Paynes now maintain over 1000 colonies, spread across Sussex, Kent and Hampshire, enjoying the wild fields of the South Downs as well as the rural gardens of the local villages and towns.
Paynes has become one of the biggest suppliers of Nucs and Queens in the UK. Supplying hundreds of 100s of Nucs and 1000s of Queens to beginner beekeepers and established beekeepers alike. Indeed, it was the demand of their nucs that brought about their original 6 frame poly nuc hive which is now used by thousands of beekeepers for nuc and swarm management.
Queens are very important for a bee colony and Paynes understands that quality is paramount. With their own in-house queen rearing operation, they are able to breed enough queens for their own use as well as offer a supply in the summer months to other beekeepers. Each year, the main honey colonies are continuously monitored by key factors. At the beginning of each season, the best performing colonies from the year before are selected as the breeder queens from which eggs can be grafted from.
These grafts, once they are sealed cells, are then transferred to our nucs where we wait for the queens to get mated and to start laying. Quality of laying and queen health are constantly being checked before their final destination. Some of these queens are sold on to beekeepers, others are used in any of our main honey hives that are queenless or have failing queens, while others are left to raise up in the nuc itself so that it can become a viable colony in itself to sell or for our own use.