I talked to my bee supplier today Ray Olivarez. He was talking Saskatraz queens.
He says he has Saskatraz queens in about half of his operation of 16,000 colonies. He has been really pleased with how the queens have worked.
Saskatraz queens when they were being developed, part of the criteria was being sustainable. Sustainable meaning they are better dealing with mites, honey production and winter survival. What Ray has found that his bees have been much healthier. Being that the bees are in the Almond groves of California, fungicides are widely used to protect the blossoms of the Almond tree. Honeybees have been getting injured by the fungicides. Ray has noticed that the Saskatraz have been able to handle the fungicides much better. Ray also feels, in his opinion, that the Saskatraz queens seem to be better dealing with Deformed wing virus.
Olivarez Honey Bees is the exclusive producer of Saskatraz Queens in the U.S.
Ray gets breeder queens from The Sakatraz producer in Saskatchewan, Canada. So the only companies selling true Saskatraz queens are Olivarez Honey Bees and his trusted sources https://www.ohbees.com/collections/hobbyists-sideliners
Ray says the orders for Saskatraz queens have been through the roof, over 70% of his orders for packages and queens are for Saskatraz.
Some queen producers are trying to raise Saskatraz off production queens. The resulting quality do not have all the vigor and vitality of a true Saskatraz Breeder Queen from Saskatchewan. Any beekeeper purchasing these queens, are not getting true Saskatraz queens and are getting a queen that does not have the attributes of the real deal.
Nature's Nectar LLC is pleased to be the only seller of true Saskatraz queens in the state of Minnesota. We have noticed the Saskatraz are outselling Carniolans and Italians. This is the hottest selling queen around the country right now. We are getting more beekeepers who used to by their bees elsewhere buying from Nature's Nectar LLC, they see the value of purchasing Saskatraz queens. They realize, spending a little more, for a better queen, is worth it.