Buckfast & Feral overwintering

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Jun 14, 2023
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Surrey, England
Hive Type
Number of Hives
This being my 1st winter with bees, I've noticed a difference in behaviour between my feral queen colonies and Buckfast F1/F2's.

My 3 Buckfast colonies seldom venture out, whereas the 4 feral colonies, particularly the 2 darkest in colour, are out until it dips to 5C, and generate regular big navigation flight sessions at the hives, that can go on for a few hours at a time.

I assume a lot of this is due to differences in colony size (?).

Do Buckfasts tend to dramatically reduce laying in the winter, whereas mutt/AMM types keep going?

Mutt activity has meant their hive weight has at least stayed the same, and may even have increased a little.
I have both. One black colony seems to be out and about more.
I keep both because I like to try different queens and Stan likes his swarms.
On the whole the yellow bees are nicer to work and give me far more honey in a good year. The black ones keep the crop ticking over on a bad one.

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