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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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    Default How Does One Maintain Buckfast Strains?

    ...Or other hybrid bees for that matter.

    If you get Buckfasts going in your operation, how do you maintain them over generations without losing vigor? I'm under the impression that it's different than other types of bees. Is that correct?

    Clearly I don't know much about it. What can you tell me?

    Thanks,

    Adam

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
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    Default Re: How Does One Maintain Buckfast Strains?

    Like every line of bees -- yard separation and drone saturation. Cordovan Aurea should be one of the hardest as it is a recessive trait. I have Aurea and Buckfast for years. I can assure you the Aurea are pure, and I get Buckfast and Belgian Buckfast from the same supplier.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,974

    Default Re: How Does One Maintain Buckfast Strains?

    Quote Originally Posted by AmericasBeekeeper View Post
    ...yard separation and drone saturation.... I have Aurea and Buckfast for years. I can assure you the Aurea are pure...
    Thanks for responding.

    In an area where there are a lot of bees, how can one ever be assured of "purity", without Instrumental Insemination? The area I'm in has no where near the honeybee saturation of the southern states. If open mating is used, there has to be a certain allowance made for anything considered "pure".

    Is that correct?

    Adam

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,121

    Default Re: How Does One Maintain Buckfast Strains?

    I kept Buckfasts and raised my own queens for years. I can't say there isn't some genetic shift, but they were always fairly frugal (but then they mated with ferals who tend to be frugal) and winter well (ditto). From time to time I got more Buckfast queens and requeened, but usually they raised their own.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,974

    Default Re: How Does One Maintain Buckfast Strains?

    Okay, so there's really no difference between Buckfasts and any other strain. You just need enough of the same be around to make reasonably sure that they're mating true.

    Okay, thank you.

    Adam

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    St. Petersburg, fl, USA
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: How Does One Maintain Buckfast Strains?

    It would seem to be that in order to be reasonably sure that your queen mates with the strain that you want not only do you need to flood the area with the same genetics but you also need to reduce or eliminate feral colonies and any other strains over a geographic area. Has any one done any research that shows what percentage of open mated queens maintain the genetic strain you are breeding for? Do you need 100 yards surrounding your bee yard-1000 yards-10000 yards to get say 90% genetic certainty? If I am going to buy a queen instead of making my own mutt queens I would like to know what I am paying for. Also according to what I have read and been told queens can choose what sperm they will use and African genetics seems favored. Would some one comment on that please.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: How Does One Maintain Buckfast Strains?

    I am new so forgive me if I am entirely wrong on this but beyond just trying to maintain the remnants of the Buckfast bee, wouldn't starting with that and following Brother Adam's breeding program be more in the spirit of his work? Wasn't the fact that the Abby didn't intend to do that part of why he shared his breeders with those who would?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    665

    Default Re: How Does One Maintain Buckfast Strains?

    "Finally, in a recent study, Dr. Gloria DeGrandi-Hoffman, Dr.
    Stan Schneider and Dr. David Tarpy of the North Carolina State University
    instrumentally inseminated queens with semen from an equal
    number of African and European drones and then monitored the
    number of AHB and EHB workers produced for six months. They found
    that significantly more AHB workers than expected were produced,
    which suggests that African sperm may have an advantage over European
    sperm, even if queens mate with the same numbers of drones
    of both types. An African drone mating advantage would result in the
    rapid loss of European paternal genes and may be an important factor
    in the AHB’s ability to displace European bees. "

    This study is an interesting read, keeping in mind that many topics such as this are quite controversial among scholars. My question would be exactly how does an AHB queen (or AHB hybrid queen) actually select AHB sperm from the layers of mixed sperm deposited in her ovaries.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,920

    Default Re: How Does One Maintain Buckfast Strains?

    Bro.Adam ran the Buckfast apiary from 1919 to the age of 93 and died in 1996 at the age of 99. Death has a way of ending things.
    I doubt anyone has the resources or political influence to find bees from other regions, get live bees home, and run parallel mating yards to develop better traits. Many of the productive regions are very volatile and few would risk their life for bees. We only have 39 mtDNA in the US if you were looking down that road.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

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