The Buckfast bee was created and breded by Brother Adam (Karl Kehrle) born in 1898 in Germany. At the beginning of XX Century, the bees fro British islands were decimated by the tracheal mite (acarapis woodi). He discovered that the survivor colonies were colonies containing a strain of bee descending from crosses between Italian bee and their indigenous black bee. After that episode he continued the studies in the isolated mating station from Dartmoor, and he did controlled crosses between well selected queens and drones. In the mean time he traveled across Europe, Africa and middle Asia looking for different strains of bees in order to enhance his newly created Buckfast Bee / Buckfast Queen
Buckfast bees / queens characteristics
At the beginning the new strain was just a hybrid, but after many years of selection he stabilized the genes of the new bee which became a new race. The Buckfast bees have a good development in spring, usually they have a slower start than Carnica or Ligustica but they have a great expansion as soon as the weather get stabile along with the continuously honey and pollen flow .
Brother Adam loved them because of their extreme gentleness and called them ” bees unusual gentle”.
They are well adapted to overwinter perfect in areas with cold winters and uses less honey stores during winter than other races. One of their best characteristic is the low swarming tendency which makes them very useful also for big beekeeping farms because they don’t need to hire extra beekeepers to search for queen cells in the swarming season, what it would have caused big costs.
The Buckfast bee has a great hygienic behavior which keeps them away from diseases and along with the VSH (varroa sensitive hygiene) in which bees detect and remove bee pupae that are infested by the parasitic mite Varroa destructor, makes it maybe the best bee in the world.
good development in spring
overwinters well and uses less honey stores during winter than other races
they are well adapted to areas with cold winters
the lowest swarm instinct
very hygienic and resistance to disease
boundless capacity for foraging work
queen reduces the laying in the autumn
Click here to see how we manage the controlled mating of Buckfast Queen Bees