Frère Adam – Livre d’Or

Multilingual Golden Book on Brother Adam, related notes, testimonies and articles on the man, his methods and the Buckfast bee.

Témoignages – Livre d’Or


Au Frère Adam

Grand Maître de l’Apiculture Moderne

[ … ] „nisi granum frumenti cadens in terram, mortuum fuerit,
ipsum solum manet;
si autem mortuum fuerit, multum fructum offert“

J. 12.24

Cher Frère Adam,

Depuis votre disparition de la scène publique, il y a quelques années, nous savions déjà que le grand Maître de l’apiculture du vingtième siècle que vous étiez, était à l’origine d’une multitude de vocations et qu’il ne serait jamais oublié par ses disciples.
Aujourd’hui, nous sommes très tristes d’avoir perdu un père, mais nous gardons en nous l’héritage de votre passage dans notre vie. C’est avec enthousiasme que nous poursuivrons votre oeuvre.
C‘est de votre passage dans ma vie que je voudrais témoigner par cet article.


de Philippe-Auguste ROBERTI
apiculteur éleveur belge.
[English / Portugues / Article complet] Reçu le 7 Oct 1996 du CARI asbl
avec leur permission



When visitors would make excessive demands on his time and energy Brother ADAM, as he did when relaxing over a glass of mead, would say „tongue in cheek“ that people forgot that he, too, was entitled to his eternal rest. Now that he has obtained it, who could say that it was not well earned.

But whom shall we turn to for wisdom ?

from Jim HOLLAND,
Lisburn, North Ireland.
[Adaptation française]
[Full article]
Published by the American Bee Journal
October 1996, p 689-691


Buckfast Abbey, September 1996.

An era within beekeeping came to an end when a full abbey church on September 7th at Buckfast Abbey said a finaly goodbye to Br. Adam. Alle the participants in the funeral were all present to pay their respect to one of the greatest personalities within beekeeping history.


Comed, fili mi, mel, quia bonum est,
et favum dulcissimum qutturi tuo

Prov. 24.13

Danish Bukfast Bee Breeder.
[Français / Full article] Received on Oct, 7th 1996 from the CARI asbl
with permission


During our visit to Buckfast in the Autumn of 1991, which we enjoyed greatly, the things that stand out most in my memory were that, despite our very late arrival (about an hour), this frail little 92 year old man had been waiting for us almost throughout. When he took us around the apiary and honey extraction plant, if we didn’t follow him immediately from one place to the next, we almost had to run to catch up with him (a couple of members, thirty years his junior, were rather embarrased by that).

The superb quality of that honey-processing plant. The impecable tidiness of the apiary — the grass was mown in perfectly straight ‚English-garden-like‘ lines, right under the hives (we wondered if the monks get very special help with that ;-).

By then end of the visit, we all felt the Brother Adam was a personal friend.

from Gordon SCOTT
The Basingstoke Beekeeper.
[Français] Received on Fri, 27 Sep 1996


To me the Buckfast bee means a new approach to breeding. Brother Adam showed us that it’s possible to use genetic material from different parts of the world to obtain the characteristics of a superior honey producer. We are no longer restricted to selecting within races, but can use the best traits from each race in the work. He showed that bee breeders can use the same methods that other livestock breeders are using.
The Buckfast bee is to me more an ongoing project, rather than a finished product. There are beekeepers in different countries that are working after
the lines he draw up, administering the heritage after Brother Adam.

from Per-Olof GUSTAFSSON
Swedish beekeeper.
[Français] Received on Sun, 6 Oct 1996


Brother Adam Dies

Monk was authority on Honeybees

Brother Adam, 98, a British Benedictine monk who took charge of his monastery’s ailing honeybee population during WWI and went on to become one of the world’s greatest authorities on bee-raising before being forced into retirement in 1992, died of unreported causes Sept. 1.

[ cut … see Full article]

On his „retirement,“ a popular plaint was that Brother Adam would not last long without his bees and that he had enormous knowledge that he had yet to share. The monk disagreed, saying everything he knew was in his books, but that „I may have forgotten one or two things and didn’t put them in my articles, … lots of mystery in bees, you know.“

from Richard PEARSON
Washington Post Staff Writer
[ Full article] Published on Sept. 4 1996 in The Washington Post
Received on Thu, 5 Sep 1996
kindly typed by Cecile T. Kohrs for BEE-L


Brother Adam, O.B.E. (1898 – 1996)
Jesus said: In my Father’s house are many rooms … I go to prepare a place for you…. I will come again and receive you unto myself, that
where I am, there ye may be also.“ Some of us can not imagine the Lord of
all creation neglecting to provide an apiary as well.
If beekeepers could canonize saints, we have one here. Whenever I give thanks for the traditional patron saint of beekeeping, St. Ambrose, I’ll always add Brother Adam.

from Richard CHAPIN+

Montrose, PA.
[Français] Received on Tue, 3 Sept 1996 on BEE-L


It is indeed sad to hear of Brother Adam’s passing away. He has left a great legacy of work. If any of you are interested in his endeavors with bee breeding, the BBC video „The Monk & the Honey Bee“ is wonderful and very enlightening. I borrowed the video from a friend, but I believe it is
advertised for sale in the mags.
I just happened to check my newest Buckfast colonies today; they were established in late July with queens from the U.S. Buckfast breeder, B. Weaver in Navasota, TX. Anyway, true to their typical behavior, they were wonderfully docile, calm, busy, and most noticeably have not built any annoying burr comb. This is noticeable immediately. Their use of propolis
is scant, and you hardly need a hive tool to remove the frames. These colonies (12) have put away a super of surplus each already, and the combs are very even and capped white. In my experience they are pretty reluctant to swarm compared to the local mongrels. These are just some of the positive characteristics I have come to expect from Buckfasts, and they sure are a pleasure to work with. Granted, there cannot be 100% controlled mating down at Weaver’s, but it seems clear that there are some excellent genes being propagated in their Buckfast program, and the consistency is remarkable. I would encourage anyone to give them a try, especially if you are looking for hardy stock which is tracheal mite resistant.
I hope these bees will remain available to us in the years to come, and that Buckfast Abbey will maintain the program there. It would be great to hear about other’s experiences (UK, for instance) with the bees which were developed by this truly great and inspirational master.

from Joel GOVOSTES
US beekeeper.
[Français] Received on Mon, 2 Sept 1996 on BEE-L


Having read the above post about Brother Adam, I just thought I would write about my experience with his wonderful bees as a way of tribute.
[… cut …]
Simply put, they are a joy to own and work. I typically go out to check them and wear only a pair of short pants and a tee shirt … no veil even !..
A little smoke and I can do almost anything with them [….]
Anyways, that’s all … I’m saddened by the news of Brother Adam’s death, but thankful for his long life and his significant contribution to beekeeping.
Rest in peace, Brother Adam.

from Ian WATSON, Canadian beekeeper. [Français] Received on Mon, 2 Sept 1996 on BEE-L


Peter Donovan, who worked closely with Brother Adam at Buckfast Abbey, has asked me to pass on the message that Brother Adam died on September 1, aged 98.

from Brian GANT
British beekeeper.
[Français] Received On Mon, 2 Sept 1996 on BEE-L

Design and
realization : Jean-Marie Van Dyck – Namur Belgium
Copyright © 1997-99 – All Rights Reserved

Envoyer toute correction, addition ou commentaire à
Send any correction or comment
Courrier to