I started out keeping bees with Buckfasts,
but that was years ago. I still don't own
a bee suit, and the only gloves I own are
for snowball fights.
It is true that the Canadians have done
less "tinkering" with their Buckfast lines,
and therefore are "truer" to the Brother Adam
version of Buckfast. But I'm sure that each
and every producer of Buckfasts has a different
tale to tell, and a bee that is slightly
different from the others.
That's why I like NWCs - NWC producers are
producing a very consistent bee, and I can
expect similar, if not identical performance
regardless of the producer.
I guess we need revision numbers for bees,
just like software. I'm flying NWC version
8.6? Well, not today. It was too cold.
Every bee was grounded.
I will ask this fellow if he sells in the US next time I go there (soon), I think he does but I am not sure. He does produce good numbers of queens and they are becoming more in demand. Was a time you could call him and he'd have queens available, now they have to be ordered if you want any. When I know more and have his permission I will post his contact info.
Should have answered your question odfrank. Yes we get a list from the Provincial Apiarists office every year as to who raises queens and or nucs and which strain (if any) they are. I could look it up for you if you like.
I tried to get some Buckfast queens from Ontario last summer for my fall requeening and found out none of the Buckfast breeders in Ontario sell queens in late summer or fall. I've had bad luck with spring queens and packages so I ordered some Carniolans from Taber's instead. I'll let you know next summer how they turn out.
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food maintains a list of queen breeders on their website.
Go to: http://www.gov.on.ca/omafra/english/...eybeequeen.htm
If you had mean Buckies, they were not pure bred. Buckfast bees are renowned for their gentleness - one of the prime characteristics bred into them by Bro Adam.
(I work at Buckfast Abbey, BTW)
I agree. I had Buckfasts for 27 years and they were MORE gentle than the Italians and more productive and MUCH more adapted to the cold climate here than the Italians. But then some of them went vicious on me and I'm guessing they were crossed with AHB and were NOT purebred.
Can you contact me at :
I'm a (young) buckfast breeder and I have some question for you since you work at the abbey. You can see my work here:
I tried one Buckfast queens this past Spring and she took well but the hive is very hot. I can not walk within 10 feet of the hive without the guard bees coming on me. It is in the middle of my Carny yard. This is the only hive that I know will sting me when I work these hives. I have about 10 hives in this small yard and this is hte only one I have issues. It was also a low producer last year. Carny did well.
Where did you get your Buckfast queen from? It sounds like some poor breeding is going on somewhere.
I have used Buckfast Queens for several years. I find that winter the best here on Cape Cod, MA. I love them but they come with an attitude that can take the fun out of working bees. I buy my stock from R Weaver or B Weaver. I had a friend tell me once that there is a miracle going on in Navasota, TX. That being that AHB was all through TX., but not in Navasota. At any rate I still have 10 hives with Buckfast Queens
Does everyone who has had "hot" Buckfast queens gotten them from Weavers. If so, maybe their miracle isn't so miraculous afterall.
I believe that Weavers are the only Buckfast breeder in the USA registered with us - let me know if anyone else is claiming to supply them.
Has anyone else had problems with Buckies?
As far as I know only the Weavers have them. All of mine were from Weavers and then B Weaver after they split. From 1975 until 2002. The ones I got in 2001 went ballistic on me. I bought one more in 2002 that was rejected and that was the last I bought of them.
>Has anyone else had problems with Buckies?
I swore by them the first year for their good production. The second year I swore AT them for their bad teperment. My experiance led me to believe that they were Africanized or something close to it. I won't have them again.
I bought Buckfast queens from Weavers several times over the last 20 years. At no time did they conform completely to the Buckfast standard except one year about 1990 when they got just a few queens imported direct from Buckfast Abbey. That year, the bees were phenomenally productive and not a single one swarmed.
Since then, they have not kept up the selection pressure for the traits of non-swarming and gentleness to the best of my knowledge.
I started purchasing Buckfast queens from Davies Apiaries in Canada and got the traits that Buckfast are known for: Trachael mite tolerance, non-swarming, low propolis use, minimal brace comb, high production, gentle, etc.
I've raised my own replacement queens for the last several years with moderate success at maintaining the pure strain. If I feel they are drifting too much from expectations, I get new breeder queens from Canada. This year, I will be raising from a spectacular queen that exhibits almost no brace comb, produced a very good crop, is gentle and managable, and just finished her third productive season.
Re hot bees, it might help to review an article Steve Taber wrote a few years ago about stinging drones. Whats that you say? Drones don't sting? No but they do have a disproportionate influence on the stinging propensity of the workers they father. If a queen mates on average with 17 drones and just one of those drones carries the dominant traits for high stinging propensity, there will be enough "hot" bees in the hive to make them unmanagable.
Lots of people think the Africanized bee is a recent arrival to the U.S. but they were distributed throughout the U.S. back in the 1960's. They were rapidly diluted in the gene pool and had relatively little influence on the bees we have today. The historical records are there, just check with the Baton Rouge bee lab.
I've seen some really hot colonies over the years, if Africanized stock is any worse, I don't want it. One of them was so hot that I was stung over 100 times in less than a minute. A careful check of the bees revealed a smaller than normal size, 1 or 2 bands of yellowish orange on the abdomen, unusually agitated behavior on the comb and several other traits normally associated with Africanization. Yet this particular colony was in North Alabama in 1978.
I got my first and last Buckfast from Weavers last year. Never again...sticking with my Carny's.
Yes Buckbee I had about the same as Fusion The Buckfast I got in the early 90s were great very high honey production,low propolis,wintered well and very long lived ...amazingly long lived compared to whats around now.Productive into 3-4 years which was nice because it ment I wasn't requeening every year.I got some Yugo's and tried to improve the mite resistance and loss almost all my hives (40).Then I went back to Weaver Buckfasts again and it was never the same.And I also delt with a very aggressive hive which was a real eye opener....This hive starved to death that winter...I complained to Weavers but was basicly blown off ..he claimed all I wanted was a free Queen the conversation never went anywhere...That was the last time I bought Buckfast queens ...Id really like to try these Buckfast queens from Davies Apiaries.
RR#1 Seeley's Bay. ON. CA
RR#1 Stratton. ON. CA
RR#1 Hagerville. ON. CA
Here is another link that has contact info.
One warning, you must reserve your bees early as in right now. They run out within another month or so. shipping dates are typically from June to about the first of September.
Barry Davies operation looks like it is being run by a gentleman named Geoff Wilson now.