BEEKEEPING AT BUCKFAST ABBEY PDF

In common with other monasteries of the medieval period, it is likely that bees were kept at Buckfast in those days, though we have no records to prove it. Monasteries often kept bees as a valuable source of sugar and also wax for making candles. What we do know is that, from soon after the re-foundation of the monastery in , bees have been kept at the Abbey. Two monks who were involved, and contributed to the beekeeping journals of the time, were Fr.

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The bee department at Buckfast Abbey has changed from honey production to education. Yes, the bees still make honey, which we harvest for the Benedictine Community who live at the Abbey, but we concentrate on the welfare of the bees and try to practice gentle bee keeping. By learning about bees we can engage with them, respond more appropriately to their needs, and try to help with any problems which they could encounter - this could be anything from parasite control to starvation.

We aim to work alongside each colony during every season and remain as flexible and responsive to the environment as they do. This involves respectful and mindful management of the bees, as well as gentle handling, which takes into account their natural behaviors and instincts. Each colony has her own character, her own name and is important. For a full list of courses, and to book, please Book Here. Hive manipulations should have purpose and cause as little stress as possible to your girls.

Gentle handling is easier when you and your bees are relaxed, so what do you do if they are jittery and stingy? Clare and Martin offer their top tips about how to handle bees even when they are being feisty. Also: how to prevent the spread of disease and pathogens through good hygiene and well-structured working practices.

Knowing when and how to split your bees is critical for: swarm control, making increase, and for queen rearing. Martin and Clare share some of the ways which they have found most successful for all three scenarios. Get it wrong and she will be killed and thrown out by the colony. Learn how to introduce her to her new hive or nucleus safely. We will discuss a variety of tried and tested methods which can be used in a range of situations. Over millions of years, honeybees have evolved an ingenious, if a tad risky, method of ensuring genetic diversity within the colony.

Clare and Martin will illuminate this amazing process and explain the biology and mechanisms which facilitate a successful mating and the implications this has for the superorganism.

How much honey can you take and how much should you leave them? When is the best time to take it, and do you have to take it all at once? There are more ways than one to harvest honey.

Which ones will you choose? We will offer practical advice on the best times to apply existing conventional treatments, and how other management techniques could help slow down the varroa population build up.

These aberrations perplex us, but also keep us on our toes. This workshop aims to debunk some of the common myths and misconceptions about bees which are often duplicated in many of the books, and will explore why our colonies continue to surprise even the most experienced beekeepers. A mixture of theory and practical experience to start you off on your journey with honey bees. The course is designed to cover most of the bee keeping season from the spring build up and swarming to honey harvest and the preparation of bees for winter.

We will be running two beginners courses in tandem every other week. This enables us to keep the group numbers low and allow some flexibility between groups, if you can't make it one week you could always join the other group session the next. Both courses are from 10am till 12pm Please note: there are no classes in July to give the bees a break and to allow students holidays. It is impossible to learn everything there is to know during only 8 weeks so students are welcome to join our community beekeeping group on a Sunday afternoon, during or after the course has finished, to top up their experience and understanding.

Four workshops for second year and beyond apiarists which will focus on the tasks and considerations required for a successful beekeeping year. These sessions will be a mixture of theory, discussion, and some practical work where appropriate and weather dependent. When is the best time to carry out your first inspection? What should you be looking for? What could you do to put things right if things have gone awry.

When should you add your first super? When, how, and why a comb exchange could really benefit your bees. Did your bees swarm and are they recovered enough to take best advantage of the summer honey flow? Will there be a June gap?

Could you identify and fix a poor queen mating problem? How often should you inspect the girls during July? Should you examine your colonies in winter? Are there other ways you could safely gather information about what is happening inside your colony without delving into the brood box? How to assess food stores, and ways you could guard against isolation starvation.

Why a one off winter varroa treatment is so effective. These can be booked separately or as a block of four at a reduced price by clicking here: Season Tickets. It could be just a group of friends or a family group who want to experience the wonder of bees up close and personal. Family groups must be accompanied by at least one adult. Then youngest child age restriction is 5 years. All visits last a couple of hours and can include a talk, a visit to the bees bee suits provided and weather permitting and some light refreshments with a chance to chat and ask questions.

The maximum group size is around 10 give or take a few These dates are available for Abbey visits all on Sunday mornings between 10am and 12pm. May: 3rd; 10th; 17th; 24th; 31st June: 7th; 14th; 21st; 28th July: 5th; 12th; 19th; 26th August: 2nd; 9th; 16th; 23rd; 30th.

Talks Clare and Martin are available to give talks to your local hobby group; association; school; or establishment. The topics which we offer range from a general bee keeping talk for complete beginners to specialised selection of subject matter from disease to swarming or history to biology.

We can come to you with a projector and laptop or you could come to us. Outreach and mentoring We can help you with your bees at home by coming out and troubleshooting or advising you on management issues.

Comment or question? Please feel free to contact us using the form below:. What is your name? Bee Keeping Events and Courses. Beekeeper Workshops. Beginners' Bee Keeping Course - Bee Swarming Course.

One of two separate afternoon sessions which explore the phenomena of honeybee swarming. Saturday May 2nd 2pm till 5pm. This workshop will deal with the why, how, and when? A better understanding of what the bees are up to may help you to be more effective in the ways which you choose to respond to their actions. New for Seasonal Workshops Four workshops for second year and beyond apiarists which will focus on the tasks and considerations required for a successful beekeeping year.

Spring - Saturday April 11th 2pm till 5pm When is the best time to carry out your first inspection? Summer - Saturday June 13th 2pm till 5pm Did your bees swarm and are they recovered enough to take best advantage of the summer honey flow? Winter - Saturday 9th January , Should you examine your colonies in winter? Taster Days - Taster Days from April to September For people thinking about taking up beekeeping.

We will be running four separate days on the following dates this is not a four week course - each day is a self-contained unit which is repeated to allow more opportunities to attend. Saturday 4th April Tuesday 12th May Saturday 4th July Saturday 18th July Thursday 3rd September The day starts at 11am and finishes at 4pm with an hour for lunch bring your own or fine at the grange restaurant on site.

We will be giving you an overview of the basic responsibilities and commitments involved in keeping bees alongside the costs and where best to get your kit. You will have the chance to see inside a hive and experience the fascinating world of the honey bee first hand. A full information pack will be given out for you to keep. It's an attempt to let you know what you might be letting yourself in for if you decide to take up beekeeping as a hobby!

Visits and Talks - Please feel free to contact us using the form below: What is your name? What is your Telephone Number? What is your email address?

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Beekeeping At Buckfast Abbey

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Beekeeping at Buckfast Abbey

The bee department at Buckfast Abbey has changed from honey production to education. Yes, the bees still make honey, which we harvest for the Benedictine Community who live at the Abbey, but we concentrate on the welfare of the bees and try to practice gentle bee keeping. By learning about bees we can engage with them, respond more appropriately to their needs, and try to help with any problems which they could encounter - this could be anything from parasite control to starvation. We aim to work alongside each colony during every season and remain as flexible and responsive to the environment as they do.

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The significance of Beekeeping at Buckfast Abbey

Brother Adam Kehrle, legendary keeper of the Abbey's bees, inspecting the hives. In common with other medieval monasteries, it's likely that bees were kept at Buckfast Abbey as a valuable source of sugar and wax as well as for some medicinal purposes. But it was only after the monastery was re-founded in , that beekeeping there can be said to have truly come into its own. One of the leading figures in the revival was Brother Adam Kehrle, a German monk, who went on to work with the bees at Buckfast for over 78 years, becoming an international authority in the field. Soon after Brother Adam joined the beekeepers in , 36 out of the Abbey's 46 colonies were wiped out by disease. Brother Adam made it his life's work to re-build the hives, going on to breed the hardier Buckfast Bee, which attracted worldwide fame.

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Beekeeping at Buckfast Abbey

I t is not an easy task to make a report on beekeeping as it is pursued at Buckfast Abbey in South Devon. There are also certain factors which, although significant, we consider to be of secondary importance; these include the type of district, the climate, and whether the bees are kept for a hobby or on a commercial basis. In this short article, we shall deal with these secondary factors first, inasmuch as they are characteristic of the methods used in Buckfast; after this we shall give a description of our special methods of queen rearing, which we regard as the essential principle upon which our success rests. B uckfast is in the south-west of England, only a few feet above sea level and only a few miles from the Atlantic coast. This situation, and the influence of the Gulf Stream, determine the climate; here we have neither the severe winters of the Continent nor their long, continuously hot summers.

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