🥇Beekeeping at Buckfast Abbey –Past and Present – BIBBA

Clare Densley and Martin Hann

  • What is the Buckfast bee and why did Br Adam become so famous?
  • Was Adam the first to experiment with bee breeding?
  • Difference between bee breeding and queen rearing.
  • What inspired Br Adam to create a specific “strain “of bee put into the context of the Isle of Wight disease and the understanding of genetics at that time.
  • How did his objectives change over the years and how did he achieve these (use of isolation site etc.)?
  • Inbreeding problems which can occur with artificial selection alongside unsustainability and nasty out cross possibilities.
  • Why we don’t breed the Buckfast bee here anymore, why we prefer locally adapted bees (and how we have achieved this).

Part of a series of webinars at an intermediate/advanced level which is intended to satisfy all experienced beekeepers and will appeal especially to the more progressive ones, but should also be relevant to those of lesser experience who wish to understand their bees more.

BIBBA Webinars

If you are looking for more webinars by BIBBA, you can find them here.

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16 Feb 2021


5:30 pm - 6:30 pm








  • Clare Densley
    Clare Densley
    Buckfast Abbey's Head Beekeeper

    Clare has been working at Buckfast Abbey since 2008. She has been keeping bees since 1992 and did do a stint as a seasonal bee inspector for a couple of years. Although she does “manage” her colonies, her philosophy centres around understanding the bees and working with their natural instincts as much as is possible.

  • Martin Hann
    Martin Hann
    Beekeeper at Buckfast Abbey's Bee Department

    Martin has been keeping bees since 2008. He was previously a seasonal bee inspector for the South West region for 6 years and has been working alongside Clare Densley at Buckfast Abbey for the last 4 years. He has recently left the National Bee Unit to become a full time member of the Buckfast Abbey bee department.

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