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I received my first nuc in early April. I was trying to get an Italian hive, knowing they are gentle. When the bee keeper was going through his nucs he passed several that did not have good queens, or were angry for whatever reason. He found the one that I have and said it was not Italian, but Buckfast. The frames were beautiful, the queen was doing a fabulous job and the bees were calm, so I took his recommendation and took that nuc.

The hive has been amazing! I have inspected the hive 6 times now and have yet to be stung, wearing only the hood and some latex gloves for protection. I LOVE these bees! Two weeks after placing the nuc in the deep hive, I already had to put a second deep on. After 5 weeks, I knew I would soon need a honey super. The queen was strong and the hive was efficient. I spoke with the beekeeper about splitting the hive and he recommended separating the supers and adding a new queen to the queenless one. I was thinking of allowing the hive to make their own queen.

Then I read a lot more about Buckfast. There are several people saying if they requeen on their own the subsequent hive will get mean because the virgin queen will likely mate with another breed and the resulting breed is usually mean. Does anyone have experience with this?

The reason this is critical now, is that 3 weeks ago I placed a queen excluder and a honey super on that. I did not have time for a complete inspection, so did not further disturb them. Yesterday I inspected the hive and there is apparently no queen. My first clue was, after there rapid build the last two months, they had not touched the honey super. In the rest of the inspection I found several outer frames full of honey only, several frames of capped brood, but no eggs or larvae. Lots and lots of queen cells in the lower half of the frames, some at the bottom of the frame....all empty! I am guessing this means that they have already requeened and she is off mating. There are still no eggs, and I did not find her.

My first instinct was to quickly order a new queen, but since she will be back before I can get one, should I just let nature take it's course? It is too hot here to have a mean hive that requires a full suit!
 

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He did not tell me but he has another business in Missouri and they are SO gentle, I assumed they were Canadian.
 

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I'm in Central Texas and no matter the breed of the virgin queen my bees have raised, all the resulting brood has been testy at best and down-right mean at worst. I don't think it's the breed of the queen, but the local wild genetics that makes them aggressive. I have to put up with them until it's cool enough to have one shipped. I also have a new hive of Buckfast that raised a queen recently. I guess I'll find out soon how mean they'll be. :-/

I recommend a vented suit. I bought one from Mann Lake. Not cheap, but it makes working in the heat much more bearable.

Good luck!
 
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