Buckfast Abbey situation

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Norton 

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Hello,
Does anyone know what the present situation is at Buckfast Abbey. Has the resident beekeeper left and what is happening with their beekeeping department?
Best regards
Norton.
 

RoofTops 

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The large scale beekeeping has been cut back to only a small number of colonies, I'm not sure how many but 30 or 40 seems to ring a bell. The honey processing equipment plus all the surplus colonies have been sold to the best of my knowledge.

The beekeeping now revolves around running teaching courses.

The problem was the old hives had reached the end of their lives and the Abbey was not prepared to invest the money to refurbish them.
 

drstitson 

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sad & bizarre

ok - so how much of the revenue from the abbey shop came from selling hive products (honey, mead, wax candles etc)?
 

Queens59 

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They run various courses now - I am doing a 2nd years bee-keeping course next Spring covering A/S etc...
 

RoofTops 

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ok - so how much of the revenue from the abbey shop came from selling hive products (honey, mead, wax candles etc)?
Not enough I assume - more money selling Buckfast tonic wine to the Jocks. But the problem as explained to me was the capital investment needed to rebuild things was too much for the Abbey. There has already been significant investment since Br Adam died, for example in some Langstroth hives and the honey processing equipment which was fairly new I think, but the need to fork out more to refurbish or replace 100+ hives was perhaps the last straw.

The economics of beekeeping are tenuous at best and the move into teaching confirms what others seem to have discovered recently - there is more money looking after beginners than in straight beekeeping.
 

Hivemaker. 

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Roger,has the heat finally got to you in CY,perhaps you could move to Buckfast abbey, and take over the running of the beekeeping department as brother Roger.
 

Norton 

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Hello,
We keep getting bits of information. But interesting to see the way it has gone.
 

chipper 

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Rooftops seems to be on the mark with his assessment.
They are down to about 40 colonies I was told ....when visiting...
And, have set up some kind of charitable trust to run the teaching/training enterprise .
Lots of colonies and surplus equipment sold off.
Bought a lot of Supers and Floors myself....
Not sure who is selling their honey in the Buckfast Abbey shop....
 

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