Buckfast Bees Via Brother Adam- Carolina Honeybees

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If you’re concerned within the beekeeping group, you could have most probably heard about Buckfast Bees. Although no longer as common as they as soon as had been, Buckfast honey bees have a wealthy historical past in beekeeping. In years previous, the entire older beekeepers in my space raised them. Lately, I see extra Italians and mixes in native hives however one of the most Buckfast genetics are nonetheless available in the market.

Buckfast Abbey in England  home of brother Adam who developed buckfast bees.

Buckfast bees are a hybrid breed of honey bees. A hybrid is created when two differing types (races) of bees are go bred. The hope, after all, is to create a hybrid pressure with the most efficient traits of each.

Origins of Buckfast Honey Bees

Within the early 1900’s, Brother Adam, a monk, at Buckfast Abbey in England began a brand new adventures. He was once a passionate beekeeper and sought after to create a breeding program to broaden a greater honey bee.

Why was once he so keen about this bee breeding program? All over this time, tens of millions of Eu honey bee colonies had been demise on account of the Tracheal mite (Acarapis woodi).

He sought after to reinforce the bees and feature more healthy colonies. His purpose was once to broaden colonies that had been excellent honey manufacturers, adaptable to other stipulations and confirmed some resistance to illness and pests.

Breeding Higher Bees: Brother Adam’s Imaginative and prescient

Brother Adam used more than a few lines of honey bees from around the globe in his quest for the most efficient.

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He didn’t spend all of his time within the Abbey apiary. As a substitute, he traveled the sector (Center East, Europe, Africa, and so on.) looking for the hardiest bee genetics for his analysis.

Italians and German Black Bees

One of the crucial notable contributions to bee breeding was once his paintings with Italian bees and the darkish German Bees.

The darkish bees (often referred to as Black Bees) had been hardy however had a name for being very competitive and tough to paintings with.

Italian honey bees had been praised for being very productive and having a calmer angle. Brother Adam in moderation decided on the most efficient Italian queens for his breeding program.

His paintings in combining the genetics of those two resulted within the hybrid referred to as the Buckfast bee. They had been a certain growth on one of the most bees in use on the time.

Small frame of honey comb from a research hive.


Each and every breed or race of honey bees have positive traits that beekeepers can be expecting. However, those are simply pointers as even hives of the similar sort can behave very another way.

There are a number of fascinating characteristics of Buckfast bees

  • Look
  • Productiveness
  • Simple to control
  • Illness Resistance
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Buckfast bees have a notable look. Darker in color at the head and thorax, they’ve unique light-colored bands at the stomach. (Who doesn’t desire a lovely bee? ;))


They’re recognized to be very productive. Buckfast bees employee need to construct comb, generally tend brood and bring honey.

They appear to overwinter neatly, are slower to increase within the Spring and display a low inclination to bee swarming. This implies much less paintings through the beekeeper to control the colonies.

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Simple to Arrange

The earliest lines of Buckfast bees had been stated to be mild and simple to paintings with. (Extra in this later). That is vital to beekeepers as many are hobbyists and need colonies that aren’t overly competitive.

They’re additionally no longer recognized to be over the top manufacturers of gummy bee propolis. That is crucial product within the hive however an excessive amount of could make hive inspections tricky.

Illness Resistance

However, a very powerful merit to this hybrid was once their hardy nature and resistance to illness and pests. Buckfast bees additionally display energy in many various climates. 

In fact, being a hybrid – they loved a much wider genetic pool and this variety helped them alter to adjustments and environmental pressures.

Large Buckfast queen bee marked with a green pin.

Demanding situations to Elevating Buckfast Bees

A big problem to the beekeeper who desires to lift Buckfast bees is obtaining natural inventory. Although they’re a hybrid pressure, genetic purity is helping care for the fascinating traits that Brother Adam was once operating for.

Just a few providers in the USA produce the Buckfast hybrid. This makes price and availability an element when purchasing bees on your hives.

 Additionally, each providers are positioned in spaces the place Africanized bees are recognized to be established. In fact, each and every breeder is going to nice lengths to provide the most efficient bees imaginable.

However, with African genetics within the space – there can be a possibility of unauthorized mating. That is unpreventable because of the means honey bees reproduce.

Which brings to query the gentleness issue. Each and every beekeeper that I do know who has stored Buckfast bees – had some lovely sassy colonies. 

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Any hive of bees could also be extra competitive in positive events, however those hives had been too competitive for me.

Infographic of benefits of buckfast honey bees and image of buckfast abby.


Regardless of one of the most demanding situations, Buckfast bees be offering a large number of advantages. Researchers proceed to paintings with them in hopes of discovering a honey bee utterly proof against mites.

Even as of late, Buckfast bees are known as a good hybrid breed. They remain common amongst beekeepers international. The legacy of Brother Adam’s paintings continues to survive via those exceptional bees.

This could be the most efficient honey bee on your apiary. However, do the analysis sooner than making an investment to you’ll want to are as much as the duty.

Additionally, they’re ceaselessly in comparison to the Carniolan honey bee – any other common selection for yard beekeepers.


What are Buckfast bees?

A hybrid pressure of honey bees, advanced through Brother Adam of Buckfast Abbey in Devon, England.

What are some great benefits of elevating Buckfast bees?

Buckfast bees had been wanted because of their productiveness, adaptability and resistance to a few illness and pests.

Are Buckfast bees simple to lift?

The Buckfast hybrid is as simple to lift as every other form of honey bee. They nonetheless require common hive inspections and tracking for illness and pests.

The place can I purchase Buckfast bees?

To be had from providers international, make sure you acquire Buckfast bees from a credible breeder to make sure genetic purity.

Can Buckfast bees sting?

Sure, the ladies can sting simply the similar as every other form of honey bee.

Ultimate Ideas

Honey bee genetics is past the scope of this easy beekeeper. Alternatively, the race to reproduce a greater bee continues. More healthy, hardier and extra productive is the purpose. Brother Adam was once an early pioneer on this undertaking along with his Buckfast bees however the paintings continues.

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