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Thread: Buckfast Queens

  1. #1
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    Default Buckfast Queens

    I saw a post from a Buckfast queen breeder but did not get your information. If you raise Buckfast queens from stock that you got from Ferguson please get with me. Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Buckfast Queens

    I sent you an email message conserning Buckfast Queens.
    Myron Denny

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Buckfast Queens

    Are they worth all the "buzz"? Anyone had experience with them?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Buckfast Queens

    Sonny - I'd suggest a quick Google search for the Wikipedia page on the Buckfast Abbey Bee. Lots of good info, like the 400 lbs of honey one colony produced, the 30 kilogram per colony average in adverse conditions that Brother Adam faced accomplishing this, and some on the ancestry and characteristics. I'd also suggest Brother Adam's books, Beekeeping at Buckfast Abbey, In Search of the Best Strains of Bees, and Breeding the Bee. ISBN's and info are posted on the Wikipedia page.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Buckfast Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by sonnypemberton View Post
    Are they worth all the "buzz"? Anyone had experience with them?
    Ferguson is the best "Buckfast" breeders on this side of the pond. His queens are very good. If you are getting them directly from him they are good queens. I would not recommend buying daughter queens off of somebody who bought from him. If you only need a queen or two the cost of getting them isn't going to be worth it, but if you need a dozen or so they are well worth the shipping costs.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Buckfast Queens

    I do not have any Buckfast colonies or queens, I was just trying to help out. There was a discussion in the past about Buckfast breeders, this is the only breeder info I saw:
    Miksa Honey Farms - (352) 429-3447 - Florida miksahf@aol.com
    I sent an email last night to advise them of this inquiry with no responce to date.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Buckfast Queens

    i don't personally have any experience with buckfasts, but my local bee club is importing them from ontario
    http://michiganbeekeepers.com/
    i would like to try some but they are $$$
    i am sure that part of the 45$ cost is the international shipping and customs

    who is ferguson?
    Last edited by arrowwood; 02-17-2013 at 11:51 AM. Reason: correction

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Buckfast Queens

    Ferguson Apiaries. They are Buckfast breeders that are located in Hensall, Ontario.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Buckfast Queens

    There a lot of good sites discussing Buckfasts - University of Guelph, Russell Apiaries, R Weaver Apiaries to name a few. Doc Russel asserts that there are no true Buckfasts (as of 2011) on this side of the Atlantic. The daughter queens often diverge from mamma's traits because Brother Adam used a 3-year breeding cycle that is likely not reproduced exactly over here. Read University of Guelph's site.

    The thing to realize is that if you have conditions and needs that the Buckfast bees' traits satisfy well and are adapted to, then they will live up to all the "buzz" about them.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Buckfast Queens

    $45.00 is much cheaper than they were a couple of years ago to import. If you are interested in Buckfast you really should read up on them. There is a preservation group in both Denmark and GB, but the Abbey does not license or propagate them anymore so in all reality they don't exist. Brother Adam is dead and with him went the breeding program. Ferguson was the last licensed breeder to import new stock into North America and that was 20 or so years ago... so like it was mentioned above, they really do not exist here in a pure form.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Buckfast Queens

    It is doubtful that anyone other than the licensed Buckfast breeders are actually using his exact breeding methods, let alone if they have same level of isolation of the mating yards that Brother Adam had. Without the complete isolation that he enjoyed, some impurities in the strain are going to occur sooner or later. Good drone flooding and careful selection help, but once all the line is tainted, it takes intensive de-selection to remove an undesirable trait or group of traits. This is not guaranteed to work, nor a quick solution, nor economical for the queen producer.

    If several of the people who were personally involved with Brother Adam and his Buckfast bloodline were to get involved with a solid I.I. breeding program and attempt to back-cross toward the original traits, as the Cobeys did with New World Carniolan line of bees (this took only 10 years - excellent progress rate, actually), the hope is there. In fact, a geneticist like Dr. Susan Cobey would be a great asset to such an effort. I'd love to do this myself, as I'm hoping to study under her at U.C. Davis soon, although I'm sure University of Guelph, and perhaps Mr. Ferguson are aware of this and all over it already.

    Rumor is that the current "Buckfasts" are not as gentle as brother Adam's original Buckfasts. This could be due to people expecting that 2nd and 3rd generation descendant queens of an actual Buckfast queen should work just as well...they will not. I mention this just to be fair to the breed, as a licensed breeder - produced Buckfast queen would very likely compare quite favorably to a 3rd generation (or later) offspring bred with open mating in a non-flooded, non-isolated mating yard.

  12. #12
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Buckfast Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    Rumor is that the current "Buckfasts" are not as gentle as brother Adam's original Buckfasts.
    I don't have experience of the temperament of the Buckfast in USA, but in europe they are just the same regards temperament as in BA day, in fact many of the old lines are still maintained. But i think being too docile (athough good for us) is not always best for the bees. There are many breeders in the co operation.

    Last season was not good with regards weather for queen mating, but still managed to get some good mating later in the year on the isolated Dartmoor mating station, with three different lines.

    These are some old lines being maintained by one breeder.

    http://perso.fundp.ac.be/~jvandyck/h...d_CD_2010.html

    Many others and the Buckfast pedigrees can be seen here......
    http://perso.fundp.ac.be/~jvandyck/h...ver/index.html

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Buckfast Queens

    Pete - I apologize...the rumors I heard are for "Buckfasts" (probably stock descended from Buckfasts not using Bro. Adam's methods) here in the U.S.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Buckfast Queens

    does anyone know of a source force for northern raised buckfast queens for summertime ??

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Buckfast Queens

    http://fergusonapiaries.on.ca/
    Above is their Website address, it lists an address and phone number.
    Let us know if they are still selling Buckfast Queens.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Buckfast Queens

    I talked to Bill in January. He is still selling the Buckfast queens. Just needs to get the old web site updated he said.

    Ferguson Apiaries
    Hensall Ontario
    519-236-4979

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Buckfast Queens

    thank you Myron. I only live 10 miles from Canada customs and I think there was a breeder about 1/2 hour from there. unfortunately the us homeland security [formerly customs] is on a big power trip. they are unpredictable and do not seem to know much. mostly they are interested in the generous government paycheck, at least that a couple of them have told me in private... I was hoping for a northern usa source.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Buckfast Queens

    Like Lauri said Bill (Ferguson Apiaries) sells Buckfast Queens. I usually order a few every year. I really like his Bees they are gentle, produce a good honey crop and over winter well. I usually graft from a few of my overwintered Buckfast colonies and open mate them with my local drone population. I have had some real nice queens come out of the mix!

  20. #20

    Default Re: Buckfast Queens

    Quote Originally Posted by Myron Denny View Post
    I do not have any Buckfast colonies or queens, I was just trying to help out. There was a discussion in the past about Buckfast breeders, this is the only breeder info I saw:
    Miksa Honey Farms - (352) 429-3447 - Florida miksahf@aol.com
    I sent an email last night to advise them of this inquiry with no responce to date.
    David is usually very busy, but he will answer, eventually. He has a university background and is doing a very good job. It is a huge family bussiness and the queens I got are doing just like they supposed to do. In the book "Queen Rearing Essentials" by Lawrence John Connor there is a chapter about their operation.
    Treatment free, honey production, isolation mated queens, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html

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