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.


The ‘Samen Imkeren’ project

Together with Coby van Dooremalen of Wageningen University and Resarch (WUR), Marleen Boerjan explains in this YouTube film the set-up of the ‘Samen Imkeren’ (Keeping Bees Together) project of Bijen@wur, in which DDB participates.

Research goals of this project are:

  • Gathering knowledge about the practical use of various resistant populations of colonies as compared to control colonies, including the mite infestation level at which a colony can still survive.
  • Gathering experience in maintaining resistant and non-resistant colonies in one single apiary.
  • Exchanging knowledge between the participating organisations about beekeeping practices.
  • Showcasing to the beekeeping community beekeeping with Varroa-resistant colonies and eliminating chemical treatment against Varroa mites.

The first phase of the ‘Samen Imkeren’ project expired in April 2019.


2nd Phase project ‘Samen Imkeren’

‘Samen Imkeren’ means ‘Keeping Bees Together’.

The second phase of this cooperative project between various Dutch beekeepers’ organisations has now been approved. The project is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV). The project is coordinated by Bijen@wur. DDB was involved in the first phase of this project and aims to participate in the second phase as well.

During this new phase a variety of aspects will be researched in connection with colonies in which Varroa is not chemically treated. The colonies are supplied by various beekeepers’ organisations that have stopped treating against Varroa since a number of years already: BioDynamic Beekeepers, Vitale Bij, Bijen@wur and DDB.

The project aims at more robust and resilient honeybees, with the emphasis on resistance to Varroa. In this approach, not only the colonies are targeted, but also possibilities for practical application of results obtained.

See also:

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%