Carniolan or Buckfast or Italian ligustica or queens?

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

English Beeman

New Bee
Joined
May 30, 2024
Messages
7
Reaction score
2
Location
westmidlands
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
2 hives 6 nucs
hello everyone just wondering what peoples opinions are on the Carniolan queens and Italian Ligustica I already have a f1 mated Buckfast from Black mountain honey and need to order another queen so i was wondering if i should order the Carniolan queen or Italian ligustica instead of another Buckfast so i have different to compare or shall i just stick with the Buckfast f1?

what's the difference between Buckfast and Carniolan and Italian ligustica?
 
Last edited:
Carniolan: very gentle, very prolific, tend to swarm unless given lots of space. You need to anticipate rather than react in adding supers.
Italian: very big brood nests, incapable of surviving harsh winters as big nests in winter.. need loads of stores. UK weather North of Southern England is too variable. (See BMH's website which says so..)
 
Carniolan: very gentle, very prolific, tend to swarm unless given lots of space. You need to anticipate rather than react in adding supers.
Italian: very big brood nests, incapable of surviving harsh winters as big nests in winter.. need loads of stores. UK weather North of Southern England is too variable. (See BMH's website which says so..)
so would you just stick with Buckfast f1 thanks for replying
 
General advice is that you should source your bees as locally as possible as it is felt that over the years they have adapted to local conditions - it used to be called evolution or survival of the fittest. Nowadays though there has been such an influx of "foreign" bees that their influence is seen in variations in colour, laying potential, productivity, temper/calmness etc. However within bee populations these have also adapted over time so I guess there is no real answer. The bees I have are from my own stock - new queens through my artificial swarming but they obviously mate with drones which may or may not be the "local lads" but they give a range of the characteristics I mentioned. They over- winter well and work well. Obviously if I get a colony that is bad tempered I would replace her but using a frame of eggs from a cool tempered colony. in a nuc so I would call that selection within the apiary. I have used this strategy in Aberdeenshire for 34 years and when moving to Somerset I did not bring those bees with me and was lucky to get a swarm here very soon after arrival and now 13 years on continuing the trend with those bees - albeit I guess their genetic make up will have subtly changed too.

As an anecdote I have a friend near Moffat in Dumfriesshire who had a WBC in the middle of nowhere for many years with very dark bees He did no swarm control, rarely inspected and if he caught the swarm all well and good. The colony reliably produced 40lbs of honey per year, After many years it died out in the early spring and he decided to buy in an Italian package. He said they were the most prolific and gentle bees he had ever seen. There was one problem - they were lazy, never produced honey and needed fed to excess for over wintering and although were well cared for the colony survived only one or two seasons. He used to joke that being Italian they stood around showing off their nice yellow striped livery and admiring the "suits" of their friends and drinking the "cappuccino" he was providing instead of getting stuck in and doing a day's work!!
 
so would you just stick with Buckfast f1 thanks for replying
Have a look around. I love my Buckfast but I like to keep other bees too. I have black bees from Northumberland Honey and a Jolanta from Murray McGregor @Into the lions den (retailed through BMH) They have some Carni in them but are a mix. Ceri Morgan @mbc has lovely black bees too. @Swarm does well with his bees too. He might have a queen available. Dip in and try something new
 
This year I have 2 colonies of Ligustica as an experiment just to provide brood/bees for populating nucs/splits. They do indeed expand their colonies at a rate of knots. On the flip side as Garry said they don't seem to collect much in the way of stores and will not get through the year without regular top ups or syrup. I don't mind as I look at it as the cost of always having lots of workers ready and waiting for when I need them. I have so far taken 1 split from each mainly to access the temperament and character of F2/Italian/local mongrel progeny.
 
I've tried different Queens over the years but always return to Buckfast bees.
 
Was at a meeting last week and this frame was pulled from a hive - have rarely seen such a lovely pattern - must ask the keeper if I could get a QC from him if he had a spare.......................
 

Attachments

  • IMG_2783.jpg
    IMG_2783.jpg
    793.4 KB · Views: 1
so would you just stick with Buckfast f1 thanks for replying
Local bees are best IF - and ONLY -IF you can find a local supplier of calm, productive bees.

I have seen local nucs sold with local queens with totally unacceptable temperament and others that were lovely to handle and productive.#

If I could not get nice local bees, buckfast are the next best thing.

# I supply between 5-10 nucs a year to beginners . I refuse to supply anything I would not use myself..
And I cull nasty bees without hesitation.
 
Local bees are best IF - and ONLY -IF you can find a local supplier of calm, productive bees.

I have seen local nucs sold with local queens with totally unacceptable temperament and others that were lovely to handle and productive.#

If I could not get nice local bees, buckfast are the next best thing.

# I supply between 5-10 nucs a year to beginners . I refuse to supply anything I would not use myself..
And I cull nasty bees without hesitation.
MY NATIVE LOCAL BEES JUST WANT TO KILL ME LOL THEY LITERERALY AMBUSH MY FACE AS SOON AS I OPEN THE LID AND FOLLOW ME ONCED FINISHED BACK TO MY CAR 150 YARDS AWAY SO IM GOING TO KILL THAT QUEEN AND SORT A NEW QUEEN ITS NOT FUN AT ALL YET MY BUCKFAST ARE SUPER CALM AND MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE TO WORK WITH
 
Local bees are best IF - and ONLY -IF you can find a local supplier of calm, productive bees.

I have seen local nucs sold with local queens with totally unacceptable temperament and others that were lovely to handle and productive.#

If I could not get nice local bees, buckfast are the next best thing.

# I supply between 5-10 nucs a year to beginners . I refuse to supply anything I would not use myself..
And I cull nasty bees without hesitation.
MY LOCAL BEES I HAVE ARE SUPER AGRESSIVE ITS NOT ENJOYABLE TO WORK WITH THEY NEED TO BE REQUEENED
 
Local bees are best IF - and ONLY -IF you can find a local supplier of calm, productive bees.

I have seen local nucs sold with local queens with totally unacceptable temperament and others that were lovely to handle and productive.#

If I could not get nice local bees, buckfast are the next best thing.

# I supply between 5-10 nucs a year to beginners . I refuse to supply anything I would not use myself..
And I cull nasty bees without hesitation.
YEAH I HAVE A SUPER NASTY LACOL BEE AND THEY JUST AMBUSH MY FACE I NEED TO REQUEEN HER THATS FOR SURE
 
Have a go at making your own. Another aspect to beekeeping, really quite easy to do.
YEAH THATS MY PLAN O WANT TO GRAFT SOME OF MY OWN BUCKFAST QUEENS THEY JUST SEEM WAY MORE CHILLED OUT COMPARED TO MY LOCALS
 
Back
Top