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We started raising Caucasian queens in 1998. Until 2008, before the war between Georgia and Russia, we could import breeding queens without major difficulties. However, after the war, export facilities in Georgia became very fragile.
Since 2014, we decided to go to Georgia to personally select our breeding queens. As a matter of fact, every two years Martin Braunstein has visited the Caucasus region in western Georgia.
In fact, Martin traveled in 2014, 2016 and 2018 to the Imereti region in Western Georgia, where our suppliers Avto Iobashvili and Kakha Endeladze are our strategic partners. In this regard, they provide the best Caucasian queens to improve our breeding program.
Currently, MALKA QUEENS is the only queen breeding enterprise in the southern hemisphere capable of providing queens true Caucasit queens (Caucasian X Ligustica). The majority of traditional beekeeping books have mistakenly classified the Caucasian bee as a race adapted to cold winters and high altitude climates. However, quite the opposite is true. Indeed, its homeland the Caucasian country of Georgia (between the Black and Caspian seas) has a subtropical climate. Thus we conclude that Caucasian bees are a strain which evolved into a subtropical environment.
We graft from pure Caucasian queens, later on the pure Caucasian virgin queens get mated with pure Italian drones. This explains the IT (last two letters) of our denomination CaucasIT. The offspring of these queens display an amazing and true hybrid vigour. Eventually when naturally superseded and unlike other hybrids, the upcoming generations (F2, F3 and so on) do not show neither any exaggerated swarming tendency nor a stingy mood.
Although our CAUCASIT are not as prolific as our Italian queens, their longevity, hardiness and gathering ability under extreme conditions, compensate any noticeable difference. These hybrids excel in areas of continued hot and humid weather where honeyflows are short and/or unpredictable.
Why purchasing standard and mediocre Queen Bees when you can profit from the best genetic strains (both Pure and Hybrids) uniquely suited to your specific environmental conditions?
These are multihybrid bees which are the result of the pioneer breeding work of the Benedictine monk Brother Adam Kehrle (1898-1996) who travelled all over the Mediterranean countries to gather different races of bees present in France, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Northern Africa. His aim was to put them together into a "perfect bee" adapted to the cold and wet conditions prevalent in southern England.
The colour variation among this strain is remarkable. It is usual to see either light colored queens, stripped (tigger) queens or completely dark queens. No doubt this is the result of the wide genetic pool used to keep the variability of the Buckfast strain. Nevertheless, their wintering ability and spring build up is uniform regardless of their colour variation.
Those beekeepers willing to learn more about Brother Adam research, should read any of the following books which he wrote: "Breeding the Honeybee", "In search of the best strains of bees" and "Beekeeping at Buckfast Abbey".
ITALIAN QUEENS (Ligustica)
Back in year 1990 we developed our initial genetic pool when we imported pure queens from the main queen breeders in Italy (Piana, Vangelisti, Bartoletti and Lodesani). After 1992 we added Italian queens bred in the USA. Thus we achieved a strain which we now denominate Italo-American which combines the best features of both European and North American breeding efforts.
The worker offspring of these queens do quite well under temperate climates. These queens are very prolific and brood up very fast in late winter and early spring. Our Italian strain is very gentle, it displays a good hygienic behaviour and if properly fed after the honey harvest, its wintering ability is very acceptable.
BEE HEALTH STRATEGIC PLAN
Another advantage. At MALKA QUEENS we constantly invest in research and development. During year 2008, we were the first queen breeding company worldwide to investigate and to identify the various Nosema haplotypes. You can find our research paper published at the «Journal of Invertebrate Pathology» >> Nosema
And during year 2010, we concluded a survey on Varroa destructor populations. We identified both different haplotypes as well as their susceptibility to different active ingredients. If you are interested, please request these research from us.
ARGENTINA: First country all over the world to declare a Territory Free of of both Aethina tumida and the Tropilaelaps mite at the O.I.E. -World Animal Health Organization - General Meeting 2005.
QUEEN BEE EXPORTATION
We export our MALKA QUEENS by airfreight mostly through Lufthansa Airlines. We also use the service of a freight forwarder specialized in the handling of live animals. Our main markets are the European Union, Northern Africa and Middle Eastern countries.
Our location in central ARGENTINA (Southern Hemisphere) allows us to provide very early queens to meet the demand of beekeepers in the Northern Hemisphere who need them during the months of January, February, March and April.
Our shipping containers fulfill all of the requirements set by IATA Regulation Nº 61 and with FAO Phitosanitary Regulation Nº 15 as well as veterinary regulations of the importing countries.
According to the foreign country of destination, the minimum quantity of exported queens varies from 100 to 300 units. Fixed costs involved in an exportation of queen bees are high enough to prevent us from shipping less queens.
Our queen are available from November 1st. until April 20th the following year. In other words, we have queens available during the months of November, December, January, February, March and part of April.
SENASA (http://www.senasa.gob.ar) is the Argentine animal health regulatory agency. As such, SENASA officially certifies our exportations according to the standards set by the O.I.E. (World Animal Health Organization) in the «Terrestrial Animal Health Code»
ARGENTINA is a country officially free of both the Small Hive Beetle (Aethina tumida) and of the Tropilaelaps mite.
ARGENTINA fully complies with current EUROPEAN UNION veterinary regulations (Decision 2005/60/CE, Decision 2003/881/CE, Decision 79/542/CE and Regulation 282/2004/CE).
QUEEN INTRODUCTION TIPS
One of the most important aspects to ensure queen introduction success and the subsequent acceptance of a mated queen, is to avoid the side effects caused by the use of acaricides to treat varroa, simultaneously or very close to the date of queen introduction.
We have noticed that most acaricide active ingredients such as thymol, formic acid, oxalic acid, amitraz, etc. are highly negative for a queen bee that has just started to lay. Her pheromones are masked by the strong odour of these chemicals and this situation makes possible her early supersedure.
Our suggestion is that any varroa treatment should be completed at least 10 days before the introduction of the queens. However, if you plan to control mites after the introduction of queens, we suggest that you wait at least 21 days after the start of spawning. In this way, you will not compromise the performance of your new queen.
Our goals are to meet the requirements of professional and commercial beekeepers by supplying them with quality selected mated queens, and also to enhance and promote the beekeepers´ contribution to community welfare and to the preservation of nature and biodiversity.
In order to be the most representative queen rearing organization and market leader, we make an in depth analysis of the needs, wishes and preferences of our clients; as a result we have a dynamic structure able to provide goods and services without delay, with excellent technological standards and ready to meet the expectations of beekeepers at the right place, at the right time, with the required quantity.
To be the main and most reliable queen-bee exporter in the southern hemisphere.
Sonia Elena Verettoni