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.



BIFA Welwyn

Bee Improvement for ALL with Hertfordshire BKA


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If the above interests you, explore this website more for information.

If you care for the kind of bees you keep and wish to improve their chance of success and survival, then please consider joining us.


Join BIBBA here


A Native Dark Bee  Project

A Native Dark Bee Project

Margie Ramsay reports on a project reintroducing A.m.m. to a reserve in Scotland. Update July 2015

In 1905, just before the First World War there was a 20 year long bee plague called Isle of Wight disease which was considered by many, including bee breeder Brother Adam, to have eradicated the native subspecies of dark European honeybee Apis mellifera mellifera from our Isles. (more…)

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