Welcome to the Illinois Queen Initiative.

Locally adapted & productive bees raised in Illinois for Illinois beekeepers

Why is IQI important for Illinois beekeepers?

  • We need bees that are more resistant to varrroa mites and to diseases that are causing increasing colony losses.
  • Sunbelt queens and bees that are not well adapted to Illinois conditions are more likely to suffer major winter losses.
  • Queens ordered from distant states are often stressed during shipping, resulting in reduced rates of acceptance and survival.
  • In the past few years Illinois beekeepers have experienced problems with out of state package bees and queens.

Illinois queens and nucs have greater survival potential, because they are better adapted to our climate conditions and our biological conditions-including disease organisms.

They won’t bring in new diseases nor will they suffer long distance shipping stress.

The queens raised by Illinois Queen Initiative producers have greater survivability and adaptability to local conditions.

Photo courtesy of Phil Raines.