Buckfast Breeding

What are Buckfast Bees?

Buckfast bees are a strain of honey bee that was developed through a breeding program by Brother Adam of Buckfast Abbey. They are highly resistant to the bee parasite Acarapis woodi or tracheal mite. This parasite blocks oxygen flow in the spiracles of the bees which can cause devastating colony loss. In addition, the bees are bred for calmness, low tendency to swarm, non-aggressive behaviour and high honey production.

Buckfast Mating Stations

The Honey Bee Research Centre follows the same breeding program developed by Brother Adam. We have two isolated queen mating stations for producing Buckfast queens on islands in Lake Simcoe. These islands are far enough away from the mainland that the queens only breed with our drone lines which express the traits we’ve selected for. We take approximately 100 mini mating nucleus colonies up each year and mate Buckfast queens on the islands each season. These queens are then used to re-queen our Guelph apiaries or sold to beekeepers.

Check out this video to get a tour of our Thorah Island queen mating station!