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Thread: Buckfast Queens

  1. #1
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    Hi all i see the string on Carnies.Just wondering what you all may think of the Buckfast.I am planning on requeening next spring.I know there will be some Carnies in there but a few in my area use buckfast.So i am just planning on what i want to do for queens next spring.Any ifo will be great.

    Bob

  2. #2
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    I had most of my hives with Buckfasts for 28 years. They were good preformers in my climate. They produced well and had good timing for a Northern climate. They went postal on me a couple of years ago and I decided to go another direction. I know of people around here who still use nothing but Buckfasts.

  3. #3
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    Thanks MB
    I have had Italian and carnies
    so far.Ilike the carnies better for fast build up and working at a bit cooler temps.As you have seen this year from my posts i have not messed with queens much so far.I need to do this i know now.The postal thing is what I do not want and the Carnies seem to swarm more.The other thing i have see is if the carnie is replaced the 2nd gen.seem to get a bit mean sometimes.This could be breeding from the origina queen.But if i can stay away from hot hives it would be nice.Buckfast seems to be an option for me here in the north.I May just try both and see what happens.alot depends on what i can get close by that i can pick up>I hate dead bees thru the mail is such a waist.
    Bob

  4. #4
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    Carny second generation are mean, well the ones I had were. But, the 3rd generation seemed a bit more tolerable. Carnys really should be used as drones to breed other bees with, in my opinion. They lack comb building traits, but build fast. Now mix it with Italian for example, you will get faster buildup, better comb building, and more honey? This is all theoretical, but seems to be working in my yard. I mixed SMR 4th generation in there, and I still have greay mite resistance.

    ------------------
    Dale Richards
    Dal-Col Apiaries
    Drums, PA

  5. #5
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    Mitch, I have had experience with buckfast from Texas. I can only say they are mean and will sting you even though you may be 20 feet from the hive. If you don’t mind working with mean bees the buckfast are great. Beekeeping should be enjoyable and mean bees don’t make it enjoyable.

  6. #6
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    I have seen pure Buckfast bees in Europe they seem tame overall. Has anybody done any studies on the influence of open breeding on varios sub species of honeybees. I have some NWC, Buckfast and Italians. Many have superceded either naturally or after introduction. The Drones are mainly feral. The NWC seem to keep their traits longer after inbreeding with local drones. The Buckfast can go redhot, I had to reQueen a couple. I would be curious to findout info from others.

  7. #7
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    The hot hives is what i want to get away from.I want to be able to mow without beibe chaced across the yard. As far as honey production goes.the carnies have done the best for me.But this may be a bit unfair due to weather conditionds vearying so much the last few seasons.I had mostly mutts in my 8 hives this year and did ok on honey but not great.But again the weather had alot to do with it.No bee can build up with the rain we had this spring.

    I have alot of small black bees in my area> the local guys call the black german bees and say they are mean as hell.I believe these bees a true wild bees. This could be the reason for the 2nd gen bees being mean.
    what do you all think of this? so it may not matter what kind of bee i have in this case.

    I have been a bit afraid to hunt down the black bees and catch a swam from what the old timers tell me about them.My dad had bees many years ago and conferms that the black bees a mean.But from what i read on this site this may not be the case.But then it could be differnt kinds of wild bees in other areas too.
    Bob

    [This message has been edited by Mitch (edited October 19, 2004).]

  8. #8
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    I think any first cross of two fairly stable gene pools can get hot. Usually the next generation is fine.

    >I have been a bit afraid to hunt down the black bees and catch a swam from what the old timers tell me about them.My dad had bees many years ago and conferms that the black bees a mean.

    I have caught some. Some of them are mean. Some are not. The next generation of the mean ones, might be quite nice. But all in all most of them are a bit hotter than the domestic varieties. I think it's just because no one has selected them for "nice". Survival tends to select them for defensive.

    >But from what i read on this site this may not be the case.But then it could be different kinds of wild bees in other areas too.

    I now have all my hives with the black feral queens or their descendants, in my yard at my house (I have some others at my outyard) except for one hive of Carnis that has done so well I can't stand to do away with the queen (she's three years old now and this hive is still a great producer and gentle).

    Of about forty of those ferals, I've only had one that was really mean. It went postal on me yesterday. But I also wonder if the weather isn't part of it. The goldenrod is drying up and there's nothing to forage.

    But I do think their temperament is more unpredictable, and you're likely to end up with a really hot one now and again. At least until you get that bred out of them.

  9. #9
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    MB
    Most of my hives that were hot this year and last are 2nd gen carnie 2 and 3 years old.But i see what you are saying about the meaness being bred out of them.I had one hive last year and one this year that went from hot to as gental as they can get.I can handel a hot hive now and then but there have been to much of that the last 2 years.My bees are in the back yard about 50 yards from the house.

    I may try a few buckfast and see what happens if they go postal there will bee no more.I know what the carnies do other than the 2nd gen getting a bit mean they do well for me.

    There is another reason i leave the feral bees alone.I know that the feral bees are the best for getting into small cell.But they survive no matter what with out my help or any beekeepers help.So i let them be thinking that one day whatever makes them survive gets passed on to all other bees.
    I not against anyone catch them and useing them i just choose not to.I do not feel i am ready to mess with the feral bees.I may just do more harm than good.

    Bob

  10. #10
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    Ive really liked the Buckfast I had years ago but now I just can't afford the liablity of getting a queen which may have AHB genes.Ive seen pictures of how these African honey bees act and its not pretty.Other than that Ive had good luck with them and will try to get buckfast queens out of Canada.

  11. #11
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    noticed some of you have stated having Queens 2-3 years old,Question? what honey yeild do you get? Do you not have a problem with swarming & if so you don't have that ol'Queen anymore,since I've started requeening each fall.my honey amount has almost doubled.But after reading the above post am I wasting money on new queens?>>>>Mark

  12. #12
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    >noticed some of you have stated having Queens 2-3 years old

    I have quite a few.

    >Question? what honey yeild do you get?

    Some hives do well others don't. Same as when I requeen every spring or every fall. My most productive hive this year was a three year old Carni queen and has bee for the last two years.

    >Do you not have a problem with swarming & if so you don't have that ol'Queen anymore

    Mine are all marked with the color of the year so I can tell how old they are. I had two hives that were trying to swarm and I split them and I suspect I had about four that swarmed although I only saw two of them. Two of those were in my outyard where I don't keep as good of track of the bees.

    >since I've started requeening each fall.my honey amount has almost doubled.

    Well, it seems to be working for you.

    >But after reading the above post am I wasting money on new queens?

    If you doubled your honey when you started requeening each fall, I'd keep buying those same queens. You need to do what works for you, and that seems to be working for you.

    I requeen anytime I think the queen isn't doing her job. But the bees also requeen when they think the queen isn't doing her job. Sometimes contrary to my opinion.

    My method usually (depending on time and effort available) is to requeen any old queen (more than a year old) that is only doing average. I keep any old queen that is still doing above average. I replace any queen that is below average regardless of age. That works out pretty well for me. Especially since I'm raising queens now, I hate to remove a queen who is obviously superior simply because she's old.

  13. #13
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    Mark
    I had 5 hives make honey this season The best 2 were 2 qnd 3 year old 2nd gen carnies.But on the other hand some of the old queens did not do well.This is why is am going to requeen alot of my hives this spring.And asking questiong about different kinds of bees.I gree totaly with MB no matter how old the queen is if she is not doing well get a new queen.The is the first year i noticed alot of differance in how the queens were doing.This is was my 5th season.Now i know what to look for and plan on keeping mostly young queens.

    I plan on doing some experimenting with a hive i got from a wall this summer.This queen was awsome in my eyes.I got this swarm on july 11th.It filled 2 deeps in a short time with bees and honey.she lays huge amount of brood justy a very small bit og honey and pollen in the corners of the frame and all a tight solid patern.These are small bees so im going to try my hand a small cell and making there own queens with a few splits with these bees.
    Bob

  14. #14
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    Wink

    I purchased 15 hives from an 84 year old beekeeper. He has never had problems with mites he claims ,so I have not treated them with any form of medication .He has been raising his own queens for the last 60 years. What I have noticed in comparison to my other hives (italian ,russians,carnolians) is the size difference , these bees are much larger and more aggressive. My question is ,could it be that we've been trying to breed a bee that is so fun to work with in cost of having it defenceless?

  15. #15
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    I've wondered myself if agressivness isn't an advantage when dealing with varroa and maybe even with Small Hive Beetles (SHB). But I'm not ready yet to put up with mean bees.

  16. #16
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    Buzz this may be a good point and sure will be debated in the future.But im with MB i dont want a bunch of mean bees.On the other hand it could be that the resistance to mites is being bread out of some bees.Most breeders are breading for resistance.It may be your old beekeeper Got mite resistant bees and just kept the line going.I think i would make my own queens from these bees it you can stand working them.

    Bob


  17. #17
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    I have one queen that is marked with blue and you know how old she is. In January she will be a new queen again.


    [This message has been edited by magnet-man (edited November 20, 2004).]

  18. #18
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    well ,one thing is good ,we don't have hive beetles here yet, But Mitch , i think I'm going to do what you said and breed some queens from these guys. I've always been breeding from my calm hives and the ones that produced well.

  19. #19
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    Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada
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    We have a Buckfast breeder about an hour away and when I go there I am always amazed that we can walk in his bee yard and not be attacked. He says he works his bees without a veil or gloves. They are not weak hives either. I have bought queens from him in the past and they are quite calm until the second generation. The solution is to buy a new queen and requeen as necessary. He has Island mated queens from Thorah Is. on Lake Simcoe but I have not asked if he sells them separately.

  20. #20
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    Is there a list of Ontario Buckfast breeders that will mail queens to USA ?

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