Shipston Beekeepers 2nd Monday meet 09 Nov 2020

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      Gary Thomas

      This 2nd Monday Virtual Meet was a little different as most of it was devoted to watching a video of the talk that the beekeepers from Buckfast Abbey (Clare Densley and Martin Hann) gave at the end of the WBKA AGM earlier this year. (Fun fact: the video is in fact hosted on Shipston Beekeepers video streaming service on behalf of WBKA).

      Of course Buckfast Abbey is where Brother Adam did all his work on developing the ‘perfect’ bee, the eponymous  Buckfast Bee. It turned out that a number of us, including myself,  started out with Buckfast Bees (and most from the same bee farmer just outside Banbury) and we all thought them lovely, calm bees.


      To break the video up (it’s about 40 minutes) we stopped after about 20 minutes for a quick Q&A session

      At the end we discussed some of the themes covered in the talk, for example a Buckfast bee isn’t a specific type of bee, it’s really just a hybrid and hence the view of what a ‘Buckfast bee’ can vary quite a lot.  Some interesting facts came out about Br. Adam and his work at Buckfast; for example that there is no forage where he took his bees to control mating so vast quantities of syrup had to be transported there to feed the bees; his failure rate in mating queens was at times amazingly high (100 nucs and not one successfully mated) and he had a serious problem with AFB.

      All in all a very interesting 2nd Monday meet and thanks as always to Chris Paxford for arranging and hosting the meet.

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