Buckfast bees nature?

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barty_the_elk 

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I bought 2 Buckfast Queens in the middle of June and now the two hives are doing well. The colonies have a sandy colour now that there is more yellow in the bees bodies. I was under the impression that Buckfasts have a docile nature but these are fairly fierce and have attacked when I went to feed them yesterday. It may be the varroa treatment (Apistan) making them grumpy or perhaps it's because they haven't been out much. Have any of you any experience of this?
 

Brosville 

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Why on earth use Apistan when it's efficacy is virtually nil in many areas? - I'd be well grumpy if I were a bee and had that in my hive!
 
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Tom Bick 

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Where did you get the queens from?

Buckfast bees are known to be docile but a couple of generations from the original queen things can change.
 

theengraver 

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Apistan will make the bees nasty
but thats all it will do not very good for anything else
 

victor meldrew 

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Apistan will make the bees nasty
but thats all it will do not very good for anything else
Apistan will not make bees nasty nor will Bayvoral !
However as stated before they are pretty well useless these days as most varroa mites are now resistant to the active ingredient ;)
VM
 

the naked beekeeper 

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How have they been since June?
You didn't mention their back-history of temper.

It may well be the time of year.

Nearly all my bees are pretty agitated at the mo as the flow has come to an end and there are lots of summer bees enclosed in a hive, with nothing to do other than protect their honey. Operate the bare minimum you need to...which is not much and wait until autumn sets in more.

Bees are wild creatures and part of understanding your bees is what factors will affect their temper.
If they're usually docile and just angry at the moment, then you know it's probably temporary.

They may revert back to being gentle in September.
 

derekm 

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Our buckfast are docile if handled gently and slowly but can be very quickly riled if you muck them about. Fast movements of the hand near the entrance or fast movement during inspection will provoke an attack particulary if there has been wasps or Bumbebees about .
If you are chilled out so are they. Slow(think bee walk slow) , smooth movements are key with our buckfasts . Keeping you hands on the frame or on the hive, or behind your back so you cant fidget is what works for me. Work at a steady pace (bee speed) dont rush. They can look so peaceful and even friendly if you keep it nice and steady but always:
Exceeding the speed limit will result in persecution.
 
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andycadman 

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:iagree:

I have Buckfasts and some Buckfast F1's all very gentle so far over two years.

We will have to wait and see what the F2's are like. I've heard very varying reports on these pages!
 

barty_the_elk 

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Our buckfast are docile if handled gently and slowly but can be very quickly riled if you muck them about. Fast movements of the hand near the entrance or fast movement during inspection will provoke an attack particulary if there has been wasps or Bumbebees about .
If you are chilled out so are they. Slow(think bee walk slow) , smooth movements are key with our buckfasts . Keeping you hands on the frame or on the hive, or behind your back so you cant fidget is what works for me. Work at a steady pace (bee speed) dont rush. They can look so peaceful and even friendly if you keep it nice and steady but always:
Exceeding the speed limit will result in persecution.
I did not touch the frames - only put a fast feeder on the top with a couple of battens to stop crushing any, so they hadn't anything to worry about!
 

barty_the_elk 

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How have they been since June?
You didn't mention their back-history of temper.

It may well be the time of year.

Nearly all my bees are pretty agitated at the mo as the flow has come to an end and there are lots of summer bees enclosed in a hive, with nothing to do other than protect their honey. Operate the bare minimum you need to...which is not much and wait until autumn sets in more.

Bees are wild creatures and part of understanding your bees is what factors will affect their temper.
If they're usually docile and just angry at the moment, then you know it's probably temporary.

They may revert back to being gentle in September.
Yup - there hasn't been much opportunity for them to get out, although we have a lot of new clover and they've been flying today
 

barty_the_elk 

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How have they been since June?
You didn't mention their back-history of temper.

It may well be the time of year.

Nearly all my bees are pretty agitated at the mo as the flow has come to an end and there are lots of summer bees enclosed in a hive, with nothing to do other than protect their honey. Operate the bare minimum you need to...which is not much and wait until autumn sets in more.

Bees are wild creatures and part of understanding your bees is what factors will affect their temper.
If they're usually docile and just angry at the moment, then you know it's probably temporary.

They may revert back to being gentle in September.
Apart from feeding them, and putting the Apistan on (they seemed docile then), I haven't moved any of the frames. I know they are laying because new bees are appearing at the entrance to learn to fly
 

barty_the_elk 

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Apistan will not make bees nasty nor will Bayvoral !
However as stated before they are pretty well useless these days as most varroa mites are now resistant to the active ingredient ;)
VM
Thanks for the reassurance Victor - many beekeeper round here are suggesting that other remedies (Apivar life?) are effective when Apistan is not. I would have preferred to use varroa stick which hasn't got the nasties of some of the others, but the infestation was severe
 

Hivemaker. 

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Been out clearing supers and making up nucs today,even used the blower a couple of times,bees very good tempered,there temper does not seem vary much at any time of year, even when being treated for varroa. Often work them wearing just a veil for eye protection,and in shirt sleeves,trouble is clothes gets filthy.
 
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barty_the_elk 

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Been out clearing supers and making up nucs today,even used the blower a couple of times,bees very good tempered,there temper does not seem vary much at any time of year, even when being treated for varroa. Often work them wearing just a veil for eye protection,and in shirt sleeves,trouble is clothes gets filthy.
That's what I thought - I'm waiting to hear where they are from and hoping they'll improve with age!!
 

Swarm 

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So much for Buckfasts, they sound very much like any other ... can be this, that or the other.
Whereas we keep movements calm around the hive, I don't see why we should have to work in slow motion in case they erupt.
 

Winker 

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:iagree:

I have Buckfasts and some Buckfast F1's all very gentle so far over two years.

We will have to wait and see what the F2's are like. I've heard very varying reports on these pages!
My F2 is the hive from hell! Which i have to go see today. Full battle gear for this hive regarless of the weather. I look like the michelin man when doing this hive.




I may have to requeen this hive
 

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