Headquartered in the heart of Northern California, OHB manages colonies from Fort Bidwell to Orland, where the low humidity; temperate climate; and rich, natural food supply create optimal conditions for the annual production of our quality queens. The warm, gravelly soil of the Orland area promotes a great mating environment and enables the raising of queens over a six-month season from March to September.
Our primary queen breeding yard was designed and built to efficiently produce the highest quality of mated queens. Groupings of dozens of different pollen- and nectar-producing plants, variable topography, and irregular-shaped roads and perimeter help orient the bees as they gather food and return to nucs.
The yard is surrounded by clover-based cover crops and three varieties of mustard that bloom from March through June. This rich and natural food supply ensures a strong, queen-nurturing brood and a plentiful drone population. Layers of poplars, 10 different species of eucalyptus, and native willows protect the yard from wind. OHB also uses other, more traditional yards with an emphasis on good pollen and nectar sources.
These carefully designed and managed yards are instrumental in our ability to produce excellent quality queens and package bees to stock and replenish hives across North America.