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I cant decide if i want to get a russian queen or a buckfast queen.. I already have 2 Italians, and 2 carnies, and wanted to add another breed to my apiary, which breed do you guys prefer? or should i just stick with italians and carnies?? any input is much appreciated:)
 

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I bred some buckfast from a daughter of a breeder queen that came from Denmark. They mated with a majority of my carniolan drones and they are showing great promise. I haven't lost one of those hives and they all have good pops in them. Carnies are a good bee and my choice but I think buckfast will have a place in my yards from here on in.
 

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I've never had any buckfast,But several years ago,When it seem like a lot of people was going with the Russians,I did to,LOL,
I didn't have any luck with them.They would swarm at any giving time,For no reason that I could see. some would completely leave the hive ,They would have brood stored honey & ever thing would look good, Then they would just leave.
As an older fellow told me' they just pack there suitcase & leave,
I decided I don't want anymore of them.I was told that they do better in colder temps,& not as well as far south as I live.Maybe something to it.,,,,,,,,Mark
 

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I didn't have any luck with them.They would swarm at any giving time,For no reason that I could see. some would completely leave the hive ,They would have brood stored honey & ever thing would look good, Then they would just leave.
As an older fellow told me, they just pack there suitcase & leave.
Sounds like you had some apis cerana instead of the Buckfast.;)
 

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About 4 years ago, I tried 2 buckfast queens from R Weaver. Good honey production and they were fine the rest of that summer. Only one made it through winter. That hive was so mean I chopped off her head and put in a northern queen. Mellowed almost immediately.

I called to let Weaver know that I had had the problem with the overwintered queen. Weaver was fantastic! Offered to replace both queens for free, no questions asked. I opted not to accept their offer but still find that to be the best customer service I have ever been offered in beekeeping.
 

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I have been thinking of buckfast queens this year. checking on the ontario breeders and if there are any in new zealand. canada would be cheaper.
 

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I have had Russian bees for the last 4 or 5 years or so. They have never completely swarmed off. I had one die over the winter and another two were queenless by the spring. Those could have swarmed off early, but if they did, they left a good number of bees behind. I have had good luck with Russians. Well, thats what they said they sold me anyway, you know how that goes.

I wanted to try some buckfast last year, so I purchased two packages. They both left their hives shortly after the queen was released. They installed good & released their queens within 3 days or so. Two days later they were gone. Honestly, I am afraid to try em again. By the time I had them shipped they were almost 200 bucks a package. That was kinda expensive for just a week. I have had way better luck with the Russian packages and nucs that I have purchased though.


Rob
 

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I would be very hesitant to buy any bees in the USA that somebody is calling "Buckfast", especially if you are paying a premium for them. Buckfast breeders were licensed by the Abby to Breed and Sell "Buckfasts". The Abby no longer licenses anybody as Breeders and they no longer propagate the line. Other then Ferguson in ON, there is no good source of "Buckfast" on this side of the pond. And my understanding is that no Buckfast stock has come into North America (legally) in the last 30 years, so even somebody like Ferguson is far removed from the bloodline at this point. But if you want a good northern queen, he has some great bees.

I have had only one experience with Russians and that was enough for me... I will stick with the Italians, NWC, and mutts.
 
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