Buckfast-Zucht EN


Apiary Dr. Peter Stöfens shop for Buckfast Queens (BZF)


Here we’d like to answer some of the frequently asked questions. This category will be updated continuously.

You will find information about:

  • What is the difference between economy queens, mating station mated queens and selected queens.
  • Main information about how to integrate a new queen into a colony and the involved company management.
  • Why we can’t deliver our queens before the beginning of June.
  • Date of shipment/delivery
  • Prepayment
  • Shipping to other EU countries only with traces

What is the difference between economy queens, mating station mated queens and selected queens.

The economy queens are random mated. They are copulated in the air by 20 to 30 different unknown drones in “our” Buckfast-region. The different breeding queens we use show above-average performance features and will not split genetically anymore. The resulting queens are called F1-queens and normally still show the special “Buckfast characteristics” like low swarming and gentleness because the maternal characteristics take hold. Random mated queens are usually more vital and thus led to an efficient honey harvest. We do not recommend any more breeding of these queens.

Our mating station mated queens are mated by drones of the same origin at the mating station Friedrichskoog. In this case we know both, the maternal and the paternal sides. The offspring of these queens will not split genetically anymore. After a successful copulation we will check the productivity and only if we are satisfied we will send the queens to our customers. These bees won’t produce a noteworthy amount of pheromones because they haven’t been in the period of oviposition for a longer time.

On the contrary we integrate our selected queens first into a colony of their own. After some weeks we check for productivity and a homogenous oviposition. If anything abnormal appears, these queens will be excluded from breeding. That applies to overly aberration in color or aggressive behavior as well. Further characteristics can’t be judge up to that point of time. These queens are generally used for breeding because of their origin and selection.

Main information about how to integrate a new queen into a colony and the involved company management.

During summer one can be relatively certain that the integration of a new queen will be successfully if the following terms are given:

1. Absence of drones

2. Only young bees present – no older aggressive ones

3. If possible integrate the queen into smaller units

4. No bee brood, not even a closed one!

All these criteria can be achieved easily and uncomplicated by an artificial swarm.
If you unite the queen with an appropriate amount of bees (using a protective grating) and feed them there will most likely be enough adult queens available by autumn or March. They can be used to replace the old queens of the economy bee colony.
Or you could also work with your own layers after honey harvest but then you generally won’t be able to purchase anymore of our queens- a pity!

Nearly all Buckfast-beekeepers resign forming layers until centrifuging the last time to max the honey harvest of their bee colonies. Breeding and reproduction are treated parallel but separately. After many years beekeepers in Schleswig-Holstein finally started working with an adjusted brood chamber linked to an asp. This also became our key to success.

Why we can’t deliver our mating station queens before beginning/mid of June.

Between the queens’ oviposition and the resulting pubescent drone 40 days pass. Up here near the coast we start having enough drone eggs from the 10th of April. Accordingly we are not able to bring the mating boxes to our mating station before mid of May. Only then we possess enough pubescent drones. The queens’ oviposition will be controlled after two weeks. In addition we need some buffer time in case anything unexpected happens. Adding everything up brings us to the beginning of of June. A date of shipment anytime before that would be highly dubious.

4. Date of shipment/delivery
National: In general we ship all national deliveries at Mondays. Inside Germany we use dhl Express and the queens arrive one day later.

International: Inside European Union we ship always at Mondays, too. Queens are to arrive almost in the same week. A Tracking code allows you in most countries to check where your queens are at their way. Please note: Because we are not allowed to use Express carriers as ups or dhl express (no bees at a plane!) we use Deutsche Post and the national partner organisations. We use “Warenpost international, priority, tracked”. It takes some time but in the very most cases in the last years queens arrived healty.

Recommendation: If you are living close to the german border you can pick up the queens at the nearest dhl express center in Germany. This works excellent and after only one day the queens are with you!

Unfortunately, it has become apparent in recent years that not all beekeepers pay their bills or only after many reminders. Which annoys us and causes much useless work.
Therefore we ask all customers to pay at the latest 4 weeks before the dispatch date under indication of the invoice number. If you use paypal please make sure that the transaction costs are covered by you. Thank you.

6. Shipping to other EU countries only with traces
The legal regulations of the EU require that the shipment abroad is documented in traces for the benefit of the animals. To do this, the sender (we) and receiver (you) must be registered with traces. Each shipment will be announced accordingly by us or the veterinary office at Traces. To do this, we will ask for your data in advance by e-mail. Our farm is therefore inspected by the competent veterinary office throughout the season. Unfortunately, there is an additional fee for this and we, too, have to take into account our extra effort. What’s worse is that the whole system isn’t really flexible. We therefore need your data (and payment) about 4 weeks before the shipping date. Short-term changes are hardly feasible anymore!