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Thread: Buckfast bees

  1. #1
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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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    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
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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
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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.

  5. #5
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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

  6. #6
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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
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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
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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
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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)

  10. #10
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    Default Buckfast queens

    The largest breeder advertising Buckfast queens is located in Southern Texas. Broter Adam has been gone for a while.

  11. #11
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    I've never had a hive of Buckfasts that I liked...always been meaner than a 3 legged skunk.
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  12. #12
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    Smile Mean bees

    I would second Fredbees comment. The Carniolans are really pleasant to work with. Also less money (out) & more honey.

  13. #13
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    I've found that even though Buckfast are suppose to survive northern winters, I will lose more than 50% if I overwinter with just two deeps like I do Carnies. Last year I had two Buckfast queens that I purchased, and 16 other hives that had Buckfast already in them. I lost almost every single one of them. A yard of 18 hives that were all Buckfast only had two hives left in the spring, and they both turned agressive. The Carnies that I purhased at the beginning of 07 almost all survived the winter and are fairly calm. This year I have replaced almost all of my stock with queens from a VSH mated to a Carnie.

    On a side note, I've read that pure VSH is overly Hygenic. I think someone on Beesource mentioned that. If that is the case, I'm hoping that the breeder being mated to a Carnie, and then my queens being open mated in the same area of my Carnie hives will tame that while still giving me some Hygenic genes. I have noticed that the hives that belong to the guy who sold me the queencells, were two deeps and four to six honey supers a month before the main flow. Not saying they were all full, but they seemed to have produced more than normal.

  14. #14
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    I have always read the the buckfast are hotter. I have some Bweaver All Stars and they are my best but most aggresive hive. Not hot enough to make me requeen though. The Italians I got from Waldo this year are the calmest.

    Here is a link to recent talks about Buck Fast on here. He requeened with a Buckfast.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=220952

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom G. Laury View Post
    The largest breeder advertising Buckfast queens is located in Southern Texas. Broter Adam has been gone for a while.
    From what I have gathered from email correspondence is that the Buckfast Abbey bees in England are still quite similar to Brother Adam's bees. BUT, we can't them here in the US. There is a guy in Canada who supposedly has some BF bees that are quite close to the original lines, but who knows. I'm not enthralled enough with the concept to try to get some. I'm going to start integrating NWC. I had some Carnis that I really liked, but they have been displaced by Italians.
    Banjos and bees... how sweet it is!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by beegee View Post
    There is a guy in Canada who supposedly has some BF bees that are quite close to the original lines, but who knows.
    Bill is a nice fellow, give him a shout:

    FERGUSON APIARIES
    Bill and Rosemary Ferguson
    RR 2 Hensall, Ont N0M 1X0
    519-236-4979
    www.fergusonapiaries.on.ca/

    Adam Finkelstein
    www.vpqueenbees.com

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by peggjam View Post
    I've never had a hive of Buckfasts that I liked...always been meaner than a 3 legged skunk.
    HAHA, at a three-legged skunk!

    I have two buckfast hives that are going to get requeened as soon as this humidity drops. They are just flat out mean. They pour out the minute the top is lifted.

  18. #18
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    Default Am I crazy?

    I have 4 hives, 2 Buckfat hives that I bought last year, 1 that I split and queened with an Italian, and 1 that was started this year with a carni nuc. The Buckfast queens were from R. Weaver. I do wear a jacket with hood when I work tham, but don't think that they are THAT bad! I cut the grass right in fromt of the hive and my wife and I walk almost up to them to watch them in our yard. We only have .2 acre and they don't seem to bother anybody. I am thinking of getting 4 new Buckfast queens next year to requeen all of them. The 2 Buckfast hives wintered very well and produced well, so I don't know why others were saying that they didn't winter well for them.

  19. #19
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    Exclamation I have a few Canadian Buckfast hives from Bill Ferguson queens

    They are all as gentle and productive as my New World Caniolans. I tried Buckfast from Texas once...never again! -Danno

  20. #20
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    My experiance with Buckfast also goes long before AHB in Texas. Like Mike Palmer I always found them more "spirited" than others but exceptional buildup, good wintering and good producers. We switch suppliers every couple of years to keep our stock fresh and rotated out of Buckfast a couple of years ago but have continued with our own. I think they have been a good addition to our stock as a whole.

    I will include them in the future but would likely order from Canada due to concerns with AHB in Texas.

    If they are too hot in the home yard, requeen them with a commercial queen. Allowing them to requeen themselves, should there be any AHB genetics, would likely make the problem worse.

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