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To answer the question in another thread, yes I was able to visit Buckfast Abbey this past October.





This is the "new" abbey. This is where Bro Adam worked as a child, as a stone finisher. The "old" abbey was knocked down by Henry VIII, when he broke from the Roman church. He needed money and who had money and land? The abbeys.




But he didn't knock it all down. This is part of what remains from the original abbey.





I was told that this was probably the location of the apiary. Nice open and sunny area.






Looks like the monks pre-Henry thought so too. Check out the wall at the back of the lawn area.






Notice the bee boles in the medieval wall...where the skeps were kept.





I also went to the Dartmoor mating station.





Adam's apiary shed





And one of his 4 way mating nucs.


 

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Cool. I am glad you were able to go. When I was a kid I used to know a preacher who was always raving about bees, and kept talking about this Brother Adam guy who he idolized and kept visiting. Back then I had no interest in bees.
 

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Very interesting and awesome photographs. Thanks for sharing. I understand they still have beekeeping classes there. Do they still sell honey?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Not sure they do have beekeeping classes, or produce honey. They have a large factory that produces mead. Perhaps Pete...beekuk on this list...can say for sure.

I will say one thing.

Adam seems to have been written out. The new abbot ended Adam's bee work not long before Adam passed away. He died alone but for his old helper Peter Donovan...who passed recently. The apiary work was given to a dermatologist? from...I heard Egypt, and other countries...who really knew not much about keeping bees. So the bees died out, and the new beekeeper got his papers to practice in the UK. Adam's equipment was thrown in an old pig shed and his papers are stored in a vault. A brochure I found at the information booth on Bees at Buckfast Abbey didn't even mention Adam.

Some beekeepers from the area call the place Fastbuck Abbey. Think gift shop, cafeteria, and busses. If they want so to make money, why haven't they promoted the beekeeping history at the Abbey and the work Brother Adam did. Sad if you think about it.
 

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Very, very, cool Michael,

Sad to see the true history of the abby ignored or forgoten,,,,,Glad to hear that at least his

papers are being preserved,,,even if it's for moneymongers....

I notice his 4-way nuc has a recessed top, looks like he had 2 inner covers that covered

2 nuc chambers each...mating nuc only, not for supering.....Thanks again..

==McBee7==
 

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I notice his 4-way nuc has a recessed top, looks like he had 2 inner covers that covered

2 nuc chambers each...mating nuc only, not for supering.....Thanks again..
The mating boxes are four way during the active mating season, consisting of four frames in each section, and of course four queens... during winter two dividers are removed to leave two eight frame nucs, there is only one single cover for the lot, or when feeding one single rapid feeder, and the cover goes over this feeder, followed by the gabled roof.

They keep a few hives of bees for teaching new beekeepers, no more Buckfast bee breeding is done by the Abbey.

But the mating station is still being used to produce Buckfast queens.

Exellent pictures Michael.
 

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I have a tray full of slides of my visit in 1978. I should have then digitized if they are still any good. I might even have a plastic container of heather honey somewhere. And of course my signed copy of BeeKeeping at Buckfast Abbey.
When I came home from that trip my first wife had moved out and in with another man twice her age. Oh those were the good old days....
 

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Thanks BeeKuk,

I wonder who carries on the breeding of the original strain or strains of the buckfast bees?

I know there is a danish (i think) company that sells buckfast queens abroad and state side.

Thanks again for the info :)

==McBee7==
 

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I wonder who carries on the breeding of the original strain or strains of the buckfast bees?
There are many breeders of the Buckfast bee in Europe, only a few have some of the old line Buckfasts, i have some of them, this is a link to some of the breeders in Europe, but not all of them.http://perso.fundp.ac.be/~jvandyck/homage/elver/
I use queens from some of these breeders...we often do swaps, plus i use the isolated Dartmoor mating station and another on Exmoor, breeding the Buckfast bee is an on going thing, using the methods taught by Brother Adam, you can read more about what is going on with the Buckfast bee in the link section of my site.
 

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The mating boxes are four way during the active mating season, consisting of four frames in each section, and of course four queens... during winter two dividers are removed to leave two eight frame nucs, there is only one single cover for the lot, or when feeding one single rapid feeder, and the cover goes over this feeder, followed by the gabled roof.

They keep a few hives of bees for teaching new beekeepers, no more Buckfast bee breeding is done by the Abbey.

But the mating station is still being used to produce Buckfast queens.

Exellent pictures Michael.
Would you happen to have plans to build the four-way mating boxes. I'm looking for the dimensions to build this exact box.
 

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Fascinating obituary, thanks for the link.
I'm left, however, wondering about this.

"In one example of his travels in search of native strains of bees, a fellow apiarist carried the 90-year-old Brother Adam on a bamboo chair strapped to his back up Africa's highest mountain, 19,340-foot Mount Kilimanjaro. ."

This really happened? Who was this fellow apiarist?
 

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Fascinating obituary, thanks for the link.
I'm left, however, wondering about this.

"In one example of his travels in search of native strains of bees, a fellow apiarist carried the 90-year-old Brother Adam on a bamboo chair strapped to his back up Africa's highest mountain, 19,340-foot Mount Kilimanjaro. ."

This really happened? Who was this fellow apiarist?
I watched a doc that someone put on YouTube shouldn't be hard to find.
 

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"In one example of his travels in search of native strains of bees, a fellow apiarist carried the 90-year-old Brother Adam on a bamboo chair strapped to his back up Africa's highest mountain, 19,340-foot Mount Kilimanjaro. ."

This really happened? Who was this fellow apiarist?
The Monk and the Honeybee can be viewed on youtube. that will answer your questions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4j9tSneoL4

Lesley Bill wrote For the love of bees. In it she states that she accompanied Brother Adam as did Herr Fehrenbach and his daughter, M. van der See, Walter Davie and the Taylors of York films.
 

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The Monk and the Honeybee can be viewed on youtube. that will answer your questions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4j9tSneoL4

Lesley Bill wrote For the love of bees. In it she states that she accompanied Brother Adam as did Herr Fehrenbach and his daughter, M. van der See, Walter Davie and the Taylors of York films.
This is an interesting video. I watched it recently.

Here's a link to a bio on Brother Adam that I also found interesting. http://www.rweaver.com/adam.php
 
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