Saskatraz hybrids are produced in Northern California (Orland area) exclusively by Olivarez Honey Bees using Saskatraz breeder queens constructed in Saskatchewan, Canada by Meadow Ridge Enterprises (Breeder and CEO, Albert J. Robertson). A detailed review of the Saskatraz project (established in 2005) including breeding methods, published research articles, powerpoint presentations and information on individual breeding families, including Saskatraz hybrids can be found at www.saskatraz.com.
Saskatraz breeder queens are selected for honey production, wintering ability, temperament, tracheal mite resistance, varroa tolerance/resistance and brood diseases. The Saskatraz breeding program uses recurrent natural selection to select for varroa tolerance in productive colonies with good economic traits.
Saskatraz hybrids are being produced in Northern California using virgin queens from diverse families of Saskatraz breeder queens and open mating them with unrelated drone populations in the Orland area. These queens produce colonies with genetically diverse workers. This diversity results in increased vigor and analyses of hybrid queens in Canada is showing fast spring build up and increases in honey production. Attention to fall stores for wintering and in the spring is necessary.
Use of Saskatraz hybrid stock in your apiaries should provide drone populations which will increase the frequency of alleles for honey production and varroa tolerance, as well as other economic traits. This is because drones from the hybrids carry the genetics of their mother, the breeder queen.
Saskatraz breeder queen traits:
- Excellent honey production
- Good wintering ability
- Selected for increased varroa tolerance and resistance to brood diseases
- Show increased hygienic behavior