Brother Adam O.S.B. 1985 – Breeding the Honeybee – Index

A lifetime spent perfecting the Buckfast strain enables Brother Adam to speak authoritatively on every aspect of bee breeding.

Breeding the Honeybee

A Contribution to the Science of Beebreeding
By Brother ADAM

Autographe du Frère Adam
Brother Adam's autograph


Dedicated to
Prof. Dr. Ludwig ARMBRUSTER
(7.9.1886 – 4.6.1978)
in grateful remembrance
Mytholmroyd : Hebden Bridge
( Out of print edition )





The Honeybee — then and now
Nature as a Breeder
Results of Recent Breeding Endeavours

Part I — The Theory of Breeding

The Bee as a Member of a Social Unit
The Way of Life of Bees and their Adaptability to Environment
Why Bee Breeding is an Exceptional Case
The Effects of Parthenogenesis
The Pedigree of the Honeybee
The Significance of Multiple Mating
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Inbreeding
Mendel’s Laws of Heredity
Racial Purity in the Light of these Laws
The Application of Mendelism to the Honeybee
Chromosomes and Reduction Division
The Reciprocal Influence of the Genes
Results secured in the crosses indicated
Polymeral Transmission
Linked Characteristics
The Limitations Imposed by Heredity
Synthesising New Combinations
The Limits Imposed on Us
Sex Determination
A Word of Warning about Mere Theory

Part II — Practical Possibilities in Breeding

Preliminary Remarks
The Aims of Breeding
The Economic Goals in Breeding
The Primary Qualities for Performance

  1. Fecundity
  2. Industry or Foraging Zeal
  3. Resistance to Disease
  4. Disinclination to Swarm
Secondary Qualities

  1. Longevity
  2. Wing-power
  3. Keen Sense of Smell
  4. Instinct for Defence
  5. Hardiness and Ability to Winter
  6. Spring Development
  7. Thrift
  8. Instinct for Self Provisioning
  9. Arrangement of the Honey Stores
  10. Wax Production and Comb Building
  11. Gathering of Pollen
  12. Tongue-reach
Qualities which Influence Management

  1. Good Temper
  2. Calm Behaviour
  3. Disinclination to Propolise
  4. Brace Comb
  5. Cleanliness
  6. Honey Cappings
  7. Sense of Orientation
Breeding as a means of Combating Disease

  • Resistance and Immunity
  • Contradictory Reports
Diseases of the Adult Bee

Diseases of the Brood

Evaluation of Performance
Breeding Procedures

Part III — An Evaluation of the Breeding Possibilities of the Different Races of Honeybees


The Essential Characteristics of the Races of Bees

Intermissa Race Group

Results of the Evaluations in Relation to the Buckfast Strain
The Genetic Resources