The Karl Kehrle Fondation (Karl Kehrle, brother Adam’s civil name) was founded in the 1980s with the aim of providing financial and other support for his aging brother Adam. At the time, the foundation was funded by royalties, voluntary license fees paid by multiplication breeders of the Buckfast bee from all over the world, above all Roy Weawer Jr. from Texas, the world’s largest queen breeder at the time.
Founders were, as far as known, Raymond Zimmer from France, Michael Van der Zee from the Netherlands, and Jim Holland from Great Britain.
In 1989, not only an inevitable eye operation for Brother Adam was financed, but also, for example, the 2nd Kenya expedition to research the Monticola bee.
One of the main goals was also to create a permanent documentation of Brother Adam’s more than 70 years of work. This work included the research of the former bee breeds as well as the breeding path around the origin of the Buckfast bee. Jean-Marie Van Dyck from Belgium dedicated himself to the latter work. In more than 30 years of work and with the voluntary help of the breeders of the Buckfast bee, who were established all over the world from that time on, he created a unique collection of data, which shows the development of the Buckfast bee from the beginning in 1919 until today. At first Jean-Marie Van Dyck distributed his documentation to friends and supporters for the purpose of evaluation only on CDs. In doing so, he was following the express wish of Brother Adam to leave the monastery in charge of publication until his death. Only after Brother Adam’s death in 1996 did he gradually begin to publish the internet pages, which, in addition to lectures, technical papers and thoughts about the possibilities of combination breeding with honey bees, also included the pedigree records of Brother Adam himself and those of Buckfast breeders from all over the world. These records represent today a crystallization point for all combination breeders, around which the breeding and further development of the Buckfast bee, which until recently was done solely on a private basis, is gathered.
Meanwhile, the initial scope of the foundation’s work has logically changed over time. In addition to the books of Brother Adam, there is an archive in the form of a suitcase with original documents from Brother Adam himself, as well as the Van Dyck website, which can be viewed by anyone at www.pedigreeapis.org.
Last winter, some of Jean-Marie van Dyck’s confidants came together to update the foundation’s legal status and prepare it functionally for the coming period. The now revived Karl Kehrle Fondation does not pursue any commercial goals and aims to be a non-profit organization in accordance with European legislation. The chairman is Jean-Marie van Dyck (B), thus ensuring continuity in every respect and paying special tribute to his work. The currently still provisional Board of Trustees continues to be composed of members: Michael van der Zee (NL), Thomas Rueppel (D), and Renaud Lavend’Homme (B). The secretary is Andreas Zoelzer (D), the treasurer is Paul Jungels (L). Other staff members are Josef Koller (D) and Didier Piffault (F). The documentation and pedigree pages of Jean-Marie van Dyck will gradually be taken over and modernized by the new foundation. It should be emphasized that all employees and programmers insist on volunteering. The foundation gladly accepts donations in kind (in the form of documents, pictures and the like) as well as monetary donations and endowments. 100% of the donations are used for the continuation of the Buckfast bee and are earmarked by the foundation board for the preservation of the heritage.
The community of European buckfast beekeepers will also be involved through the breeding coordinator Peter Spieker (D). It is hoped that the members and the board of directors of GdeB and its affiliated associations will decide to join this free „open source“ project in order to maintain and develop a free international documentation center around the Buckfast bee and its breeding.
Paul Jungels, Andreas Zoelzer