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At Buckfast Abbey in Devon, England, Brother Adam's primary aim was to breed a bee with high resistance to tracheal mites. When he had accomplished that, he began incorporating good traits he found in various races of bees during his extensive travels. He developed a bee which was gentle, had highly fecund queens, were high honey producers with a low swarming tendency, and were good wintering bees with a low consumption of stores.
We are continuing to improve this strain (Pictured is Br. Adam at home in Buckfast Abbey).
An excellent choice for the Northern States and the East Coast Region.
During a two year test of six stocks of bees at the University of Minnesota, the Buckfast ranked:
Nosema in Queens - none
Acceptance - BEST (100%)
Spring Buildup - BEST
Gentleness - very gentle (second just behind Midnites)
Swarming Tendency - very low (ranked second)
Propolizing - slight (All Buckfast colonies)
Longevity of Queens - TIED FOR BEST (87% after 16 months)
Wintering - TIED FOR BEST
HONEY PRODUCTION - BEST (during two years). For details see the February, March, and April 1982 issues of American Bee Journal.
In Addition to these tests results we have observed the following:
Housekeeping - Buckfast bees keep a clean, neat hive. This helps them to resist diseases of the brood.
Adaptation - These bees do well anywhere, but are especially well adapted to areas having damp, cold winters.
Compatibility - Buckfast Queens cross well with other breeds.
Color - Variable. The bees have a tendency toward a general dark Italian appearance.
(Pictured at left are Brother Adam and Roy Weaver Jr. together in Texas during Brother Adam's visit to R Weaver Apiaries).