As a new beekeeper, part way through the basic course and hoping to get started in the spring, my classmates and I have been warned off having Buckfast queens in the first couple of years. Is this the general consensus?
The only reason seemed to be that they are quite prolific, but from what I have read, they seem ideal for newbies as calm and less likely to swarm.You'll find every beekeeper has their preferred strains of bees, and they're usually pretty vocal about their reasons.
I started with Buckfasts, and they've been great. Good honey producers, big colonies, and friendly too.
Of course no two queens are the same, so it will depend where you get them from.
What were the reasons you were given for avoiding Buckfast?
They are quite prolific, but as far as I'm concerned a big strong colony is always a good thing.The only reason seemed to be that they are quite prolific, but from what I have read, they seem ideal for newbies as calm and less likely to swarm.
Ah Yes! That was the only issue that I found with the Buckfast Bees, they did build up faster than I expected and also put on more honey as well, as I didn't have enough boxes and stuff this was difficult to juggle... basically make sure you have a spare box, frames, etc. and you'll bee good!The only reason seemed to be that they are quite prolific, but from what I have read, they seem ideal for newbies as calm and less likely to swarm.
You may find that the 'breeder' / supplier of the Amm's may be a bigger factor in their characteristics than the fact that they are Amms; I've observed / heard of a very large variation in Amm's characteristics... but have observed / heard of more consistent characteristics from Carnica and Buckfast Queens (which are then enhanced by the breeder).I have just started with some black bees and they seem also calm.
YES very much so!It is not so much about the bees as the method of beekeeping, learn how to inspect your bees, keep them calm and they will be good to you.
The stroppy bees get more honey is the worst bit of beekeeping folklore going. In regards to tetchy bees on a flow if your talking about a single source crop like osr then yes it does have an effect IMO. If there’s a decent summer flow my bees are as happy as Larry! To the original poster I’ve had many types over the years and I’m more than happy with my BKFS just get them from a reliable source, Exmoor bees as mentioned provide queens and Nucs get in early if you want a spring nuc. In an ideal world see if they have any Nucs with isolated apiary mated queens even if a few £ more. BS Honey also do some decent first cross queens and Nucs, in my area there pretty reliable in subsequent generations as well.Something else I realized early on was that if the bees are a little stroppy to nasty often produce more honey they definably get a bit more stroppy when a flow is on.
Yep Ged Marshall was probably the best breeder, although I am not sure about elevating him to “God” status .Have found buckfast great bees to own and work. Have had them from various sources ( bs, denrosa, exmoor, and God marshal) over the years as well as home bred and all are productive and placid in my experience. Never had any issues with f3 + generations either. Find them better than my darker local mongrel colonies on the whole.