The West Virginia Queen Producers Cooperative home of the "Mountain State Queen" 


The queen producers of the Heartland Honey Bee Breeders Cooperative, the ones who brought you the ankle-biter queens, have found a line of bees with an exciting NEW mite-fighting trait. Someone several decades ago noticed that a line of Redline Italians were chewing the wood inside their hives. We have tracked down that line and have found a breeder who has been selecting breeder queens from this line since 2005, which came from the hives with the lowest mite counts every year. He also looked to see how many chewed mite bodies he could find in the dropped mites. 
We call them MITE MAULERS because they don't chew the legs of mites like the ankle-biters do. They chew the BODIES! It takes incredibly strong mandibles to do this and these bees really have them. What a joy it is to see torn, shredded mites under the microscope. 
We have been evaluating them against the ankle biters and a control group of bees for two years now under a SARE Grant. And the are out-biting even the ankle biters. This year most of us saw between 85-100% chewed mites in our 24-hour drops from the Mite Mauler Italian Redline bees. And very low mite counts in the Mite Mauler hives. Next year we will be inseminating ankle biter virgins with semen from the drones of the lowest mite count Mite Mauler hives. 
Several of you noticed that some of the queens you bought from me this year had a yellow color. Now you know why: you actually got some of the Mite Mauler genetics from my queens being open mated.
This makes the 5th mite-fighting genetics I have gotten into my Mountain Queens. We started with Minnesota Hygienic queens to build the ankle biters. Then I introduced VSH bees from Drs. Harbo and Harris along with VP Queen VSH genetics. We added New Wold Carniolan genetics for grooming behavior. And Palmer and Canadian Buckfast for northern overwintering qualities. Now we have begun working Mite Mauler genes into the mix and have been very pleased with the results from our comparative mite drop counts this year. 
Hang on because hope is on the way!


Grooming behavior in bees was one of the mite-fighting qualities we were all excited to find years ago. It led to screened bottom boards where some 20% of the mites groomed off of a bee fell through the screen and onto the ground never to be seen again. That was a good thing. Along with SMR and VSH, it added something to the toolbox for natural mite fighting genetics from the bees themselves. That said, watch this video for what happens to the mites in that OTHER 80% of the time.
As you saw, the mite was groomed off the first bee. But then it just grabbed back onto that same bee again. When she groomed it off a second time, it jumped back on yet another worker bee which happened to walk over it. This wastes a lot of energy!

So the Heartland Honey Bee Breeders Cooperative partnered with Dr. Greg Hunt and Krispn Given at Purdue University to create a bee with genetic which included chewing the legs off of mites. Since varroa mites can't coagulate. a chewed mite is a dead mite. If you want to see the difference an ankle biter bee makes, watch this!
Here the ankle biter grabs the mite off the tool and immediately starts to chew on it. Eventually she flew off with the chewed mite and dropped it OUTSIDE the hive.

Here are the links to several articles describing the efforts to get this genetic trait into our best lines of bees. 

Here's a wonderful cartoon of Dr. Greg Hunt and Krispn Given

Last but not least, Tim Ives, an Indiana queen producer who has been a part of this project, took this awesome video of a bee taking on a small hive beetle.

                                          Ankle biter bee takes on Small hive beetle!


    Beautiful black queen bee!


                                                                                                                                                Italian queen


 West Virginia Beekeepers Assn




[revised March 28, 2009]


1.1 Principal Offices. The corporation shall maintain a principal office at the office of its statutory agent.

1.2 Corporate Seal. A corporate seal shall not be requisite to the validity of any instrument executed by or on behalf of the corporation.

1.3 Corporation Name. This corporation shall be known as the West Virginia Queen Producers Initiative [WV-QPI] (hereinafter referred to as "club").


2.1 Officers. The board of directors shall consist of a President, Vice-President/Treasurer and Secretary. The Club membership shall elect these board members who shall serve in their positions for a period of two years. No employee of the West Virginia Department of Agriculture may serve as an officer of the corporation, although they may be members or advisors.

2.2 Powers and Duties. It shall be the duty of the Board of Directors to control and manage the property and business of the Club. Generally, and without limitation, the Board shall have the power to operate the business of the Club in a prudent and careful manner in accordance with the purposes of the Club.

2.3 Annual Meetings. Annual meetings of the Club shall be held in at a time and place to be determined by the Board of Directors. The Club shall, at the annual meeting, elect officers to fill any vacancies and transact other business that may be  properly brought before the meeting. Minutes of annual meetings will be made available to the entire Club membership.

2.4 Regular Meetings. The Club will normally meet once a year. The Board may call other meetings which will be designed to encourage all Club members to attend and participate. Meetings will follow an agenda and procedure as specified by the Board. Minutes of regular meetings will be made available to the entire Club membership.

2.5 Quorum. Pursuant to the Agricultural Cooperative statutes, five members of the Club including at least two officers shall constitute a quorum, and the concurrence of a majority present at a properly called meeting shall be sufficient to conduct the business of the Club.

2.6 Affiliation. The WV-QPI may affiliate with and/or endorse other related organizations upon a majority vote of the Club.

2.7 Dues. Annual dues of $100 shall be payable each year during the month of January. Although members may join the organization at any time, only those members whose dues are paid by the last day of January shall be eligible for benefits during that fiscal year.

2.8 Finances. The Executive Board shall make every effort to maintain sufficient funds to allow the corporation to pay all required fees to remain in existence for an additional year so that additional funding can be sought if needed.





    Welcome! You are at the home page of the West Virginia Queen Producers Cooperative. Thank you for your interest in beekeeping and in our work.

    WVQP was begun in 2008 to address the need to improve the quality of queen bees for beekeepers operating in the climatic conditions found in Appalachia. Beekeeping is currently a challenging proposition and Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has received worldwide media attention. This has brought our dependence on the amazing honeybee into public view. The Mountain State of West Virginia has progressively worked to support beekeepers throughout the state.


    The mission of the WVQP is to provide training and equipment to West Virginia beekeepers and to create a queen-producing industry in West Virginia. The WVQP will teach members how to "raise their own queens" that will reflect the needs of West Virginia's climatic conditions and lead to increased hive survivability.


The current WVQP officers are:

Steve May - President

Dan O'Hanlon - Vice President

Gabe Blatt - Treasurer


Please feel free to contact the WVQP officers or the web manager if you have any questions at any time.

" When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world." John Muir (1838-1914) Naturalist and Conservationist
Here is a list of the WV Queen Producers with queens for sale this year:



The WV Queen Producer Members listed below are offering local queens for sale this year. PLEASE contact the individual queen producer of your choice DIRECTLY. The WV Queen Producers is a cooperative venture supporting the production of local WV Queens, but the queens produced & sold are the sole responsibility of the members selling the queens. THANK YOU FOR BUYING WV GROWN MOUNTAIN STATE QUEENS!!!!


****************************************************************CContact FRANK & ZELMA BOGGESS,

ZZnature LLC

Zelma Boggess
3334 Ripley Road

Ripley, West Virginia 25271

Phone 304-372-3106 


ZZnature offers hardy Mountain State honey bees and queens with VSH genetics and mite destruction genetics from our improved breeding stock.  We participate in programs with WV Queen Producers, USDA, and Heartland Queen Breeders to select for the desirable hygienic behavior of VSH, mite resistance and destruction, production, gentleness, and sustainability

 The purchase of instrumental insemination equipment and 2016 training at VP Queens in South Carolina and at Purdue University in Indiana will enable us to instrumentally inseminate a limited number of breeder queens and allow for sharing of genetic material with other breeders.

 Availability is based on production and weather conditions for WV queen mating but orders are generally ready in May and June.   

 To order phone 304-372-3106 beginning January 15, 2017. 

 Nucleus colonies headed by a marked production Queen $175

Marked Production Queens $65

 Local pick up only.  Installation of nucleus colonies in your equipment will be scheduled at our Ripley location during May and June. 


Contact Joe Kovaleski @ cell 740-632-7500   or

Order early to get on the list - Shipping to start approx June 1st

 Carniolan VSH  (open mated daughters raised from Adam Finkelstein's  II Breeder Queens)   $40 each

 "Ankle-biter" Queens  (open mated daughters raised from Purdue  II Breeder Queens)   $40 each
(Legs chewed on varroa mites groomed from fellow bees)

Open-mated daughter queens from Michael Palmer's queens. Excellent overwintering and spring buildup.,  $35 each

Shipping cost $10 Priority (2-3 day) USPS (up to 10 queens can be shipped in one box - note: insurance will add to this cost)

Shipping UPS ground or next day air or any other means upon request - call for pricing.  

Pickup is also available.



Contact  Dan O'Hanlon, New Wind Rising Farm

729 9th Ave. #86

Huntington, WV 25701

Purdue "Ankle-biter" Queens -- they chew the legs off of varroa mites which have been groomed from fellow bees. $40 plus UPS overnight shipping charges.

Mite Mauler Italian Redline Queens -- they chew the bodies of mites and kill them dead! Open mated queen daughters are $35 plus UPS Overnight shipping charges.

Mountain Queens: a cross between all the different types of bees I raise. They are open-mated so they also have SMR, VSH, Palmer, Canadian Buckfast and ankle-biter genetics in them. $35 plus UPS overnight shipping charges.

VSH Queens: I  have daughters from Dr. John Harbo's VSH Breeder Queens. I told Dr. Harbo I would be willing to ship these open-mated daughter queens. He thinks that 50% VSH is the correct amount for regular hives wanting mite control through VSH. I have also added VSH Breeder queens from Adam Finkelstein's VP Breeder queens. The cost per queen is $35 plus UPS overnight shipping charges.

I also raise open-mated daughters from Bill Ferguson's Canadian Buckfast queens. The price is $35 plus UPS overnight shipping charges.

Finally, I again have open-mated daughter queens from Michael Palmer's queens. Their overwintering skills and quick build-up in the Spring are legendary! The price is $35 plus UPS overnight shipping.

I don't know how much shipping will cost you. Perhaps you can find an estimator on the UPS website. I ship form 25701. For other shipping and payment information, please click here



In the Spring, I sell 4 frame nucs with Mountain Queen $175 BEE SURE to get on the list as early as possible because I'm usually completely booked by late January. THANK YOU!


 Contact   Gabe Blatt

 3554 Haney's Branch Rd.

Huntington, WV 25704


Carniolan/Canadian Buckfast cross

$35  local pickup only -- no shipping

Nucs $175 local pickup only -- no shipping


Contact  Charles Walter 304.616.9487



Queen Type: We offer open-mated Russian Queens, bred in the West Virginia Eastern Panhandle, in beautiful Shepherdstown. If you want to decrease your dependence on miticides, and continue to produce honey, then why not give Russian bees a try. To order or for more information, please contact us or visit us on the web:
Cost: Our 2017 prices are $40.00 per queen + $6.00 USPS priority mail shipping. If your order is in batches over 25 queens, please call or email us for logistics.

5 frame nucs are $175 -- pickup only




Contact Steve May 68 Honey Farm Road
St. Albans, WV 25177
(304) 727-7659


Queen Type: mostly Italian


Cost: $35, SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY local pickup only



In June, 2016, Zelma Boggess, David Tackett, Joe Kovaleski, Bernie Svidergol and Steve May went to VP Queen Bees to learn Instrumental Insemination of Queens. The Instructor was Kelly Rausch and the host was Adam Finkelstein. Both are long-time friends of the WV Queen Producers. Below are some pictures from the event:

Zelma, David, Bernie, Steve, Kelly, Adam and Joe
Zelma, David, Bernie, Steve, Kelly, Adam and Joe

    Steve May learns queen insemination

Zelma Boggess and Kelly Rausch discuss queen insemination

Dr. Larry Connor teaches the WV Queen Producers -- April, 2010
                                                                                            Steve May grafts to produce                                                                          queen cells