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Thread: Buckfast bees

  1. #1
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    Default Buckfast bees

    Does anyone have Buckfast Bees and if so what is your experience? I have a hive of Buckfast started from a package last year from Weaver Apiaries in Texas and they survived the winter in great shape, but they are very aggressive. I wonder if there are other sources for Buckfast packages? Also, I was thinking of making a split from the Buckfast to have the virgin queen mate with gentle Italian drones. All comments appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Buckfast bees

    I am going to get a couple queens from Canada. A group in Michigan is doing a group purchase and I am joining in but the queens are pickup only. Weaver is in AHB territory so I decided against getting the queens from them. I am just a beginner but from what I have read Buckfast bees can be more aggressive when crossed, especially to Italians. They are already a hybrid and unwanted traits can come out.

    Do a search on the queen breeding forum and you should find several threads on the subject of Buckfast bees.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Buckfast bees

    Below is a link to a member's website who sales Buckfast queens. I have had no personal experience with his bees but I have heard some good reports. Check it out for yourself. Email him w/questions. Hope this helps.

    http://www.danskfarms.com/servlet/th...USA-For/Detail
    Beeman
    All things may be lawful; but not all things are advantagous.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Buckfast bees

    I have used Buckfast bees for several years, as have some commercial beekeepers in Florida. Our queens did not come from or through Texas. They are as gentle as any other bee I have worked. They were no more defensive when open mated either.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Buckfast bees

    i have two BWeaver hives, one HoneyBeeGenetics hive and one captured swarm (new). The Weaver bees vary, one filled one deep and four supers in the first year, one about half that and the HBG hive was very much less. To be fair the HBG hive is a TBH and the others are Langs. The Weaver bees are aggressive when the hives are filled but to me they are workable.
    I am looking forward to working with the wild swarm, no telling what I have got there, they built a ten comb nest in the open and lived there almost a year.
    Julysun elevation 23 feet. 4 Hives, 2 years.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Buckfast bees

    David Miska
    13404 Honeycomb Road
    Groveland, FL 34736
    352-429-3447

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Buckfast bees

    > they are very aggressive

    Exactly my last experience with Buckfasts from Texas...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Buckfast bees

    If you search the forum, you will find tons of info. This question comes up all the time.
    Plant Hardiness Zone 6B, 5300 ft., Bee Zone A/B, Proverbs 24:13
    https://www.facebook.com/mobileprotection#!/2RBeeFarm

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Buckfast bees

    Thanks to everyone who answered my questions on Buckfast Bees. I am planning to re-queen using more gentle Buckfast Queens.

  10. #10
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    Baytown, TX., USA.
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    Default Re: Buckfast bees

    Well, let us know how it works out.
    Julysun elevation 23 feet. 4 Hives, 2 years.

  11. #11
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    Thumbs Up Re: Buckfast bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Marsh View Post
    -snip- I have a hive of Buckfast started from a package last year from Weaver Apiaries in Texas and they survived the winter in great shape, but they are very aggressive. -snip-
    I too prefer more docile bees. Have you been around many colonies to know the range of aggressiveness available to you? I have RWeaver Buckfast & BWeaver bees too. They are average in aggressiveness, about the same as bees I had in the 70's and 80's. They do quite a bit of head butting and do have the odd gaurd bee set on stinging me, but its nothing to panic about. They both wintered well with plenty of stores left this week.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Buckfast bees

    I quit keeping bees about five years ago because of a bad experience with Buckfast Bees I ordered from Weaver. The were so aggressive that it took all the fun out of keeping bees. I didn't have a lot of experience, but I was never scared of bees and would even capture wild swarms from time to time. After I lost my Italian girls, I ordered some Buckfast Bees out of Texas because that was all that was available. Wrong move. They would work the seams of my hood the entire time I was working a hive, head butt me, and chase and harass me for a quarter mile after I was finished. No fun at all. No with the memory fading, I have decided to give it a try again. Only nice calm Italians for me though.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Buckfast bees

    My cousin has a Buckfast hive. He has had it for several years, so I'm sure they have re-queened themselves by now. He got two hives dirt cheap since one of them had killed the previous owners dog. One didn't make it, I think it swarmed late or something. They seem hearty but a little bit hot. They are not too bad to work in the spring, but are a bit on the mean side in the late summer when their numbers are high. But they have been productive for him. We made up some queen cells last summer with eggs from that hive. The nucs that we made up have seemed ok so far as far as aggression, I guess we will see next summer. I wouldn't purchase a queen that hot myself, but they have made a lot of honey for him.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Buckfast bees

    I have some from B Weavers, I just line them up when I first go out to the hive and say "Hold it, there won't be none of that #*@$. Looked out today, and they're going strong, good working girls.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Buckfast bees

    I hear many people say that Buckfast bees are aggressive(hot). As a novice, I"m trying to understand where they would fall in a ranking from docile to omg! there's bees in my nose! Are they any where near as mean as AHBs?

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Buckfast bees

    >I hear many people say that Buckfast bees are aggressive(hot). As a novice, I"m trying to understand where they would fall in a ranking from docile to omg! there's bees in my nose! Are they any where near as mean as AHBs?

    I have worked AHB in the Virgin Islands, AZ and NM. The last Buckfasts I had made them all look like pussycats. The AHB I've seen were all workable although some were hotter than I like. The Buckfasts were not workable. You can't work if you can't see out of your veil. It's difficult to work very long when you know one will get in eventually and leave a trail for others to follow... AHB are testy in my experience and follow a lot and head butt a lot. The Buckfasts made me think of words like "vicious", "wrathful", "vengeful", "raging", "relentless" and "ferocious". They would pour out of the hive and come after you when you got to about five feet BEHIND the hive. They would cover your veil the second you popped the lid. They would follow forever. I had to walk through thick brush to get most of them off and then when I got to the house brush them off and stomp on them or they would follow me into the house... They were, in short, the meanest bees I've seen in 40 years of beekeeping and I've seen some pretty mean black feral bees back in the 70's (meaner than some of the AHB). I think you have a F1 cross between AHB and Buckfast and that's why they are so over the top.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Buckfast bees

    Thanks for that detailed description, Michael Bush. I'm going to steer clear of Buckfast Bees.
    "May your honey be plentiful and stings be minimal."-Mr. Beeman

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Buckfast bees

    wow! It sounds like they're almost flying evil incarnate. lol

    I'll definitely be sticking with my ferals and leave the Buckfasts to those who have heavier armor.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Buckfast bees

    > It sounds like they're almost flying evil incarnate.

    Yes. That's how I felt about them. My back door was 100 yards from the hives and they would be waiting for me at the back door when I walked out and sting me on sight, days after I last worked the hives. They seemed to know me as they usually left everyone else alone unless they got within 50 feet of the hives...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Buckfast bees

    My meanest hive is Buckfast.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -H.S. Thompson

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