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  1. #1
    BADWOLF_NCSU Guest

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    I just got some buckfast queens for my hives and I would like to hear your opinons of them...........Please..

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    Hi,

    Haven't had buck fast for a few years. They overwinter well. Performance is good. They are simply a good bee. However on crossing they "can" become quite aggressive. I personally use carniolan stock. I breed my own queens to produce a local stock well adapted to my area.

    The major advantage of buckfast over italian I would say is in their wintering ability. All in all I like them.

    I use carniolans because they work the best with my management style( unlimited brood nest)and they are gentle. FWIW.

    Clay


  3. #3

    Post

    You can get Buckfast Queens and a few other well bred ladies from B. Weaver Apiaries in Texas. They have a great web page www.beeweaver.com. A queen is about 12$. I've been getting queens from my local apiary but am now going to get them from an established breeder with a know lineage. Cost is the same, why not?

    I would stick away from the Carniolans as they DO have a tendency to swarm, espicially if you live in a residential area. I've had 3 carni hives and each one would swarm anywhere from 3 to 7 times a year. I requeened after the second season with an Italian and haven't had any problems since. Yes, carnies are very very very docile (no gloves, no smoke, no nuthin. Just veil), but a well managed hive of Italians can be easy to work with too.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    Hi,


    I would stick away from the Carniolans as they DO have a tendency to swarm, espicially if you live in a residential area.

    Reply:

    Slightly more swarming tendency.

    I've had 3 carni hives and each one would swarm anywhere from 3 to 7 times a year.

    reply:

    I keep 40 hives of carnies. Just had only one swarm this year. It is how you manage them. The literature now a days is for italian bees. One cannot keep carniolans like italians. Three brood chambers is needed usually. Using unlimited brood nest type of management.


    but a well managed hive of Italians can be easy to work with too.

    reply:

    Quite true.

    Clay

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    mcminnville, tn usa
    Posts
    33

    Big Grin

    i have three banded italians ; i work them with no veil, no smoke, - i do so very gently though.

    one question i had , was where can i find good quality color pictures of the various races of APIS MELLIFERA? i have different strains / races in my yard and want to identify them. i am unaware of anyone within 3 or 4 miles keeping bees , so wondering if they are feral or swarmed?

    i prefer pictures on the web, if possible.

    thanks

    george

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Kemp, Texas, USA
    Posts
    20

    Exclamation

    Badwolf,

    I have never had any type of bee but the Buckfast. I will not be able to compare between the other races but I can tell you what I know about the Buckfast.

    The Buckfast is a hardy bee. I have had few problems with varroa and virtually NO tracheal mites. They make beautiful white comb and out of 14 hives only one is prone to glue up with propolis. They are easy to manage inside the hive because they are not prone to burr comb. They over winter great because I have never lost a hive. I have never had AFB or any other brood disease. (been doing this 7 yrs). They have swarmed more this year than any other but I am not holding that against them. Area beekeepers tell their bees are doing the same thing.(all races)

    Now for the bad news. You must requeen EVERY SINGLE YEAR from a Buckfast breeder queen. DO NOT allow them to supersede. If they do supersede they are mean as hell! The second generation queen produces all the good qualities the first generation queen had EXCEPT gentleness.

    All my hives are second or third generation from the breeder. They are mean.....I admit it. Even experienced keepers in my area call my bees demons. But, as I said it is all that I have ever had and I guess I am just used to it. If you requeen yearly, they are gentle as lambs.

    Whey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Bluff City, TN USA
    Posts
    80

    Post

    Hi Clay, Do you have the New World Carniolans or the old stock. I converted 8 of my hives to the NWC this year? I am delighted thus far. I an only using 2 brood chambers. Are 3 recomended?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    Hi,


    Do you have the New World Carniolans or the old stock

    reply:

    I have both. Do you know how to manage bees using unlimited brood nests(3 deep)? It is an old method! I will explain if you would like.

    Clay

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Bluff City, TN USA
    Posts
    80

    Post

    Thanks for the reply Clay. No, I have not had any tripple brood chambers. How are they used? What differences do you see in the 2 types of Carnies? Thanks, Jim

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    Hi Jim,

    I studied old bee journals and books about carnies(same for caucasians too). They were managed in triples. Carniolans are quite prolific and lay many eggs. Whithout enough room they are prone to swarm. You want the queen to work up the center frames of the three boxes. As the season goes on the third will plug up with honey. Extract them(4-5 frames)and and to the second brood chamber and move brood up. The goal here is to give the queen as much room as possible. When you use two brood chambers, ever have the queen lay in the honey super? Well this is telling you something! YOU NEED MORE ROOM.
    No queen excluders are used as the three brood chambers are plenty of room. You will need the equivalent of three deep supers for honey maybe more. Yes you might need a ladder. You are working with the bees not against. In doubles the bees are squeezed into two boxes but I bet if you had a third they would use it for brood too. This give a greater population. Also three chambers is excellent for over wintering with an abundance of stores. Come through very strong and are ideal for splitting come spring.


    What differences do you see in the 2 types of Carnies?

    NWC is a bit more gentle(not much). Both are good bees.

    Clay

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Bluff City, TN USA
    Posts
    80

    Post

    Thanks Clay, I'll give it a try. These queens are layers. They build very quickly. Jim

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Bluff City, TN USA
    Posts
    80

    Post

    Hi Badwolf, I only have one Buckfast that I installed last year. It did not produce well last year but came through the winter very well. This year has been a good year for that hive. It has a bunch of bees and has put 3 supers of honey in so far. Jim

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Highland Park Il
    Posts
    2

    Post

    I had Buckfast for years but I have had so much trouble with chalkbrood that I replaced them with queens from Heitkams. You can find his add in the ABJ. He had Italians and carnolian that were selected for hygenic behavior and I tried both. They cleaned up my chalkbrood and brood patterns became almost solid. The carnolians lay very rapidly and you really have to keep track of their progress or they will swarm.

    The selection method and bee lines were developed at Univ. of Ohio and they have better genetics than the Buckfast according to one USDA scientist. After what I have seen this year I would agree.

    Ozzy

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