Postage delays are of particular concern because queens that spend too long at the wrong temperature can result in >50% of the semen stored in the queen’s spermatheca dying. As a result, the queen may have a reduced lifespan or her colony can have difficulty thriving.
As a result of this crisis some breeders are not operating this year. With less breeders operating it will make it more difficult for beekeepers to requeen their colonies particularly off the back of a difficult few seasons.
Many breeders are still operating, though some are only supplying to customers who can pickup to avoid posting queens. It’s worth noting that locally raised queens are typically advantageous to a hive due to adaptation to local conditions, pests and diseases, so beekeepers should consider sourcing queens from local breeders, if possible.
Of course, this might be easiest for beekeepers in Queensland and northern NSW, given the majority of queen production occurs in those regions.
For breeders and beekeepers that do need to use postage, best practice is to transport queen honey bees by post is only to post Express Post ideally on the Monday morning or Monday afternoon run in approved packaging, labelling and health certificates attached as required.