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Buckfast Bee

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Scientific name: Apis Mellifera - hybrid

The basics:
The Buckfast Bee is a hybrid honeybee which was created by crossing several subspecies
of European Honey Bee (Apis mellifera). Also see listings for other types of European Honey Bee: Carniolan Honey Bee; European Dark Bee; Italian Honey Bee.

The Buckfast Bee was developed by "Brother Adam", (born Karl Kehrle in 1898 in Germany), who was in charge of beekeeping at Buckfast Abbey in Devonshire, England. In the early 20th century bee populations were being decimated by Isle of Wight disease. This condition, later called "acarine" disease, after the acarine parasitic mite that invaded the bees' tracheal tubes and shortened their lives, was killing off thousands of colonies in the British Isles in the early part of the 20th century. Brother Adam discovered that the surviving colonies were hybrids between Italian and native black bees.

The Buckfast Bee is popular among beekeepers and is available from bee breeders in several parts of the world. Most of their qualities are very favorable. They are extremely gentle, and some authorities rate them higher than the Italians in most categories. Their main drawback is that they are very liberal in their application of propolis to inner surfaces of their hives, thus acting to defeat one of the main purposes of the modern beehive—that combs should be easily removable for inspection.

Behavior / temperament:
While the European variety of Buckfast are considered very gentle, the American variety is far more defensive.

Housing:
Beekeeping (or apiculture, from Latin apis, bee) is the maintenance of honey bee colonies, commonly in hives, by humans. A beekeeper (or apiarist) keeps bees in order to collect honey and beeswax, to pollinate crops, or to produce bees for sale to other beekeepers. A location where bees are kept is called an apiary or "bee yard". A domesticated bee colony is normally housed in a rectangular hive body, within which eight to ten parallel frames house the vertical plates of honeycomb which contain the eggs, larvae, pupae and food for the colony.

Beekeepers typically use movable frame hives. Straw skeps, bee gums, and unframed box hives are now unlawful in most US states, as the comb and brood cannot be inspected for diseases. However, straw skeps are still used for collecting swarms by hobbyists in the UK, before moving them into standard hives.

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