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goodbobby 

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My starter nuc with a Buckfast queen and hived about 5 weeks ago is doing really well. The bees are hard working but very calm and the queen is laying prolifically.However some old hands are telling me that when she is eventually superceded the temper of the colony will change for the worse!

Can anyone clarify this for me?
 

JCBrum 

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Maybe, - maybe not !

You could try raising a couple of new queens from her in nuc hives and see whether they are good tempered as well.

If they turn out ok you have insurance. If not squish 'em and line up a supplier for a similar replacement for when you need it.

JC.
 

Geoff 

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Some people make out that the first crosses of a bee like Buckfast are nasty. However I know someone who has kept Buckfast bees for a few years. he reckons the new queens are not as gentle as the original but they are still a lot better tempered than the run of the mill bee.
I have some bees that I think have a bit of Carniolan in them. Not quite as gentle as the real thing, which I also have but a darn site easier to deal with than some black bees i was given. On a good day you could probably get away without smoke when going through the hive.
 

admin 

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Does anyone have Norton queens that are now on the second third generation etc that can give any feedback,I assume thats were the original Buckfast stock came from that Geoff talks about.
 

Poly Hive 

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When any "pure bred" line, and I am not so sure that Buckfast can be described as pure in fact, is crossed unless the cross to is known there can only be an unknown variable.

If you had an Alsation bitch and crossed her to a collie you would know what she was pregnant with. If you knew the collies temperament you would have a rough idea (bearing in mind recessive genes) what the pups would be like.

If your bitch got out one night and fell pregnant then you would know what? That she is pregnant is the stretch of it is all you can know.

Same with bees. Except of course their genetics are verrra complex indeed.

I do wonder what Brother Adam might have achieved with line breeding of the AMM he so despised in his innocence.

PH
 

Haughton Honey 

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Lots of Commercial hives.......
Hopefully 'bobandbec' will respond to this.

I've had a nuc from Peter headed by one of these queens and they are fabulous so far. Very easy to handle, productive and I believe that Peter said that they can still build up well in September time.

I got a nuc with 3 frames of broad from him during the last week of May and they're now on double brood (with 11 frames of brood between the boxes) and two supers.
 

rich 

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I've had four first cross queens from one of Norton’s queens I got from him last year. All four's offspring are certainly still very calm.
I was very hesitant in using them, as I was giving a nuc to a beginner and didn't want to give them feisty bees, so was very careful in checking them out before passing the colonies on.
They are still good even when it's rainy, I had to go into one last week, (one I kept back) in-between thunderstorms as I had to do a full inspection, boy did I get all kitted up, I had on everything except a suit of armour. Blow me down if they just sat there looking at me, I’m sure they were laughing at my appearance too.

I now have second cross queen that emerged last week; I'll be very interested to see how she turns out.
By the way I have kept in contact with the beekeepers I gave the nuc's to; they both say they are still wonderfully calm. (Kept the other two for myself)
Two colonies I know have filled one super and have a second half full.

Rich
 

admin 

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I now have second cross queen that emerged last week; I'll be very interested to see how she turns out.

Rich
Rich keep us updated on how these girls get on.
It's something I find interesting regards what happens if you use an import then breed down the line.

I would assume that by f5-f6 it would be unfair to blame the original queen for any bad points ?
 

Geoff 

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If you had an Alsation bitch and crossed her to a collie you would know what she was pregnant with. If you knew the collies temperament you would have a rough idea (bearing in mind recessive genes) what the pups would be like.

If your bitch got out one night and fell pregnant then you would know what? That she is pregnant is the stretch of it is all you can know.

PH
Talk like that round my house and you would have teethmarks on your backside. My avator is called Poppy by the way.:)
 

Crg 

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I do wonder what Brother Adam might have achieved with line breeding of the AMM he so despised in his innocence.
He would've have achieved a lot less than he did, and he was breeding for performance.

There is almost certainly some AMM genes in the Buckfast still.
 

Crg 

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My starter nuc with a Buckfast queen and hived about 5 weeks ago is doing really well. The bees are hard working but very calm and the queen is laying prolifically.However some old hands are telling me that when she is eventually superceded the temper of the colony will change for the worse!
As Poly Hive basically said, you won't know who the new queen is mated with, so it's going to be a lottery.

Some crosses are exceptionally aggressive and swarmy, some are fine. The Buckfast crossed with Cecropia for example is gentle but more inclined to swarm than pure Buckfast.

It doesn't make sense to me at least to leave these things to chance, nicely bred queens aren't expensive.
 
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rich 

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Admin
You asked to be updated about the Norton cross. These are now third generation down gals.
Had to go in today as we are away on Friday, and I needed to put on the second Apiguard. Lousy day to be thinking about that task, drizzle, heavy clouds all around, but they are still great to work with, lovely and calm, just going about their business, and I think I even saw a few putting up their brollies when it started to rain.

Thanks Norton, you've got some wonderful bees.

Rich
 

buzz lightyear 

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All my colonies are 3rd / 4th generation Norton. All as calm and prolific as the 1st. Still early days in my beekeeping, so not so sure about their honey production (element of beekeeper dependancy here), and swarming tendancy, (had a bit of a time of it with Rape)
I did raise several Q,s off the "best", so all are sisters or their daughters. I hope this helps to keep them calm. Time will tell.
 

Chris B 

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I had 100 Norton's last year. I've lost most as they were clipped and it's been a very swarmy year all round. (The clipping has been a huge lifesaver this year).

The next generation have all proved to be good tempered. I'm keeping them in apiaries of up to 20 of their own kind so it's a fair bet the majority of matings are "in the family" so perhaps no big surprise there. I even had one original Norton queen who was nasty (we called her Boudica) but her daughter has been good as gold.
 

PupSter 

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Hello

We have had BuckFast bee's since 2004 and love them, several hives have raised their own queens and 95% are great several are on 3rd gen and gentle as can be or bee :)
 

Chris J 

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I started out with little black mongrel bees that we awful and got a queen from Brother Adam himself, and re-queened the hive I had.
I soon saw the wonderful young bees emerging and they were nothing but a pleasure.
 

tonybloke 

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welcome to the forum, chris, from another norfolk beek
 

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