Buckfast bee breed: characteristics and features, advantages and disadvantages

Buckfast bee breed: characteristics and features, advantages and disadvantages

The breed of Buckfast bees appeared as a result of long-term selection, which took more than half a century. As a result, it was possible to obtain productive and friendly insects, which are distinguished by a low tendency to swarm. Today there are more than 10 species of bees of this breed. They have many advantages, but they are also characterized by an important disadvantage, which manifests itself in the lack of resistance to frost. Therefore, bees cannot be bred in regions with a cold climate.

Description of Buckfast bees

Buckfast is considered a priority breed in beekeeping. The main disadvantage of these insects is their poor susceptibility to low temperatures. Therefore, they cannot be bred in cold regions. The main characteristics of this line of insects include the following:

  • Area - the source material has not been preserved in natural conditions. A few samples are in Germany at a special station. Its main task is considered to be the preservation of the variety.
  • Weight - The average weight of a working individual is 120 milligrams. At the same time, an unfertilized uterus weighs approximately 195 grams, and a ready-to-lay - 215.
  • Appearance - a slight hairiness is present mainly on the back of the bees. In this case, the lower part of the abdomen is smooth. The color background is a cross between yellow and brown. There are noticeable stripes below the back. The wings are light and translucent, while the legs are black and glossy.
  • The size of the proboscis - it differs in the average length, which is 6.8 millimeters.
  • Behavior - bees do not show aggression towards family members and people. If you remove the cover from the hive, the insects move deeper. They rarely attack people.
  • Winter hardiness - this parameter is considered the main disadvantage of bees. They are not able to independently prepare the hive for the winter. Therefore, the beekeeper must take care of its insulation.
  • Egg-laying level of queens - the average parameter is 2 thousand eggs.
  • The honey collection process - Buckfast bees are characterized by high flora migration. They do not choose one honey plant, but constantly change plants.

Productive Features

The breed is distinguished by a high degree of productivity, which practically does not depend on external factors. At the same time, there are some features:

  • During the middle bribe, the family continues to build strength.
  • At the stage of a strong bribe, the queen bee is slightly limited by bees.
  • Brood in families often appears even in autumn, which helps to increase the period of beekeeping.

The uterus of this breed is considered to be very productive. In late spring, they are able to lay up to 2 thousand eggs per day. Because the breed is characterized by the creation of large families.

In addition, representatives of this breed are able to use weak and strong bribes that are stretched over time. The beekeeper needs to maximize the strength of the bee colony. If the bribe is too weak, it is recommended to feed the bees.

Behavior and climate preferences

One of the main characteristics of the breed is a calm disposition. They do not attack people for no reason, and therefore beekeepers can safely inspect the hive. It does not require the use of a smoker, net or gloves.

Another feature of these bees is diligence. They are able to carry pollen from early morning to late evening. Bees can work even in conditions of low temperatures - up to +10 degrees.

Insects prefer a humid climate. These bees are more comfortable in regions where rainfall is frequent. A good example is the middle band. However, the breed is able to adapt to almost any conditions.

Specific honey collection and swarming

Beekeeping directly affects the size of the honey collection. At the same time, the strength of bee colonies, bribes and the structure of the hive are of great importance. Traveling significantly increases the amount of honey. However, even without this, it turns out a lot.

In order for the Buckfast bees to show themselves well during the honey collection, it is not recommended to limit the growth of the number of insects. Also, do not use techniques such as the selection of sealed brood or the division of families. This provokes a decrease in their growth.

In summer, almost all the work of a beekeeper is to install additional cases and pump out honey. A characteristic feature of bees during the period of honey collection is the minimum production of propolis.

The breed has practically no tendency to swarm. So, for 5 years of keeping bees, literally 2-3 colonies pass into a swarm state. This is considered an excellent indicator.

Breed content

Although the Buckfast breed is considered unpretentious, it is necessary to properly care for them.


Early development of insects is good only if there is enough food for them in the region from the beginning of spring. If the bees are bred in the northern or western regions, the beekeeper must take care of feeding.

Containment conditions

Buckfast bees are considered the most space-demanding. Insects require large hives. Without this, the family will not be able to increase the number of individuals and strength. It is worth noting that the amount of honey that individuals produce directly depends on these factors. Each family should have its own hive.

In the houses themselves it is worth putting special sunbeds. They will promote the reproduction of insects and help preserve the maximum amount of honey. It is important that the bee houses are warm. When growing individuals in the northern regions, insulation of dwellings is required.


When the temperature drops, insects accumulate in a ball. For wintering, they prefer to use empty combs. From time to time, insects change places. This is required for heating and providing access to food. Bees need energy to raise the temperature in the hive to +300 degrees. Such parameters are important when the brood appears.

To maintain a normal temperature in the hive, these individuals need to eat 30 grams of honey per day. This feature must be taken into account before wintering. If necessary, the bee colony should be fed with syrup. Equally important is the quality insulation of the hive.

After wintering, the bees begin to fly around. If the cold season has passed safely, you will be able to see the appearance of frames with brood in the hive. It should also be free from nosematosis.


Buckfast bees have strong immunity. They are not susceptible to ascospherosis, nosematosis and acarapidosis. At the same time, insects suffer from such pathologies:

  • varroatosis;
  • European foulbrood;
  • tracheal mite;
  • American foulbrood.

Because experts recommend that beekeepers pay attention to prevention. This is especially true at the stage of preparation for winter.

Pros and cons of the breed

This breed has many advantages:

  • High productivity of the uterus contributes to the rapid growth and development of the bee colony.
  • Bees have a high degree of endurance. They are able to collect nectar from large arrays of honey plants.
  • There are lines for applying early spring and autumn bribes.
  • Families create compact nests that are located in the lower tiers. Bee-bread and honey stack on top.
  • The bottom of the hive is always kept clean.
  • Nests contain a minimum of propolis.
  • Bees have a calm nature. They are quite comfortable to work with.
  • Families are highly resistant to pathologies and parasites.
  • Bee colonies lack the tendency to swarm.
  • The combination of positive qualities allows you to collect a lot of honey.

At the same time, Buckfast bees are also characterized by some disadvantages. The main disadvantage is considered low resistance to frost. Therefore, in the northern regions it is almost impossible to provide insects with a normal wintering.

Another important disadvantage is the high labor intensity of queen production. This is due to their high cost. When using low-quality queens, splitting of signs will occur after 2 generations. This will make families more aggressive.

Buckfast is a unique selection of bees that has many advantages. These insects are highly productive and have very strong immunity. Therefore, representatives of this breed are often used to produce honey for industrial purposes.

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