2020 Queen & Nuc Sales

Dear Customers,


Orders opened as usual at 12:01am on Jan. 1st, but there was a massive crowd of customers waiting to place orders as soon as things opened up and unfortunately all mated and virgin queens sold out within minutes.  The mated queens were gone in just 15 minutes and the virgins a few minutes after.  Now (7:00pm) even the Artificially Inseminated Breeder Queens and NUCs are all sold out.  We were not expecting this sort of demand and understand there was a lot of customers who didn't get to put an order in.  So in the spring we will try our very best to make all the extra mated queens possible and offer them up as they become available.  You can subscribe to our newsletter at the bottom of this page with your email address and we will send out emails to notify you when extra mated queens are being added to the store.


Thanks for your business & Happy New Year!

- Jason Bragg

Welcome!

About Us...

Located in the mountains of West Virginia, New River Honey Bees is a small Honey Bee breeding and production company. Our goal is to breed a more mite and disease resistant Honey Bee that is extremely hardy and able to easily survive our harsh northern winters, while at the same time still being big honey producers and calm, friendly bees to work with.

Selective Breeding...

We run a state of the art breeding facility, taking advantage of some of the newest, most cutting-edge science and technology available to the Honey Bee industry. Using very detailed and timely evaluations and an extensive record keeping system we can utilize Artificial Insemination to selectively breed our "breeder" queen bees for the most desirable traits that we like for our stock to exhibit. This type of selective breeding allows use to speed up natural selection, or "survival of the fittest", sometimes giving us the opportunity to jump five or six generations ahead in a single summer.

Cryopreservation...

We are one of the very few facilities in the United States that have been trained on and run our own Honey Bee drone semen Cryopreservation lab. Cryopreservation of honey bee drone semen is so new that it was only in 2012 that this technology became available. Currently we know of less than five honey bee drone semen cryopreservation labs running in the US. This technology allows us to preserve drone semen indefinitely and pull it out to breed back to our best stock at any future time that we might deem necessary. This gives us a HUGE advantage for selectively breeding for traits of a colony long since gone.

About our Stock

Our VSH Breeder Stock comes directly from VP Queen Bees (Adam Finkelstein’s II VP Breeder Queens). Adam is one of the few breeders in the US holding an agreement with the USDA to keep the purest, most tested, and updated strain of VSH stock. We get new VSH Breeder Queens from Adam every year, when available.

 
 

Our Purdue University "Ankle-Biter" stock comes directly from Purdue University. We travel to Purdue once a year to help with drone collection and Artificial Insemination of new breeder queens for that year. We get new Breeder Queens from Purdue every year.

 
 

We initially purchased two different breeder queen lines of the Martha Carpenter Mite Mauler stock in 2018, which we are maintaining through Artificial Insemination and using the same selection methods that Bill and Martha have used for 30 years in developing this stock. As Bill gets older, new lines of this stock is getting harder to obtain, so we've began to cross these with other lines that we have that exhibit the same strong mite biting and grooming traits. Still trying to stay true to all the original traits that they have been bred for all these years.

 
 

We have imported new Buckfast Queen Bees of Canadian / Denmark lineage every year for the past several years, but now as of 2019 the US / Canadian borders have been closed to the import of honey bees. Fortunately, we have adequate lines of this stock to maintain our Buckfast bees for many years to come! We are also working to obtain direct import of Buckfast drone semen from pure breeder stock in Europe. This stock has a lot of very good traits for disease resistance, overwintering, calm nature and honey production.

 
 

Our Republic of Georgia Caucasian stock has been built with help directly from Washington State University through drone semen and queens raised from their pure stock here in the US, by way of drone semen they collected from colonies of the top Caucasian breeders in the Republic of Georgia, one of the native countries of the Caucasian Honey Bee. 

 
 

Our Slovenian Carnica stock comes from Sue Cobey and WSU's work traveling out of the country and bringing back semen from colonies of the top pure Carnica breeders in Slovenia, the native country of the Carniolan Honey Bee. We try to add new breeder stock from these lines to our operation every year, when available.

 
 

These are just a few of the breeding projects that we are currently running. We have lots of other exciting stock that we are working with that bring a very impressive set of traits to the table for use in selective breeding.


We are often asked why we run so many different lines and races of honey bees. We do this for a couple different reasons. First, for the genetic diversity and all its benefits. Secondly, for the massive toolkit of traits that it gives us to choose from and use in our selective breeding projects. Very much the same way that Brother Adam traveled all over the country to obtain the different traits that he blended to produce the Buckfast Honey Bee stock that we all love so well today...

What we can offer you!

Usually beginning in May and lasting through August we offer up a limited number of Artificially Inseminated Breeder Queens, Open Mated Production Queens, and 5 Frame Deep NUCs for purchase to our customers. Pre-orders for some of these queens will open on Jan. 1st every year, at midnight, and others will be offered up when available throughout the spring and summer. We do not keep reservation lists except for the hand-full of queens that are sold here on the website by pre-order on Jan. 1st every year. For bookkeeping purposes ALL sales, even those done during the spring and summer, are conducted here through our website. We do not accept orders in any other way. Only through this website. You can get advanced notification of when we add new stock to our Web Store by subscribing below with your email address. We always send an email to our subscribers as soon as we post new stock for sale in our web store. 

2020 Pricing

When orders open on Jan. 1st and continuing throughout each season until August 1st we will add quantities, when available, to the Products listed near the top of this page and on our web store.  You can only order from the products listed here on our website.  We do not keep lists or take orders any other way...


  • Open Mated Production Queens = Starting at $45 ea. (plus shipping)
  • Virgin Unmated Queens = Starting at $25 ea. (plus shipping - minimum order of 3)
  • 5-Frame Deep Nuc w/ Open Mated Production Queen = $200 (local pickup only)
  • Artificially Inseminated Breeder Queens start at $300 ea. and go up from there depending on the line and cross. (plus shipping).  Our Artificially Inseminated Breeder Queens do come with a 15 day laying guarantee.  If they don't start laying for you within 15 days of receiving them then they can be returned (dead or alive) for a refund or replacement.
  • 5-Frame Deep Nuc w/ Artificially Inseminated Breeder Queen installed and laying, starts at $600 ea. and go up from there depending on the line and cross.  (local pickup only)
  • We do not sell package bees

Subscribe Here...

Sign up hear with your email address to receive customer communications about the current status of queen production, shipping dates, nucs, classes being offered, etc... This is VERY important in getting advanced notice of when we post new stock for sale!