Neeltje Jans Queen rearing

Mating result Neeltje Jans and Texel 2021

In 2021 mating nuclei have been placed on Neeltje Jans during two periods. During these periods 5 drone-producing colonies with unrelated queens were present at Neeltje Jans.

The customary first period was cancelled due to cold weather, but during the second and third period conditions were favourable for mating of the young queens.

Colonies used for grafting are originating from Texel. Aim is to increase the population of dark bees from Texel on the mainland.

Thirteen beekeepers have placed a total of 117 mating nuclei on Neeltje Jans. Out of these, 80 queens were fertilised, a mating percentage of some 68%.

In addition, the DDB has grafted directly on Texel from two colonies, on the one hand on behalf of Texel beekeepers and also to broaden the biological basis of the DDB colonies.

30 larvae have been transported to Veenendaal, 20 of which have mated on Neeltje Jans. In the end, 8 of these are now overwintering.

During grafting on Texel, 2 beekeepers have introduced quality larvae into queenless colonies. During a second visit by the DDB they have constituted mating nuclei which were mated on Texel. Also, Henk Kok has made 8 mating nuclei with these Texel queens on behalf of the DDB. During a third visit 6 fertilised Texel queens were collected and transported to the mainland. Out of these, 7 queens died because of robbery of the young colonies. Only 1 queen is now overwintering.

.In the spring of 2022 wings of workers of all young colonies will be measured in order to establish whether progress has been made in the purification of the Texel black bee.

Neeltje Jans Queen rearing

Mating result Neeltje Jans 2020

In 2020 mating nuclei have been placed on Neeltje Jans during four periods. We have added a fourth period because of the growing demand for black, Varroa-resistant queens. In addition, there was an extra period for participants of the queen rearing course organised by Henk Kok. A total of 17 beekeepers, including course participants, have placed their nuclei on Neeltje Jans.

During all periods 8 drone-producing colonies were present at Neeltje Jans. These had unrelated queens, contrarily to the usual approach of other mating stations, where the drones stem from sister queens. The DDB has opted for this approach in order to minimise inbreeding.

Thanks to the favourable weather during the mating season the average fertilisation percentage was considerably higher than the multi-year average for Neeltje Jans.


Period # nuclei # fertilised % fertilisation
2 (including course)523771%
Neeltje Jans Queen rearing

Mating result Neeltje Jans 2018

A very good mating result of young queens of 85% fertilised during the first period at Neeltje Jans, undoubtedly as a consequence of the favourable weather conditions during that period!

The second period at Neeltje Jans showed 57% of fertilised young queens, much lower than during the first period, but in line with the multi-year average at this mating station.

Neeltje Jans Queen rearing

Mating result Neeltje Jans 2019

In 2019 there were three mating periods at the mating station Neeltje Jans. The third period has been added in response to the growing demand for black, Varroa-tolerant queens. A total of 13 beekeepers have placed their mating nucs at Neeltje Jans.

During the entire period of nine weeks there have been eight drone colonies at Neeltje Jans permanently. These had queens that were no sisters of each other. This differs from what is customary at other mating stations, where the drones are descendants of queens that are full sisters of each other. Purpose of DDB is to avoid inbreeding to a maximum.

The mating result is in accordance with the multi-year average of Neeltje Jans.


Period# Nucs# fertilisedPercentage
1 (weeks 22,23 and 24)653554%
2 (weeks 25, 26 and 27)613456%
3 (weeks 28, 29 and 30)474757%