Park Legacy Queens Northern California

How Ryan Burris uses Nectar to save time & money

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A conversation with
Ryan Burris
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Park Legacy Queens (PLQ) is a growing Queen operation in Northern California, selling queens and packages to beekeepers around the country.



Primary Revenue Sources

Queen sales, packages, pollination


Northern California

Number of hives


Key Use Cases

Remote hive oversight

De-risking rainfall insurance auditing

Real-time operation monitoring

Fleet management


Park Legacy Queens (PLQ) is a growing Queen operation in Northern California, selling queens and hive packages to beekeepers around the country. In 2022, PLQ deployed Nectar on all their hives, when owner Ryan Burris decided he needed a comprehensive managerial system that would root his decisions in data. With Nectar’s help, PLQ has gained greater visibility into their operation, allowing them to coordinate more efficiently with employees, save on fuel, and prepare for any future audit requirements.

I wholeheartedly recommend Nectar to every beekeeper that I talk to. I think this is the future of how to keep track of your stuff—the best way to keep track of your hives, and make sure that people did what they say that they did.

Ryan Burris

Owner at Park Legacy Queens & VP at California Beekeepers Association

A 360 view means more efficient operations

As the owner and operator of PLQ, Ryan Burris leads a team of 7 workers who help him run pollination services during almond season, queen breeding during the spring and early summer, while preparing packages to be sold to other beekeepers. In his role, Ryan is often challenged to keep up with the time-sensitivity of queen breeding, ensuring that hives are fed, treated, and maintained at the right time, and that the right supplies are available when they need to be. While his tasks shift throughout the year, he’s constantly searching for greater efficiencies—from better coordination with his team to cost savings on fuel.

When Burris met the Nectar team, he immediately saw the value of bringing his record keeping system online. “With Nectar, it's already in the system. I just have to pull it up. It's a great way to 
know how many hives you have in the yards, and where they're at.”

There are a few benefits that are most exciting for Burris.

The first is the ability to keep better track of mite treatments. “Unless you're killing mites,” Burris says, “your hives are dying.” So you need to be diligent about knowing exactly which hives you treated and when. Nectar helps his team ensure that they don’t double-touch his hives, or forget to work them at all, because there’s a clear record of exactly what’s been done.

Another benefit, he says, is tracing the performance of hives after winter. “You're going to be able to see, ‘Hey, my hives died but where did they come from? Where were they?,” he says. And this information gives beekeepers a better idea of why their hive died. “Every beekeeper should know why their hives died. If they don't, they will eventually fail.” For him, this means paying close attention to the history of each hive with Nectar, ensuring that his team is diligent about record keeping.

“Ultimately,” he says, “if you have more hives alive at the end of the year that will save you the most money.” Because not only will you have more hives for pollination, but the fewer hives you have to fix, the lower your costs. “You will be able to buy less nucs, do less splits, and buy less packages, all that will benefit the customer,” he says. And using Nectar has helped him to keep lower his mortality rate over time, ensuring that his team makes the same field choices that he would.

Real-time hive records means being prepared for an audit

While PLQ doesn’t lose enough hives to collect ELAP, it does collect rainfall insurance on an annual basis, which means that their operation may be audited at any point. And because PLQ breeds its own queens, and runs its own trucking operation, it doesn’t have purchase receipts to indicate its queen-loss rate. Burris didn’t want to be stuck attempting to prove a government claim on the basis of his haphazard notes, so instead he turned to Nectar, which makes hive tracking a simple, everyday part of operating the business.

“It's not going to come into play unless I have an audit,” he said, “but it's like having a bookkeeper instead of a closet full of receipts.” “I don’t want the government to give me money and then find out it wants my money back because I don’t have the data. At that point, we won’t be able to afford it. So with Nectar, I’m prepared. I don't have any of those problems.”

Better worker communications saves time and money

Like many beekeepers, Burris’ hives are separated across a wide span of yards, some hundreds of miles away from each other. “Making sure you know which supplies that you need and don't need can be a big deal,” he says, “because, you know how much it sucks when you drive for hours and realize you forgot something.”

Fuel, for Burris, is a major expense. With Nectar’s supplies lists and yard maps, he can optimize his routes and ensure that he and his team have everything they need so they don’t need to circle back.

Another thing Nectar is helpful for is communication. “All my guys speak Spanish,” Burris says, so, even though he speaks Spanish relatively well, transferring notes can be difficult. Nectar helps him communicate effectively with his team, ensuring that he can “keep track of my hives, track my numbers, know when we fed, know when we didn't feed, know which are just going to need more attention.” This helps him run his team more efficiently, and get more out of each working day.

Growing with Nectar

As PLQ moves into its second season with Nectar, he’s hoping that having more data will help him solve some of his bigger problems. “My vision is I can run my entire operations from my computer,” he says, allowing him to expand his operations.

As the economy gets worse, he says, bigger beekeepers are going to suck up little ones, which will result in bigger teams running higher hive counts. “They're going to be sitting at home when their crews are going to be doing the work, because that's the only way you can do it.” To do that job, he says, you’ll need exact data on hive operations, and a list of daily duties that pop up on each person’s phone. “I just don't think the future is sticking with Excel spreadsheets,” Burris says.

This year, in particular, he’s interested in using Nectar for research on the relative success of different breeds of queen. “We're looking into more sophisticated breeding types and searching to raise bees that are more resistant to mites,” he says. His plan is to work with Nectar’s research team to develop a plan for this system.


If I can say anything: you guys are so available. You respond to my phone calls all the time. I do not have to wait long to get a response for anything. So your customer service is top notch. I love the customer service. Everyone's personable, and easy to get along with. No one's degrading, everyone speaks English. Everyone's listened to my ideas.

Owner at Park Legacy Queens & VP at California Beekeepers Association

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