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Breeding Buckfast Queens

IT TAKES A GOOD QUEEN TO MAKE A GOOD COLONY

A colony is only as good as its queen. The Buckfast strain combines a number of desired characteristics in a single bee such as: hardiness, low swarming, gentleness, ease of handling, resistance to disease and honey gathering ability. That is why it really does pay to acquire genuine pedigree Buckfast queens.

HOW TO SELECT BREEDER QUEENS

Anyone can select a queen for breeding purposes. But like most professionals, we require statistical evidence to back up our judgment and selections. Our extensive breeding records and detailed evaluation system help us to spot queens that are suitable for breeding purposes.

 

STARTING RIGHT

Breeding Buckfast Queens

Since the late seventies the Buckfast bee in Denmark is derived from original breeding material imported from the Buckfast Abbey near to Buckfastleigh on the edge of Dartmoor in Devon, UK. The purity of our stock has been maintained due to the fact that both the male and female parentage of each queen is known with 100 percent accuracy.

LINE EVALUATION

Breeding Buckfast Queenes

We keep a large number of different breeding lines at all times. To obtain reliable statistical data, colonies headed by sister queens are evaluated in large groups, to see if a particular line performs well throughout the entire beekeeping season under all field conditions.

COLONY EVALUATION

Breeding Buckfast Queenes

Every time we examine a colony it is given grades on a scale from 1 (low) to 5 (high) based upon fixed criteria for the characteristics of temper, behavior on the comb and inclination to swarm. At the end of the season they are computer analyzed. Note is also taken of the honey production, nosema resistance and hygienic behavior.

POTENTIAL BREEDERS

Breeding Buckfast Queenes

In this way, lists of potential breeder queens are gradually obtained, and the choice between one sister queen and another is often finely balanced mostly because it is rare for two queens of the same line to be used as breeders in the same year. So, ultimately, the beekeeper’s experience, knowledge and judgment are required if the correct selection is to be made.

QUALITY CONTROL

Breeding Buckfast Queenes

Every breeder queen colony we select is independently assessed on a regular basis by an experienced member of the Danish Beekeepers’ Association in order to guarantee the high quality of our breeding stock.

AGE AND PERFORMANCE

Breeding Buckfast Queenes

Most queens are two years old when used as breeders. Because they remain in their colonies throughout their working life, their performance can be monitored long after their daughters have been raised and mated, giving further valuable information about their character and behavior.

STOCK IMPROVEMENT

Breeding Buckfast Queenes

The Buckfast bee is a hybrid that requires the periodic introduction of new blood to prevent inbreeding and to accentuate certain genetic attributes such as e.g. mite tolerance. Consequently, new combinations are always being tested for possible future incorporation into the strain.

PEDIGREE BUCKFAST QUEENS OF PROVEN VALUE

Breeding Buckfast Queenes

"The most important aspect of hive management concerns the nature of the queen. That is why the acquisition of a genuine pedigree Buckfast queen can make beekeeping more enjoyable and more profitable at the end of the day”.
Keld Brandstrup, Bee Master.

QUEEN REARING

Breeding Buckfast Queenes

The grafting of larvae and the rearing of queens is carried out at the Buckfast Queen station in the village Reerslev. The entire process is carefully monitored.
Forward planning lies at the heart of queen rearing success. Schedules are made out for early for, amongst other things, the making up of cell builder colonies, the grafting of larvae, and transport of the queens to the island mating station.
Grafting takes place three times a week during the season from successive breeder queens. When sufficient larvae of the right age are produced, the frame is returned to the parent colony.
Cell builders receive 40 queen cups at a time. Syrup, frames of pollen and sealed brood, are also given to the bees on a regular basis, to maintain viability and strength.
Once sealed, the cells are transferred to an incubator where the queens emerge in a controlled environment. The queen is checked within four hours. If she is small, lacks food or is damaged in any way, she is destroyed.
Marking takes place before the queens are caged, and each batch of sister queens is given a specific color code, so that any queen raised during the season may be positively identified without any risk of error. Mating hives are of the Apidea type. As soon as the caged queen and young bees are added, the new mini nuc is ready for the mating station.

GUARANTEE OF QUALITY

Breeding Buckfast Queenes

Buckfast Denmark queens are identical sisters of the queens we use in our own colonies and come with an authentic pedigree certificate. Moreover Buckfast Denmark is authorized as an official supplier of Buckfast queens maintaining the good name of both Brother Adam and the celebrated strain that he created.

PEDIGREE BUCKFAST QUEENS OF PROVEN VALUE

Breeding Buckfast Queenes

"The most important aspect of hive management concerns the nature of the queen. That is why the acquisition of a genuine pedigree Buckfast queen can make beekeeping more enjoyable and more profitable at the end of the day”.
Keld Brandstrup, Bee Master