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. All the participants in the funeral were present to pay their respect to one of the greatest personalities within beekeeping history.

Just about a month after his 98th birthday, Br. Adam passes quietly away at Redmount Nursing Home in Buckfastleigh, where he spent his last years. The beekeeping industry lost one of its greatest pionneers, and the monks at Buckfast Abbey said goodbye to their senior. Br. Adam was for a number of years not only the oldest at Buckfast, but the oldest member of the Order of St Benedict as well.

Br. Adam had his home at Buckfast for 87 years, of which 77 years as a monk. At a early age, he started working the bees at the abbey and throughout 70 years he was the leader and ever lasting incentive in the beekeeping.

Books can be written about Br. Adam's contribution over the years. As a highly-gifted beekeeper with a well-developed practical sense, he created managing systems, which became a model for thousands of beekeepers all over the world.

His line of approach to breeding has been subject for discussions and conflicts over the years, despite the fact, that he through his practical work demonstrated that he was right in his assumptions. Quite late in his course of life, Br. Adam was officialy honoured, amongst other things doctor's degrees in Sweden and England. The official England rewarded Br. Adam with an O.B.E. (Order of British Empire) a few years ago.

Lots of people has recently asked: " Who will be the new Br. Adam? " The answer is quite simple: " Nobody - there exists no duplicate. His outstanding work cannot be repeated ".

However it's possible to follow in Br. Adam's footsteps. In addition to presence of Buckfast genes in tens of thousands of colonies all over the world, Br. Adam was capable to pass on his breeding methodology. The tool, Br. Adam developed and passed on to the beekeepers, will last far into the next century. Br. Adam's Buckfast bee, which not only relates to a specific geographical place, but also to a method, will not die out. The spreading of the Buckfast bee - one of Br. Adam's desires - has happened, and he was confident to the very end, that a number of beekeepers would try to carry on with his work.

Brother Adam will in all contexts be remembered as a strong and vigorous man. Very often with a humorous sarcasm, which made his company a real pleasure. I will for ever miss his professional skills, not to talk about his fantastically and forceful personality.

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

Salomon in Prov. 24.13

from Keld Brandstrup, Danish Buckfast Bee Breeder. [Return] Received on Mon, 7 Oct 1996

Abbaye de BUCKFAST, Septembre 1996

Une page de l'histoire de l'apiculture a été tournée le 7 septembre lorsqu'une église abbatiale bondée rendit un dernier hommage au Frère Adam. Tous ceux qui assistaient aux funérailles étaient venus témoigner leur respect à l'une des plus grandes figures de l'histoire apicole.

Un mois à peine après son 98me anniversaire, le Frère Adam s'est éteint paisiblement dans la maison de repos de Redmount à Buckfastleigh, où il avait vécu ses dernières années. L'apiculture avait perdu l'un de ses plus grands pionniers, et les moines de l'abbaye de Buckfast dirent adieu à leur aîné. Pendant des années, le Frère Adam avait été non seulement le doyen de Buckfast, mais également celui de l'ordre des Bénédictins.

Le Frère Adam passa 87 années de sa vie à Buckfast, dont 77 en tant que moine. Il avait commencé très jeune à s'occuper des abeilles de l'abbaye. Pendant 70 ans il fut la figure de proue incontestée de l'apiculture. Sa contribution est immense : il était doué d'un sens pratique hors du commun, et sa méthode de conduite est encore de nos jours un modèle mondialement reconnu. Sa conception de l'élevage a fait l'objet de bon nombre de discussions et de conflits. Ses travaux pratiques ont néanmoins démontré le bien-fondé de ses hypothèses.

La reconnaissance officielle est venue tout à la fin de sa vie, avec des distinctions honorifiques en Suède et l' Order of the British Empire en Angleterre.

Tout le monde se pose la question : Qui sera le nouveau Frère Adam ? La réponse est simple : personne, il est irremplaçable. Mais il est possible de perpétuer son oeuvre. Le Frère Adam a non seulement réussi à implanter les gènes Buckfast dans le monde entier, il a également mis au point et transmis une méthodologie unique et durable. La souche Buckfast, intimement liée à un lieu mais surtout à une méthode, ne s'éteindra pas. Sa diffusion est accomplie, - c'était un des souhaits du Frère Adam -, et jusqu'à sa mort il a été convaincu que d'autres éleveurs prendraient la relève.

On se souviendra de lui comme d'un homme fort et énergique. Son humour sarcastique était apprécié de tous. Son professionnalisme et sa personnalité hors du commun me manqueront beaucoup.

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

Salomon dans Prov. 24.13

de Keld Brandstrup, Eleveur Buckfast Danois. [Livre d'or] Reçu le Lun, 7 Oct 1996
paru dans Abeilles et Cie (Carnets du CARI), n° 54 (nov. 1996) p18
adaptation franšaise : Marie-Claude Depauw (Rixensart, Belgique)
avec leur permission