Brother Adam and the bees

Brother Adam was born Karl Kehrle in 1898, in Germany.
He became a Benedictine monk and a beekeeper at Buckfast Abbey in England.

Buckfast Abbey 1798 painting by J. White Abbott

He became an authority on bee breeding, writing books on the subject and developing the Buckfast bee. This was a strain of very productive bee that was resistant to the Acarapis woodi parasite.
"He was unsurpassed as a breeder of bees. He talked to them, he stroked them. He brought to the hives a calmness that, according to those who saw him at work, the sensitive bees responded to." (The Economist, Sept. 14th 1996)

Many bee breeders, especially in Europe, have used Brother Adam’s stock.


Beekeeping At Buckfast Abbey with a section on mead making
Breeding the Honeybee
Brother Adam- In Search of the Best Strains of Bees

More info about Brother Adam at Elspeth Payne's site.


Sophia said...

This article is of great interest to me as I love bees and I love history too. Thanks so much for these interesting articles

Georgie said...

Thanks Sophia, my interests too, but I guess that is obvious. Looking forward to hearing more from you.