In 1998, when the Varroa mite first appeared in Ireland, the Dep. of Agriculture made an unfortunately unsuccessful attempt to eradicate the parasite. The approximately 340 colonies present at the time in the Sligo/Manorhamilton area were destroyed. Consequently, due to the impossibility of any kind of treatment, all wild colonies of bees died. No hybrids or bees of any race where left and a ban was imposed on beekeeping. The now completely bee-less area could be restocked with bees from Co. Wexford after the ban was lifted in early 1999. Later in the year a German beekeeper gave us six Buckfast queens, which served as the basis of our now well established breeding programme.
Our bees are extremely docile and healthy, completely adjusted to their environment. In combination with our special management (check other pages of this website) brood diseases, typical for a damp area as the British Isles, have been either eradicated or are simply not present in Buckfast bees.
In particular the beginner, a family with children, or a beekeeper with his or her apiary situated in a densely populated area will be satisfied with the specific behaviour of the Buckfast bee. Buckfast bees never attack, rarely sting, and are very quiet on the comb, making it easy to check a hive as thoroughly as individually required at any time of the day and in any weather.