for the conservation, reintroduction, study, selection and improvement of native or near-native honeybees of Britain and Ireland

What does BIBBA do?

BIBBA was formed in 1964 by a group of enthusiastic beekeepers who were convinced of the suitability of native and near native honey bees to the climate and conditions of Britain and Ireland. Since then beekeeping and life in general has changed, but the principles on which BIBBA was formed are still relevant.

A recent study in several locations throughout Europe has demonstrated the indigenous bee performed best in all of them. This is understandable as it is what honey bees have evolved to do.

Many beekeepers, especially the newer recruits, are keen on keeping “local” bees, rather than those that have evolved to suit other conditions. This fits in neatly with the activities of BIBBA.


We Offer

  • Encouragement to form breeding groups to improve and propagate native and near native queens.


  • Help for beekeepers to improve their bees so they suit their environment, are productive, healthy and gentle to handle.
  • Encouragement to raise queens from local stock.
  • Provision of relevant information and methods.
  • Demonstrations and workshops on practical subjects, such as colony assessment and queen rearing.

  • Publications and guidance on all aspects of bee improvement and queen rearing.
  • Support to beekeepers in areas with a high level of native bees.
  • Courses on bee improvement and raising queens, using both natural methods the bees present us with that will suit the ordinary beekeeper, and more advanced methods for those who need more queens.