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

Varroa Mite Resistance

VSH trait is determined by Alcohol Wash Assay during spring brood build-up and fall peak mite infestation.

Grooming Behavior is determined by Alcohol Wash Assay during the winter broodless period

Nosema Tolerance

Demonstrate vigor with high exposure: UNTREATED.

Our selection process is verified by in-house microscopic testing and USDA Laboratory reports.

Hoarding Behavior

Excellent Honey producers

Heavy pollen collectors


No need for gloves

Swarming Behavior

Not prone to swarm

High Degree of Longevity & Solid Brood Patterns

OWA Queens Are Not For Everyone…

Each year we selectively breed a limited number of high-quality regionally adapted honeybee queens for sale. Although customer testimonials give high performance marks to our stock from all over the continental US and Alaska, our queens are not for everyone. 

Our breeders are derived from feral lineages that have been self-sustaining in the temperate rainforests of Washington State’s isolated Olympic Peninsula since the first pioneers introduced them over 150 years ago.
While temperament is an aspect of our selection criteria, it is not our top priority.
Since we began our program in 1997, our goal is to achieve sustainable mite, disease, and pathogen-resistant stock. It is our theory that decades of selective breeding to satisfy the demand of commercial agri-beekeeping has reduced the available gene-pool’s ability to naturally defend themselves.
A century and a half of wild survival in our harsh climate, coupled with regular inclusion of the best SMR/VSH/Russians available, and our choice in 2008 to allow accelerated natural selection to the newer nosema ceranae fungus have produced vigorous hybrid genetics. Regardless of location, we believe serious beekeepers who are working toward improving survivability of their honeybee stock without the need to use chemical miticides or antibiotics will easily recognize the benefit of including our hardy survivors in their breeding program.