2.2.1. Criteria for establishment of mating stations

  • Absence or minimal presence of managed and unmanaged honey bee colonies and airborne drones in a radius of at least 6 km.
  • Favourable pollen and nectar resources
  • Weather conditions with long periods of more than 20° C ambient temperature, and wind speed not more than 24 km/h.
  • Undulating landscape and sheltered areas for positioning of mating boxes. Obvious markers, such as stones, trees, bushes or specially installed objects help to minimize queen drifting and losses.
  • Sufficient drone colonies to ensure a strong drone population for mating. According to Tiesler and Englert (1989), a minimum of 8 to 10 strong drone colonies, or 1 drone colony per 25 queens, are needed.
  • Minimal presence of honey bee predator species.