Accessibility

Dear fellow beekeepers,

The best way to reach us is by e-mail. We usually reply on the same day.
Our “bee phone” is manned as often as possible from 17.00 to 19.00 during the season. But the bees have priority and it is difficult to beekeep with a phone in your hand.
We ask for your understanding.

Please do not contact us by WhattsApp. Thank you.

Lines 2022

BREEDING MOTHERS

In the past, we have exclusively bred from the best drone colonies of the previous year at the Friedrichskoog lmating station. This procedure has proven successful and we will continue to do so in the future. Once in 2019, however, we also bred from queens with a particularly pronounced hygienic behaviour, which were not at the pollination site. In 2022, we will again have enough queens at our disposal that were at the breeding station in the previous year and from which we will then breed again. The path to our breeding mothers takes place in close cooperation with the operators of the Friedrichskoog country hive:

Approximately 150-200 daughters from a selected drone mother are mated in Friedrichskoog in the previous year.
Of these sisters, the best 60 are set up as drone colonies in the actual breeding year at the pollination site.
From these we select the 3 best queens as breeding mothers in the following year.
The daughters of these breeding mothers are mated with a new drone line introduced to our mating station in Friedrichskoog and sold to our customers. The new drone mother is of course not related to the breeding mother.

LINES 2022

Drone mother:
leg. 87 (DB) = .18–V263(DB)leyB34Vt(LS) 1.dr
Our drone mother for the breeding season 2022 was bred like the breeding queen 2021 also by Detlev Biel. He has described his B87 in detail on the homepage of the breeding station.

Breeding mothers 2022

As in previous years, we will select 4-5 breeding mothers from the approx. 40 drone colonies still available from 2021 in spring and re-list them. This procedure has proven successful and is the last selection by me. The honey yield is not the decisive selection criterion at this point for the reasons mentioned. For this reason, no pedigree numbers can be given at this stage:

?? (BZF) = .20- B234(DB) frkg B562(PJ)

In 2019 inseminated queens from the breeding of Jos Guth/Paul Jungels were purchased. We decided to breed from the matings B822(PJ) into V880(PJ). They were only kept as yielding colonies in 2020 and have met our expectations in every respect. The three existing queens of identical parentage have so far coped well with the mite and did not need to be treated. After the 2020 breeding season, these queens were relocated to Mini Plus units to limit their egg laying.

imq B144(FBL) = .19-B822(PJ) into V880(PJ) 1dr

From this B144(FBL) we will breed in limited numbers in 2022 and offer these queens mated in Friedrichskoog under the name “HYG+ Buckfast Queen”.

In addition, we can offer you wintered queens from last year’s mating in spring:

Mother queen
B72(BZF)=.19-lvq.B562(PJ)frkgB66(NK)

Father queens
leg.236(DB)=.17-V280(NK)mmB66(NK)

These queens are in our orchard and are bursting with vitality. We will only decide how many of them are worth breeding after wintering. They will be shipped in early/mid May, temperatures permitting.

Shipping costs

Dear fellow beekeepers,

Unfortunately, we are dependent on the prices of the shipping companies when it comes to the costs of shipping. We endeavour to offer you the most favourable offer in each case. However, it is crucial for us that the queens reach you quickly and, above all, well kept. Not all companies are equally well positioned in all countries. We are all the more pleased to be able to keep our prices stable this year.

Prices per delivery:
(One delivery, up to 7 queens)

Germany: dhl Express, EUR 18.00

Abroad: Delivery only within the EU. EUR 20,-
Shipment as “Auslandsbrief priorité”, as “Warensendung International”, or also as dhl parcel. Unfortunately, we are unable to ship to Great Britain due to the complicated customs regulations.

Please note: The express shipment of queen bees by air freight with providers such as dhl Express, Fed Ex, ups etc. is (unfortunately) excluded by the applicable transport conditions. Due to the fact that we always ship queens destined for foreign countries on Monday, they usually arrive within the same week.

We therefore ask for your patience.

 

Dates of shippings

Dear fellow beekeepers,
It’s starting again. After what feels like a far too short winter break, we are now plunging into the preparations for this season with great vigour.
We are sure that we will be able to offer you high-quality queens again this year.
Since Whitsun coincides with the start of the season, we have changed a few things from the normal shipment, which always takes place on Mondays:

Economy Queens:
1st dispatch, THURSDAY, 2.6., inside Germany ONLY
2nd dispatch, TUESDAY, 7.6., inside Germany ONLY
then on Mondays

Mated breeding queens
1st dispatch, Tuesday, 7.6., inside Germany ONLY
then every Monday thereafter

Selected breeding queens
1st dispatch: Monday, 13.6.

HYK+ breeding queens
1st dispatch: Monday, 20.6.

Overwintered breeding queens:
Dispatch beginning/mid May

Last dispatch: early/mid October depending on availability and temperatures.

End of season 2021

Dear fellow beekeepers,
With the dispatch on 20 September, the 2021 season is coming to an end. Spared from unpleasant conditions like those in southern Germany and Europe, we were able to work extremely productively.
We would like to thank everyone for their cooperation, as shipping our little ladies is an extremely sensitive business that requires a high degree of flexibility from everyone.
We are especially pleased that we were able to meet almost all of the shipping deadlines promised in advance.
We will be happy to take your orders for 2022 from mid-October.

Until then, we wish you a good end to the year in the spirit of Loriot:
Life without bees is possible, but pointless.

Kind regards, Jens Steinfeld

Lines 2021

LINES 2021

Mother drone:
leg. 236 (DB) = .17–V280(NK)mmB66(NK).
A detailed description can be found in the autumn letter 2020.

Breeding mothers 2021
7, 13, 72  (BZF) = .19-ivq.B562(PJ) frkg B15(LE)
As in previous years, we have selected 3 breeding mothers from last year’s 40 remaining drone colonies in spring. These are  the mothers for our breeding queens.

Breeding mother 2021, HYG+
imq B144(FBL) = .19-B822(PJ) ins V880(PJ) 1dr

In 2019 inseminated queens from the breeding of Jos Guth/Paul Jungels were purchased. We decided to breed from the mating B822(PJ) ins V880(PJ). It met our expectations in every aspect. The colony has so far handled well the mite and did not need to be treated.

From the B144(FBL) we will follow up in 2021 on a limited scale and offer these queens mated in Friedrichskoog under the designation “HYG+/Varroa untreated queen”.

 

Neujahrsbericht 2020 (nur deutsche Version, sorry)

Dr. Peter Stöfen (Vollversion als pdf: 2020 Neujahrsbrief)

Neujahrsbrief 2020

Liebe Imkerkolleginnen und Imkerkollegen,

liebe Kunden und Freunde unserer Zuchtgemeinschaft,

liebe nichtimkernde Weggefährten!

Im Frühjahrsbrief 2019 habe ich Sie über einen Vortrag von Paul Jungels berichtet. In einem Artikel in der Ausgabe 2/2019 in der Zeitung “Der Buckfastimker” hat er seine Vorgehensweise, um eine genetisch bedingte Varroaresistenz zu erreichen noch einmal zusammengefasst dargestellt. Darin legt er eindringlich dar, dass Medikamente, qualvolle Säurebehandlungen und betriebstechnische Maßnahmen wie z.B. die totale Brutentnahme oder ähnliche lange Lösung des Milbenproblems sind. Diese Einschätzung geht von den meisten Imkern uneingeschränkt geteilt werden.

Die logische Konsequenz auch für uns daraus: den 2019 eingeschlagenen Weg der Zuchtziele. Alle Kräfte müssen haben, um ein Biene zu gelangen, welche mit der Milbe fertig wird.

Ende letzte Jahres hat ich Gelegenheit, in unserer Imkerschule Herrn Martin Gabel vom Bieneninstitut Kirchhain zu hören. Er referierte über das deutschlandweite Verbundprojekt SMR-Selektion. Wobei SMR für Unterdrückte Milbenreproduktion steht. Es ist aus meiner Sicht ein vielversprechendes Projekt. In dieser Form arbeiten zwei deutsche Bieneninstitute bundesweit eng mit Regionalgruppen von Imkerinnen und Imkern zusammen. Im Januar wird wir an einem von Herrn Gabel geleiteten Kurs, um danach Brutwaben auf SMR auswerten.

Alle unsere Zuchttiere, auch mütterlicher- als auch väterlicherseits, sind mit dem Nadelkissen-Test auf ihrem Hygieneverhalten geprüft worden. Dieses Nadelkissen kann bei Lutz Eggert erworben werden. Tiere mit einem Ausräumverhalten nach 24 h von unter 85% werden von der ausgeghasten Zucht. Dieser Test ist nur als eine Basis-Untersuchung zu sehen, eine milbenrelevante Aussagekraft nur sehr bedingt. Die Nachkommen unserer Drohnenmutter B15(LE) mit einem hohen HYG+ Verhalten wiesen aber bei einer unabhängigen SMR Untersuchung allesamt Werte von über 62% auf! Das war so nicht zu erwarten und bestätigt in nachhinein unsere Entscheidung für die B15!

Die Beurteilung des Parameters REC (recapping/Anzahl der geöffneten und wiederverschlossenen Zellen), SMR und das varroasensitive Hygieneverhalten (VSH) bedingen eine fortlaufende, zellweise Analyse der Brutwaben. Die Gleichung REC plus VSH gleich SMR wird in einigen Veröffentlichungen und Vorträgen verwendet. Deseins in die Begrifflichkeit SMR wahrscheinlich noch zusätzliche Mechanismen einfließen, die noch nicht endgültig zu sein scheinen.

Diese arbeitsintensive Beurteilung kann noch nicht von uns werden. In den Pedigrees ist unsere Zuchtmütter das Verhalten teilweise angegeben und kann dort abgerufen werden. Wir werden bei der Beschreibung unserer Zuchtmütter die Begriffe REC, SMR und VSH im Jahr 2020 (noch) nicht verwenden, auch wenn das Auffinden von geöffneten Brutzellen in den meisten Völkern deutlich auftritt. Die Vermehrung von VSH ist additiv. Je mehr Anlagen von vorhanden sind (diese sind die jeweiligen Pedigrees zu entnehmen) desto höher ist die Wahrscheinlichkeit, dass ein Bienenvolk mit der Milbe fertig wird. Garantieren können wir dieses Verhalten allein aus juristischen Gründen nicht!

Im vergangenen Sommer konnte für wenige Tage der Eindruck entstehen, dass wir geprüfte VSH-Königinnen von unserer Belegstelle anbieten. Das traf so natürlich nicht zu. Wir boten nur Königinnen an, bei denen denen die Mütter ein ausgeprägtes VSH und die Drohnenlinien ein ausgeprägtes HYG+ Verhalten zeigten. Die Töchter wurden nicht überprüft. Es bestand nur eine hohe Wahrscheinlichkeit, dass dieses Verhalten vererbt wurde. Falls ein anderer Eindruck entstanden sein sollte, so gebissen er zu entschuldigen. Auf keinen Fall wollen wir die mühevolle Arbeit aller Züchter.

Für das entgegengebrachte Vertrauen und für die vielen netten Kontakte möchte ich mich in erster Linie im Namen von Jens Steinfeld und unserem gesamten Team aufrichtig bedanken. Wir hoffen sehr, dass Sie mit unserem Service zufrieden waren, dass wir die vielen Sonderwünsche nach unseren Kräften berücksichtigen konnten und dass Sie die Königinnen zu dem von Ihnen gewünschten Termin in einem guten Zustand erhalten haben. Allein diese logistische Abwicklung ist immer wieder eine Mammutaufgabe und ich bin dankbar, in Jens jemanden gefunden zu haben gefunden, der mir den Rücken für das Imkern freihält. Inzwischen kennt er die Tücken des Versandes mit lebenden Tieren detailliert und natürlich viele von Ihnen mitsamt Ihren Wünschen und Bedürfnissen.  Das alles dürften Sie bemerkt haben!

Unsere Linien im Jahr 2020:

Drohnenmutter 2020 Friedrichskoog:

B562 (PJ)  =  .19–ivq.B621(PJ) ins B138(PJ)                 

Diese unbegatteten Königinnen wurden von unserer Zuchtgemeinschaft im Sommer käuflich erworben und im Friedrichskoog begattet. Details entnehmen Sie bitte der Website unserer Belegstelle und der Zuchtregistratur.

Zuchtmütter 2020

Wie in den vergangenen Jahren werden wir von den ca. 35 noch vorhandenen diesjährigen Drohnenvölkern im Frühjahr 4-5 ausselektieren und davon umlarven. Darum kann auch zu diesem Zeitpunkt noch keine Pedigree Nr. genannt werden:

?? (BZF)  =   .18-imq.B15(LE) frkg B92(DB)

Von diesen Zuchtmüttern können Sie wie gewohnt standbegattete Wirtschaftsköniginnen, belegstellenbegatte Königinnen und ab Mitte/Ende Juni selektierte Königinnen beziehen. Letztere befinden sich mindestens 3 Wochen in Eiablage. Die Königinnen haben ihre Töchter gesehen.

Von Detlev Biel wurde mir eine in im Jahre 2018 auf Leyhörn angepaarte Königin überlassen. Dieses Volk brauchte wie alle anderen diesjährigen Drohnenvölker nicht gegen die Milbe behandelt zu werden. Wir bieten sie unter der Bezeichnung „HYG +/Varroa unbehandelte Königin“ an:

imq. B29(BZF) =  .18- imq.B15(LE) ley B34Vt(LS)

 

 Überwinterte Königinnen:

Darüber hinaus werden wir einige in Mini-Plus-Beuten überwinterte Königinnen abgeben. Sie sind ebenfalls komplett unbehandelt:

              .19 – ivq.B331(PJ)  frkg B15(LE) :

              .19 – ivq. B353(PJ)  frkg  B15(LE) :

Erst nach der Auswinterung entscheiden wir, wie viele davon zuchtwürdig sind. Der Versand erfolgt erst Anfang/Mitte Mai 2020, wenn die Temperaturen es erlauben. Gerne können Sie bei Interesse diese jetzt schon per E-Mail bestellen. Wir setzen Sie dann auf die Warteliste und werden sie in der Reihenfolge des Eingangs vorbehaltlich der Verfügbarkeit verschicken. Sie kosten 189,- EUR zzgl. Versand und sind ausschließlich per E-Mail zu bestellen. Alle Bestandskunden von uns werden bevorzugt beliefert.

Für unsere Königinnen gilt, dass sie alle klassischen Buckfast-Merkmale aufweisen: Sie bringen Honig, sind schwarmträge und  sanftmütig.  Mit diesen Bienen können sie wie gewohnt wirtschaftlich  imkern und brauchen Ihre Betriebsweise nicht zu ändern.

Bestellen können sie ab sofort wie immer mittels des angehängten Bestellformulars oder über den Shop unserer Homepage. Dort finden Sie auch die neuen Preise und Versandtermine. Bestandskunden, die schon bei uns bestellt haben, könne gerne auch einfach per E-Mail bestellen. Erster Versand für Wirtschaftsköniginnen ist am 8. Juni 2020, für im Friedrichskoog begattete Königinnen beginnen wir mit dem Versand eine Woche später am 15.06.2020. Wir verschicken jeweils montags, innerhalb Deutschlands ausschließlich mit DHL-Express, ins Ausland als Warenpost International, Tracked, priorité. Beide Verfahren haben sich im letzten Jahr bewährt.

Detaillierte Informationen zur Beschickung unserer Belegstelle erhalten Sie Anfang 2020. Danach sind Voranmeldungen im Rahmen der voraussichtlichen Drohnenverfügbarkeit möglich.

Jens und ich hoffen, dass Sie gut in das Neue Jahr gekommen sind. Nachdem wir in den letzten Wochen die Bienen mal ein wenig hinten angestellt haben (und deshalb statt des Herbstbriefes dieser Neujahrsbrief kommt), sind wir jetzt wieder voller Elan und freuen uns darauf, gemeinsam mit Ihnen die Buckfastzucht weiter voran zu bringen.

Ihren Bienen alles Liebe und Gute

Herzlichst

Ihr Peter Stöfen

 

Spring letter 2019

Dr. Peter Stöfen        (full version as pdf: 2019 Spring letter

Spring letter 2019

Dear beekeeping colleagues, dear customers and friends,

A short while ago, I had the opportunity to listen to two of the most renowned experts on the subject of beekeeping at a meeting in Oberlausitz. One of these experts was the zoologist Prof. Dr. R. Paxton from the University of Halle. His research team focuses on the effects of viruses, in particular the Deformed Wing Virus/DWV that currently afflicts so many bees. He explained that the virus, in conjunction with the Varroa mite is primarily responsible for the loss of colonies. At the same time the DWV genome is highly infectious and other viruses are of secondary importance. It is not currently possible to combat these viruses. The only option left open to us beekeepers is to combat the problem indirectly by reducing the mite population.

Prof. Paxton presented his project „Varroa-resistant bees in Saxony“. He provided a detailed overview of the broad palette of measures that can be taken to combat the mites. Every single solution is fraught with problems, whether because of the impact on the bees or because of the complex technological measures necessary to implement the measures. Consequently, beekeepers are pursuing a policy of breeding Varroa-resistant bees.

The primary reason for our long journey all the way across to the other side of the country was to get some further information from Paul Jungels on the state of play with regard to attempts to breed Varroa-resistant bees. It should be noted that he has played a leading role in restoring the reputation of Buckfast bees in Europe. Moreover, he is considered to be one of the pioneers in the area of resistant breeding. He has been able to produce results that could hardly even be imagined a short time ago.

In spring of 2013 I was in Luxembourg and at the time, while listening to the remarks of our American colleague Bob Danka, it seemed that the chances of practically implementing the required measures were very low. Having been so negatively mentally conditioned, I was perturbed on the long drive home. Happily, Paul Jungels interpreted this information in a different way. As an aside it is worth mentioning that he has been a guest in my house on 2 occasions. He couldn`t believe the breeding possibilities which are open to us as a result of the concentration and sheer quantity of mating stations all along the North Sea coast.

It is not possible to boil the complex content of his presentation down to a few short sentences. Nevertheless, it is worth attempting to set out the cornerstones of his approach:

Single-drone-insemination: This process results in greater clarity according to his remarks. The characteristics of a colony with only one paternal figure can be better assessed and in a more targeted manner. Due to the relatively low sperm concentration in the spermatheca of the queen, the colonies can only be sustained in small units (Mini Plus). This modus operandi in small colonies has been continually developed and optimised so that the small colonies can first hibernate over the course of a winter and then be examined in the following year. The single-drone-insemination allows for a considerable reduction in the number of attempts that are needed when compared with insemination by drones of diverse origins and pedigree. Three light-brown combs are placed into the middle of the brood nest of the small colonies that are kept in small hives. Within 36 hours these are uniformly studded and are infected by 120-150 mites. 14 to 24 days later the brood is counted. The sealed brood is opened cell by cell and the level of Varroa infestation is measured. This test alone allows for positive Varroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH) hereditary dispositions to be determined.

This form of selective breeding is considerably more difficult than the standard hygiene test of the sealed brood. Measuring and evaluating the colonies can only occur at a period in time during which there is considerable pressure caused by the presence of Varroa mites. Hence it is only possible at the end of the season and it requires a significant amount of time be invested into this process. When queried, it was confirmed that brood hygiene and VSH only have a limited correlation to each other.

Our apiary as well as the Buckfast breeding cooperative in Friedrichskoog are not in a position to carry out all of the steps described by Paul Jungels as outlined briefly above. Consequently, we do not refer to our Buckfast-queens as VSH-queens. Even if the parents demonstrate VSH hereditary dispositions, there is no indication that the daughters necessarily also have this predilection. Any other assertion would be untrustworthy and would be unfair to all concerned in breeding VSH characteristics.

Having said that, we will continue to conduct the hygiene test. At the same time, we will be partially breeding with queens that possess verified VSH-characteristics. For example, the drone mother for this year at the breeding station in Friedrichskoog was treated the last time in 2015. It can be assumed that she will manage to overcome the mites. We are continuing on our journey: allowing the queens to age and mature without any treatment whatsoever and evaluating the naturals cases of mite infestation.

At the same time, we will be keeping a close eye on the tried and trusted Buckfast characteristics. This bee has been my constant companion for a number of years. I wouldn`t want to be without them and were it not for them I probably wouldn`t still be an active apiarist. Let us hope that we manage the delicate tightrope act of working with a bee that brings us high amounts of honey, is slow to swarm and placid and that it will manage to overcome the challenges of mite infestations as well. They won`t be declared to be VSH-queens. We will be putting all our efforts over the next years into achieving this high aim. And we are optimistic that we will succeed.

Our breeding lines in 2019:

Drone mother
Breeding station Friedrichskoog

B15 (LE) = .16 – GR 65(LE) mrk B59 (MKN)

                   .15.- B103(IC) ilv mrk GR53(MKK)

 The description of B15 will be made available shortly on our new website, which is currently under development. It has proven to have overcome the mites since approx. 1,100 days and illustrates all of the desired Buckfast characteristics as a result of 4 matings at breed stations. In the last few days we have carried out a hygiene test on all of our colonies using a coolant spray. Only 3 of 52 colonies showed house-cleaning behaviour of less than 85 %.

Breed mothers 2019

B69 (BZF) = .17-B92(DB) frkg144(HS)

B52 (BZF) = .17-B92(DB) frkg144(HS)

B71 (BZF) = .17-B92(DB) frkg144(HS)

As has been the case in previous years, we have made a careful selection of 3 from the 35 drone colonies that remain from last year and we will transfer the larvae from this selection. This is my main occupation as a breeder: producing a well-bred bee, which has all the characteristics of a Buckfast bee. You will find a detailed description in our spring letter from 2018.

These breed mothers will provide us with the usual high quality economy queens, queens inseminated at the mating station as well as our select queens. We are pleased to be able to maintain the prices for the economy queens at last year`s level. However, due to significant increases in the costs associated with operating the mating station we have had to make some minor increases in the prices for queens inseminated at the mating station in Friedrichskoog.

In addition, we will be in a position to offer a limited amount of daughters from breeding mothers with a distinct hygienic behaviour, which should be well able to cope with mites. These will primarily be descendants of bees produced by Jos and Annette Guth as well as Detlev Biel, which have then been mated at the mating station in Friedrichskoog. The respective pedigrees associated with each individual bee will be supplied along with your order. The great interest and the high number of orders for the hygiene+ queens shows that many beekeepers think similarly and want to follow this path with us. This breeding work is carried out in parallel to the usual breeding. In the autumn letter 2018 and on the website of the mating station in Friedrichskoog (www.buckfast-belegstelle-friedrichskoog.de), which is currently still under construction, we will be able to provide you soon with further information on the conceptual basics and the planned procedure of our breeding cooperative regarding the production of bees with distinct hygiene behaviour or with VSH characteristics.

Orders

As always, you can start placing orders on our homepage:

https://www.buckfast-zucht.de

We are also completely remodelling the homepage at the moment to improve our service for our loyal clients. Please also feel free to place your orders using the order form included with this letter. There you will find all the information on the new prices and the shipping dates. The first shipping date for economy queens is 11.06.2019. Shipping of mating station queens starts approximately one week later. As every year we will be able to inform you about the shipping dates at the same time as the order so that you can plan better.

The fact that we ship exclusively by DHL-Express within Germany has proven its worth over the past year. And we have good success by using RFID-Responders for our shipments abroad. Given that the express parcel services do not transport bees in their aircraft, we really have no alternative.

Due to the extremely high demand at the moment, we recommend that you place your order in the near future to avoid disappointment.

 

May we all have a great year with our bees, may we always have luck in our dealings with our charges and may the elements favour us this season. It is in this spirit that I wish you much success and, above all, personal fulfilment in dealing with your protégés.

Kind regards,

Peter Stöfen

Spring letter 2018

Dr. Peter Stöfen
(full version as pdf: 2018 Spring letter)

Springletter 2018

Dear fellow bee-keepers,
dear customers,
dear friends,

The days are getting longer and the monologue from Goethe’s Faust gives me hope that a little more light and warmth will spread everywhere. Not only in nature and with our bees, but also in our homes and gardens and above all in our minds. However, the power of light alone will not be able to fill the many negative fields in our environment with positive energy. These many incomprehensible things, for example in the environment and in global events, are difficult for us to change and we must not allow them to increasingly dominate and paralyse us.

The light and the warmth should strengthen us in these spring days! To occasionally focus on what is going well in our lives. We live in Germany, a country in which small and medium-sized businesses are increasingly being treated with contempt and the influence of a small handful of cartels is increasingly infiltrating our state. The glyphosate discussion is an apposite example of this. Having said that, we have a stable democracy, one of the best health systems in the world and, above all, we have been blessed that we have all been largely spared from armed conflicts over the last 72 years. Maybe it is just possible to be satisfied that one is largely in good health; about the work, the hobbies. About his partner, the children or the grandchildren. About the flowering winter blossoms, especially when they are visited by the bees. About music from Mumford and Sons, for example, that makes me instantly forget my numerical age; or laughing at Monty Python’s bizarre English humor.

We should never forget to look at what is positive in our lives and be grateful for it!

Our breeding lines in 2018:

Breed mother 2018

During my agricultural training, I was taught how to make production technology as lean and efficient as possible. Of course, the overriding aim of ensuring a high-quality product must never be overlooked. For our business this means that the genetic input or the genetic qualitative characteristics of our queens would not improve if we were to base our work on as many genetic strains as possible. Our breeders, who all have a greater number of bee colonies intended for honey production and are therefore consequently in a position to select consistently and responsibly, do this work. They also limit themselves to as few strains as possible and if you study the pedigrees carefully in this respect, they become the calling card of every breeding business.

In this sense, we will select the best 4-5 best of last year’s 40 or so remaining drone-populations and we will graft their larvae. That is why we still have the question marks in the genetic code below: it is not possible at this time to know the precise numbers we will use.

This is where the focal point of breeding work lies. I am primarily focused on phenotypic traits and of course to the honey performance in the rapeseed of the previous year. Our breeding mother for 2018 comes from Bavaria and was bred by Stefan Holmer. His pedigrees speak for themselves and for the intensity of his breeding work. He has regularly sent his queens to all important mating stations (including the two by Eugen Neuhauser) and he has an enormous wealth of experience in combination breeding. He entrusted his B 144(HST) to me in autumn 2015, her daughters were paired without exception with B27(ABg) on our station in Friedrichskoog in 2016:

B???(BZF)    .16 –B144(HST)frkg B27(ABg)  :   .14-B63(HST)hbgB101(CHP)
imq.13- B63(TR)hbgB235(PJ)    :   .12-B137(TR)balB72(TR)

The lineage is promising on the basis of the names that are linked to it and, in line with our philosophy, are tried and tested. We do not wish to experiment with our drones; rather we aim to preserve the current, proven Buckfast lineage. The breeding work of Thomas Rüppel is unrivalled and requires no further praise. One of the first to recognise this was Brother Adam. Paul Jungels is another breeder in this league. I remember fondly the daughters of his B235, which were unfortunately decimated by mites. In this way, this line has returned to our operations; what a piece of good luck!

Mother of Drones 2018

B92 (DB) – The line of drones in Friedrichskoog

Our drone mother comes to us this year from Lower Saxony. She was bred by Detlev Biel, who is also a member of the breeding cooperative Friedrichskoog, and was acquired by us in recognition of his excellent breeding efforts. This year’s genetic input is the basis for 2018 at the mating station in Friedrichskoog and will more than likely be the basis for the maternal breeding activities for 2019. He describes his  B92 as follows:

”Are you looking for Buckfast material which is typical of Buckfast and bred according to Brother Adam’s specifications? Then the B92(DB) is the drone line you should mate with. Their honey yield meets all the requirements of a commercial beekeeping business. Thanks to an Anatolian influence, this bee is ready, from the early to the late bloom, to successfully bring in the honey yield. This is due to the extraordinary willingness to breed and the vitality of these bees. We are always striving to preserve genetic diversity, because this is the guarantee for an optimal willingness to perform. In addition, mating with Anatolian material has made this bee very resistant to disease and frugal with winter supplies. You will be able to enjoy the growth of your hives in spring without fear of dwindling feed reserves. This is certainly also due to the coordinated breeding stop in winter, which starts like clockwork with the first night-time frosts. Even though we recommend this bee to each professional beekeeper, it is also well-suited to the needs of hobby beekeepers because their swarm behavior can be easily and quickly steered by implementing an adaptive spatial strategy. We have never had to resort to breaking cells or choosing other swarm-preventing methods to control them. The adaptation of the honey chambers to the nectar on offer is sufficient. In addition these bees are notable for their gentle nature and honeycomb continuity. They are very pleasant and even without the need for smoke the bees remain on the combs and one can simply enjoy the beekeeping. You can really look forward to their offspring: we have tested them and are confident in our ability to present to you the best of our selection and breeding efforts.”

B92 (DB) =   .14-B45(DB)lthlB200(BB)    :   .13-B49(DB)lgnB73(HGS)
.11-B1(DB)lgnB79(HGS)        :   imq .10-B164(IC)bal135(TR)

 Orders / Getting in touch

As the work mounts up quickly at this time of year, we kindly ask that all questions and orders be placed via our homepage:

https://www.buckfast-zucht.de

or by email. For the second time, we have created a hotline for urgent questions related to orders. You will be connected to Mr. Steinfeld directly via telephone, text message or WhatsApp. We would kindly ask you to bear in mind that this number will not be active outside the times mentioned below. Beekeeping with a mobile phone in the hand is a tricky business and prevents focussed work!

June to August
Mon.-Sat. 16.00 – 18.00
Phone/WhatsApp/Text message
+49(0) 178 – 111 70 04

Having said that, I would like to reiterate that you would really be assisting our work greatly if you could please use our email as your primary method of contacting us:

info@buckfast-zucht.de

In this way, nothing will be lost in the hectic course of a busy working day and you will be assured of a quick reply.

Shipping 2018

We aim to start shipping our queens on 11 June 2018. We will be sending parcels every Monday. This allows us to collect and prepare the queens on Sunday. It also helps us to prevent the additional stress for the queens of spending a weekend in the post office in the event that the delivery is delayed.

As always, we will provide you with an email approx. 1 week before the shipping date. This has proven to be a tried and tested approach over the last few years.

We are currently accepting orders for our economy queens, queens from the mating station and selected cultivation queens. We have a couple of selected queens from 2017 left, too. Please do make sure that you place your order in plenty of time. We always try our very best to ensure delivery at short notice too but are subject to certain limitations in this regard. An overview with prices and shipping options is attached for your convenience. We would be grateful if you would pass this information on to any colleagues who might be interested.

You will be pleased to hear that we have been able to maintain out prices!

Payment / Processing orders

Shortly after having received your order, (in many cases on the same day), you will receive a confirmation of your order as well as the information regarding shipping and an invoice by email.

Please only proceed to make payment once you have received the invoice. You are kindly asked to settle the invoice approximately 2 weeks before the shipment date noted so that we have sufficient time to trace the payment being made. At this point, we can still make minor adjustments to your order. Once the queens have been collected or are on their way to you, it is not possible to make further changes and this would be rather stressful for the ‘ladies’ in addition.

May we be blessed with a good year for our bees and us and may we always have a little bit of beekeeper’s luck. In this spirit, I wish you all the best and much success as well as personal self-fulfilment with your proteges. I am very thankful to my son of law Killian O’Brien for the translation!

Best regards, Dr. Peter Stöfen