers. The confusion appears to stem from failure to recognize the difference between the 2 types of nosema, and the fact that they manifest themselves within the hive in entirely different ways.

Weather Permitting…

Unlike the favorable conditions found in southern latitudes, Pacific Northwest weather has its own set of unique queen-breeding restrictions: Cool, wet, coastal airflow causes unstable maritime conditions that persist well into late spring. The result is both good news and bad news… The Bad news is: the challenge of producing predictably well-mated queens early in the season prevents us […]


GRAFTED FROM STOCK THAT MEET THESE REQUIREMENTS:        Hygienic Behavior: Minimum of 95% removal of freeze-killed brood in 24 hours This trait will reduce or eliminate Chalkbrood; AFB; and varroa mite levels w/o the use of chemical treatments Varroa Mite Resistance as: VSH trait is determined by Alcohol Wash Assay during spring brood build-up and fall […]

VSH Definition

Varroa sensitive hygiene (VSH) is a behavioral trait of honey bees (Apis mellifera) in which bees detect and remove bee pupae that are infested by the parasitic mite Varroa destructor. V. destructor is considered to be the most dangerous pest problem for honey bees worldwide. VSH activity results in significant resistance to the mites. Development […]

Stock Selection Criteria

We graft from untreated colonies whose queens have been overwintered for a minimum of one season, and have passed our strict standards for these following traits:   Hygienic Behavior Minimum of 95% removal of freeze-killed brood in 24 hours This trait will reduce or eliminate Chalkbrood; AFB; and varroa mite levels w/o the use of chemical treatments […]

Russian Bee Linked To N. Ceranae Tolerance

http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/publications/publications.htm?seq_no_115=268796 Research Project: Breeding, Genetics, Stock Improvement and Management of Russian Honey Bees for Mite and Small Hive Beetle Control and Pollination Location: Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics, and Physiology Research Title: Patriline variation of Nosema ceranae levels in Russian and Italian honey bees Authors BOURGEOIS, LANIE RINDERER, THOMAS Sylvester, H HOLLOWAY, BETH Submitted to: Cold […]

Peninsula Daily News: 3 Generations Of Beekeepers

PENINSULA DAILY NEWS      July 7, 2010 Three generations of beekeepers Brandon Harvey, right, hands off a frame of bees and honey to his grandfather, Dan, while pulling honey off one hive on state Highway 112 on Saturday. Brandon’s father, Shane, is in the background. Dan Harvey estimated they pulled off about 120 pounds of honey […]

OWA Russian Honeybee History

History of OWA Russian Honeybees The Olympic Wilderness Apiary has been evaluating and including USDA Primorsky Russian honey bee genetics into our breeder selection program since they first became available in 2000.   We began by incorporating early releases from Bernard Apiaries, and have progressively included the best available stock from Charlie Harper; Glenn Apiaries; Bob […]

Next Up , The Survivors Part Two Of Two

NEXT UP, THE SURVIVORS Part two of two parts.  by M.E.A. McNeil (Excerpted from American Bee Journal ~ April 2009 pp 355 – 356) In 1997, Dan and Judy Harvey heard that most feral bees were wiped out by varroa mites, and they went looking for survivors. Their Olympic Wilderness Apiary10 is located in the […]

In Defense Of “Defensiveness”

Our hardy Feral Survivor Stock genetics are present in all the queen lines we offer. Although we do consider “gentleness” to be a desirable characteristic in our selection process, we admit that our higher priority is for disease and mite resistance. It is our philosophy that decades of selection for gentleness and honey production, and […]