top of page

Honey bees

Ingang van de bijen naar de korf

Honey bees

Honey bees are a type of bee grown by humans for honey. They are closely related to wild bees, but are often larger and tamer.

There are many different types of Honeybees:

Apis Buckfast

Apis mellifera Carnica

Apis mellifera ligustica

Apis mellifera caucasica

Apis mellifera mellifera, European endemic black bee

House bees live in colonies and have a strict hierarchical system. The queen is the leader of the colony and responsible for reproduction. Workers are responsible for caring for the young and collecting nectar and pollen. Drones are responsible for reproduction.

Bees are vital insects
What can you do to save bees?

Bees play a vital role in the ecosystem

as pollinators, contributing to the production of fruits, vegetables and other plants. However, these insects are threatened by various factors such as pesticides, destruction of their natural habitat and diseases. It is therefore important to take measures to protect the bees and ensure their survival.

Protecting the natural habitat of bees is also essential. Forests, meadows and gardens can all provide habitats for bees, and it is important to preserve these spaces to ensure their continued existence. Gardens can be designed to accommodate bees by using honey plants and avoiding the use of pesticides.

Buckfast Bees

The beekeepers' favorite bee?

The Buckfast bees: valuable workers for nature


Buckfast bees are known for their crucial role in pollination, which contributes to the health of our ecosystem and the production of many of the foods we consume every day. In this short description we take you on a journey of discovery to these incredible creatures.

Buckfast bijen op de raam

Why is the buckfast bee so popular?

The Buckfast bee takes its name from Buckfast Abbey in England, where it was first bred by Brother Adam in the early 20th century. This breed was developed with the aim of combining the most desirable characteristics of different bee breeds, in particular the gentleness of Italian bees and the robustness of European black bees. The result is an exceptional bee that is suitable for different environments and produces high-quality honey.

Buckfast bees are distinguished by their gentle behavior and low aggression towards beekeepers, making them a popular choice for both amateur and professional beekeepers. They are also known for their ability to resist certain bee diseases, making them more resilient in sometimes hostile environments.

Another strong point of Buckfast bees is their high efficiency in pollination. They contribute significantly to the reproduction of many plants, some of which rely heavily on bees for reproduction. In this way, these bees play an essential role in the conservation of biodiversity and the production of high-quality fruits and vegetables.


A forgotten endemic species

Apis mellifera mellifera is the scientific name for the European honey bee, also known as the black bee. It is a subspecies of the honey bee found in Europe and is often kept by beekeepers for honey production and pollination of agricultural crops. The black bees are an endemic European species, they are very good honey bees and actively contribute to the pollination of fruits, vegetables and flowers.


The black bees: guardians of biodiversity

The black bees:guardians of biodiversity

Black bees, also known as native bees, are natural treasures. In this description we will explore their importance and role in our ecosystem.

Black bees are local bees that have adapted over time to the specific conditions of their environment. They are known for their resistance to diseases and their ability to survive in diverse climates. These bees are essential pollinators and contribute significantly to the reproduction of wild growing and cultivated plants.

One of the main assets of black bees is their adaptability to local sources of pollen and nectar. They can pollinate a wide variety of plants, making them valuable for biodiversity by promoting the reproduction of many plant species.

Unfortunately less known, harder to obtain and with a bad reputation as aggressive bees, are the endemic onesblack bees less favorite among beekeepers.

The benefits of the black bee:

  • Remarkable honeybee 

  • Good resource manager,

  • adaptability to environmental and climatic conditions,

  • Resistance to diseases, local and versatile,

  • Regulation of the population depending on available resources.

Beehive in activity on a beautiful sunny day

The differences between Buckfast bees and black bees

The difference between Buckfast bees and black bees can be identified by several characteristics including their appearance, behavior, origin and performance. Here's how to distinguish them:

Appearance :

  • Buckfast: Buckfast bees are typically lighter in color, with a striped abdomen in yellow and brown. Their appearance is more similar to that of Italian bees.

  • Black bee: Black bees usually have a darker abdomen, often black or dark brown, with few or no yellow stripes. They are generally darker than Buckfast bees.

Behaviour :

  • Buckfast: Buckfast bees are known for their calm behavior and low aggression toward beekeepers, which makes them easy to handle.

  • Black bee: Black bees tend to be more aggressive and defensive, especially when they feel threatened. They can be more difficult to handle for inexperienced beekeepers.

Origin :

  • Buckfast: Buckfast bees were developed in England by Brother Adam through crosses between several bee breeds, including Italian bees and European black bees.

  • Black bee: Black bees are native bees that have adapted to local conditions over time. They are found in various parts of the world and are often considered native bees.


  • Buckfast: Buckfast bees are valued for their resistance to certain bee diseases, their adaptability to different environments and their ability to produce quality honey.

  • Black bee: Black bees are known for their resistance to local environmental factors, but they may be more susceptible to certain diseases. Their honey production can vary depending on the region.

It is important to note that the distinction between Buckfast bees and black bees may vary depending on the region and the specific strains. Beekeepers often choose a breed based on their needs, local environment and bee management preferences. It is recommended to consult experienced beekeepers in your region for specific information on the available bee breeds and their characteristics.

FAQs about bees:


What is the difference between a honey bee, a wasp and a hornet?

Honey bees are usually hairy, produce honey and have more rounded bodies. Wasps and hornets are generally less hairy, have bright colors and do not produce honey.


How do honey bees make honey?

Honey bees collect nectar from flowers, store it in their crop, turn it into honey in the hive by dehydrating it and store it in cells.


Why are honey bees important for the environment?

Honey bees play an essential role in plant pollination, which contributes to the reproduction of many plant species, including many food crops.


How do honey bees communicate within the beehive?

Honey bees communicate through dancing, pheromones and vibrations to indicate the location of food sources and other important information.


What is pollination and why is it essential for food production?

Pollination is the transfer of pollen from the stamens to the stigmas of flowers, leading to fertilization and the production of fruits and seeds. It is essential for the reproduction of many plants, including food crops


What are the threats to honeybees today?

Threats to honeybees include pesticides, habitat loss, parasites and diseases.


What is the role of the queen, workers and drones in a beehive?

The queen is responsible for laying eggs, workers work in the hive and drones (or males) fertilize the queen.


What is the lifespan of a honey bee worker?

A honey bee worker usually lives for a few weeks to a few months in the summer, but longer in the winter.


How do honey bees choose a new hive when swarming?

Honeybees swarm to form a new colony. They choose a new beehive based on criteria such as space and safety.


What are the Different Types of Honey Bees in a Beehive?

A beehive houses three types of honey bees: the queen, the workers and the drones.


What are the products of the beehive?

The products of the beehive include honey, beeswax, royal jelly, propolis and bee pollen.


How can I help protect honey bees and promote pollination in my garden?

You can help by planting flowers with lots of nectar, minimizing the use of pesticides and providing habitats for bees.


Why are honey bees at risk from pesticides?

Pesticides, especially neonicotinoids, can harm the health of honey bees, affect their ability to forage and cause disruptions in colonies.


What is Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)?

Colony Collapse Disorder is a phenomenon in which honey bees suddenly leave their hive, leaving the colony empty. The exact causes are not yet fully understood.


How do honey bees survive in winter?

Honey bees survive the winter by grouping together in the hive to generate heat and feeding on the stored honey.


Which plants are most attractive to bees and other pollinators?

The plants that are most attractive to bees and other pollinators are usually those that are rich in nectar and pollen. Some examples include clover, sunflowers, lavender, sage, thyme, cornflowers, elderberries, sunflowers, apple trees, raspberries and many other native and cultivated flowers.


What are the benefits of consuming raw honey over pasteurized honey?

Raw honey has not been heated or filtered, which preserves the natural nutrients, enzymes and pollen. Pasteurized honey is heated to remove impurities, but this can also destroy some beneficial components. Raw honey is often considered to have superior nutritional benefits.


Are there different breeds of honey bees and what are their characteristics?

Yes, there aredifferent breeds of honey bees, each with their own characteristics. Some of the most well-known breeds include the European honey bee (Apis mellifera), the Italian honey bee, the Caucasian honey bee, the Buckfast honey bee and others. Its characteristics vary in gentleness, productivity, adaptability to climates, resistance to diseases, etc.

bottom of page