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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Westminster, Maryland
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    17

    Default Would like feedback on experience w/Buckfast & All American bees?

    Going into my third year, started w/Italians. Read about advantages w/Buckfast and All American breeds on Drapers. Are they really any better? I would like to start a queen castle and want good queens from a northern beekeep.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
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    1,630

    Default Re: Would like feedback on experience w/Buckfast & All American bees?

    run and dont look back. they are mean nasty and come from south Texas.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
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    626

    Default Re: Would like feedback on experience w/Buckfast & All American bees?

    When I was looking into buying a package of Buckfast bees to start beekeeping last year I contacted Draper and asked where they got their Buckfast packages. They confirmed they ship from Texas. Since I had heard the ones coming out of Texas might have some AHB mixed in I went with an Italian package instead. (That package came from Georgia and I ended up re-queening it with a NWC.)

    I did end up buying a Buckfast (with Tiger trait) nuc from MS and they are really gentle bees. I have only had them since the end of August so it is early to know how they turn out but they do keep a clean hive. The source I got them from doesn't appear to have them available this year but you might look into Ferguson's in Canada for a queen and just re-queen a cheaper Italian package. I believe one of the Russell sub-tier producers is supposed to be carrying them too, maybe the Alabama one but I am not sure.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Westminster, Maryland
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Would like feedback on experience w/Buckfast & All American bees?

    I heard the Buckfast turn mean after the first generation because of AHB genetics. I also heard that the Buckfast from Canada are good but cost substatially more because of import fees. I don't want any queens or packages from the south. Are All Americans from Draper from Texas also?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lititz, PA, USA
    Posts
    708

    Default Re: Would like feedback on experience w/Buckfast & All American bees?

    If you buy a package in the spring it will almost 100% come from the south or CA. Doesn't matter what race of queen you get, that's the source geography. You said you wanted good queens from a northern beekeeper, but I'm thinking maybe you really meant you want a northern queen . If so, then focus on getting a quality package regardless of race, realizing you'll requeen later in the year when the well-mated northern queens become available.

    To get a northern anything it's gotta be a nuc. I don't know of anyone northern who shakes packages, but I haven't been around very long, someone can certainly correct me on that. If you do go northern nuc, get one that you know has been overwintered in the north, not one that's simply a southern package that was installed a month ago and is now a nuc.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: Would like feedback on experience w/Buckfast & All American bees?

    I don't know about the All Americans. I think they are out of TX too but am not sure. Contact Draper and ask, they were quick to respond and upfront about the Buckfast when I asked.

    Have you read Brother Adam's book Breeding the Honeybee? He goes into the make-up of the Buckfast bee and how the crosses came out. The bees out of Texas might have more recent AHB crossing in.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Westminster, Maryland
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Would like feedback on experience w/Buckfast & All American bees?

    Thanks Colleen. I found a New York State breeder of hearty hygenic queens w/very good reputation. Although Drapoers has a good rep, I don't want to chance any southern bees, despite the great descriptions of what they're supposed to be.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Cullman Co., AL
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Would like feedback on experience w/Buckfast & All American bees?

    DB, I think you answered your own question. "You want good queens from a northern breeder". There are bunch of resources up north. You just have to wait until they are ready. As far as the Weaver Buckfast/Allstar queen stock, yes, they are good queens that produced great patterns, that produced great production for me. As the member from NY said, they can get aggressive if allowed to supercede 2nd and 3rd generation. But since you are a breeder, you will control that process by re-queening every two or three years, or when you see fit based on your production principals.
    To assume that all queens bred in the south are bad mojo, is a fallacy. As you mentioned, you may purchase a breeder queen from Ferguson's, who has excellent stock, but don't rule out Danish Buckfast from MS, or Cardovan stock from CA or HI. Still good queens, that you will introduce to your genitic line up north, and breed with your drone pool. The key is you will control your own breeding operations with whatever queen source you wish to develope into your line.
    I am down south in the heart of Dixie, even though I have tried to change my location several times. I would have no issues breeding from northern or southern stock, if the source had the genitic traits I was looking for.

    Kind regards
    Stonefly7

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Chester Co, PA, USA
    Posts
    269

    Default Re: Would like feedback on experience w/Buckfast & All American bees?

    Contact Mike at Bjorn bees. He does northern survivors and breeds queens.
    Last edited by MeriB; 11-26-2012 at 07:24 AM. Reason: spelling error
    Meridith
    I am frequently confused!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,719

    Default Re: Would like feedback on experience w/Buckfast & All American bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stonefly7 View Post
    I am down south in the heart of Dixie, even though I have tried to change my location several times.
    You can send a PM (Private Message) to Barry (forum owner/moderator) and ask him to update your location.

    In the interim, you could modify your current signature to include your correct location.
    Graham
    --- Victor Hugo - "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Default Re: Would like feedback on experience w/Buckfast & All American bees?

    The buckfast from Weavers are by far the best bees we have used in 20 years. We started with Buckfast from Drapers which do come from Texas. We stopped ordering them due to Texas being Africanized. MB has many posts about Buckfast as well worth researching although I am aware he also stopped ordering from Texas. I have heard very good things about the Canada Buckfast, those from Quelth (please correct that spelling if you can) and would like to add them to our breeding stock once we get a chance to catch our breath. The PA state bee inspector used to work here at Dyce and is from Canada orginally if I recall and he spoke highly of that Breeding Program. Obviously Brother Adam has been gone awhile so if you are interested in Buckfast from anywhere you should check out the breeding practices and linage.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Westminster, Maryland
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Would like feedback on experience w/Buckfast & All American bees?

    Thanks everybody. My first bees were from Georgia and did fine. I just want to make sure I get good traits so with my family gardening within 10 yards of the beehives thet don't get aggressive. The Italians have have been pretty good except for when I did something dumb while inspecting,
    they do like to fly in your face when they get aggessive and will sometimes follow you all the way back to the house. For the most part, they are just fine, I usually mow right around the hives w/out a veil. Since I'm going to start a queen castle, I just want to make sure I get good queens.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,280

    Default Re: Would like feedback on experience w/Buckfast & All American bees?

    Any colony can turn hot, for any number of reasons...and any strain you get can have a hot colony. To condemn a whole industry based on a few instances is irresponsible. I've used bees from B. Weaver, and yes, had a hot hive, that calmed down after the queen spent the semen that caused the hot daughters... I've also requeened. None that I have obtained from Texas the past few years was as hot as an Italian colony I had back in the early '80's.... So it isn't all AHB's fault.

    Having said that, of course it is important to be aware of your surroundings and environment when considering keeping bees. Just be aware that you can get hot bees from anywhere. And a colony can turn hot.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Spicewood, Texas, USA
    Posts
    232

    Default Re: Would like feedback on experience w/Buckfast & All American bees?

    I'm really pleased with my Weaver bees. I'm setting up a few more hives in April with B Weavers.

    Sondra
    (Spicewood, Texas)

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,620

    Default Re: Would like feedback on experience w/Buckfast & All American bees?

    Miksa in Groveland,Fl. has some fine Buckfast queens.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: Would like feedback on experience w/Buckfast & All American bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colleen O. View Post
    I don't know about the All Americans. I think they are out of TX too but am not sure. Contact Draper and ask, they were quick to respond and upfront about the Buckfast when I asked.

    Have you read Brother Adam's book Breeding the Honeybee? He goes into the make-up of the Buckfast bee and how the crosses came out. The bees out of Texas might have more recent AHB crossing in.
    I e-mailed Royal Draper about the All-Americans last year when I was looking at where to get bees.
    They're the R.Weavers, shipped straight from Navasota. You order the bees from Draper. He orders them from Weavers.
    Weavers ships them to you just like you ordered them from Weavers. But, good bees though. I like 'em.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: Would like feedback on experience w/Buckfast & All American bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by libhart View Post
    To get a northern anything it's gotta be a nuc. I don't know of anyone northern who shakes packages, but I haven't been around very long, someone can certainly correct me on that. If you do go northern nuc, get one that you know has been overwintered in the north, not one that's simply a southern package that was installed a month ago and is now a nuc.
    Long Lane Honey shakes their own packages from their "Pioneer" bees that David Burns raises. source of "northern" queens. They're in Illinois.
    Last edited by Steven Ogborn; 11-30-2012 at 07:23 PM.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    houston, tx
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Would like feedback on experience w/Buckfast & All American bees?

    This is only my first year but I bought packages from both LL and R Weaver and I have had two feral hives. The Americans are much more active and productive nut fairly calm. The only time they seem to act aggressive was when they were crowded and needed another super and when the beetle populations got a bit high. They also don't like excessive meddling in the hive. Maybe the southern varieties are just too tough for a Yankee to handle ;^)

    The LL bees were a bit more active out of the packeage but soon calmed down and aren't quite as productive; they lag far behind even though they arrived only a few weeks behind the Americans. I don't think Ive ever been stung by this hive.

    My first local hive is meaner than pi$$ and flies out at the slightest disturbance. The guards hunt me for 400+ feet and will do their darndest to get through my veil. Their production leaves much to be desired so they will probably need a re-queen in the spring.

    The other local hive that absconded was pretty mellow and majorly productive when I collected it. Sorry to lose that one...

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,280

    Default Re: Would like feedback on experience w/Buckfast & All American bees?

    I would think one would save some $$ by ordering directly from Weaver, instead of thru another party.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Denison, Texas
    Posts
    510

    Default Re: Would like feedback on experience w/Buckfast & All American bees?

    Yes, It seems that Draper's pays the same amount to order them for you, plus a little profit.
    Last edited by Steven Ogborn; 12-02-2012 at 12:21 PM.

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