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Thread: Buckfast bees

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Charlotte county VA
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    Question Buckfast bees

    This is my first year with buckfast bees. I have always raised italian bees in the past 5 years. I researched the buckfast bees and understood them to be a gentle bee. I have 2 hives of the buckfast and 2 of the italian. The buckfast bees are very agressive and downright mean. They will attack me in my garden which is 30-50 feet away. when working with them with the smoker, they will still sting me through my bee suit. Should I requeen them this year or next spring.I know one has already swarmed around the week of july 4th and I have seen a new queen in this hive. Anyone else had this problem of agressiveness with buckfast or am I just the lucky one? Any help will be appreciated. Thanks, REM

  2. #2
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    May 2008
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    Danville, Va.
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    I heard that the Buckfasts that come from Texas have some aggressivness. I ordered mine from Canada,no chance of ahb cross,and I'm very pleased. The only time they got a bit mean was in July when we had no nector flow. P.S. I live in Ringgold, use to live in Chase City, and work at Clover. Hey neighbor.
    Jim <><

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Brunswick, VA
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    More Virginians.Yeah! But the only Ringgold, I've ever known is in GA.

    A friend got his Buckfasts from Washington State. The first queen was DOA. The second was still a Virgin. The end result for him was an empty hive with a few drones.

    I got Italians at the same time he got the Buckfasts. They are very gentle and have grown in size dramatically. When I got my Russians a couple of weeks ago, I gave him the Italian hive. The report this morning was that they are going like ganbusters and bringing in more pollen.


    I work with a guy from Charlotte county. His grandfather used to raise alot of bees in Keysville.


    Mike

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Venango/Crawford Pennsylvania
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    >Buckfast bees
    This is my first year with buckfast bees. I have always raised italian bees in the past 5 years. I researched the buckfast bees and understood them to be a gentle bee. I have 2 hives of the buckfast and 2 of the italian. The buckfast bees are very agressive and downright mean. They will attack me in my garden which is 30-50 feet away. when working with them with the smoker, they will still sting me through my bee suit.


    I never heard of them being like that... "very agressive and downright mean. They will attack me in my garden which is 30-50 feet away."
    If you got them from Texas are you sure they are not part African Bees? Stranger things have happened. I would just re-queen now if you can.

    http://www.nationalatlas.gov/mld/afrbeep.html

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Quote Originally Posted by rem View Post
    Anyone else had this problem of agressiveness with buckfast or am I just the lucky one?
    Buckfast bees have always been agressive...after they change their queen. I used to have many Buckfast colonies in my apiaries...back in the 80's. I could tell the Buckfasts when I opened the inner cover, without looking at the bees. They'd rush out the bottom entrance, and sting my ankles. And those were Buckfast before Africans invaded Texas. Now, I am hearing reports of wicked mean Buckfast bees from Texas. Someone called me yesterday to order a queen for requeening his impossibly nasty Texas package...in Maine. Too bad he didn't listen to Jadczak. Tony told him to requeen it when it was still a 3 frame colony from a Texas package. Now there's a nuisance report to the state of Maine, and if the guy doesn't take care of it, it will be destroyed.

    By the way, test run on the colony indicated an 85% probability of African.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Tulare County, CA USA
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    I just got done dealing with a HOT hive this morning. Requeening takes a while as the bees in the box are a product of the mean queen. If you just requeen, you'll have hot bees for a while.
    What I did was bust them out into five new hives and added italian queens from a trusted source. I figure they'll try to supercede three of the queens but in the mean time they'll be to busy building comb to be very agressive. I moved them from a not so great yard to the yard next to the field of clover in bloom and gave them a little syrup to get them started.
    In a month or so, I'll combine the queenless hives with the queenright hives and have relitively gentle bees plus some drawn foundation for swarm control next year.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Grifton, NC
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    My only expereince with Buckfast was at our NC Spring meeting in New Bern NC, several years ago. One of the club members had a couple of hives of Buckfasts for the apiary demonstrations. They wouldn't let anyone within 100 yards without attacking. I think they are somewhat quite removed from Brother Adam's bees.
    Banjos and bees... how sweet it is!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    bethel oh usa
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    I bought some Buckfasts from a guy up here I don't know where he gets them from but are without a doubt the meanest bees I've ever seen. We're in a dearth right now and I robbed the hives too but even before that they were mean.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
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    If you want a different strain from Italian and one that is still gentle...I'd recommend New World Carniolan instead of Buckfast. My NWC's have been very gentle and my wife loves them. We have mostly Italian and NWCs at our apiary.
    "My child, eat honey, for it is good." (Proverbs 24:13)

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