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.




FIBKA Annual Beekeeping Summer Course

Gormanston, Co Meath Eire


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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



Economic Buzz to IoM

The Isle of Man Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture is praising the progress being made by beekeepers in improving the quality of the Island’s honey bee population.

Richard Ronan  was speaking after the visit to the Island at the weekend of Roger Patterson, vice-chairman of the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders’ Association (BIBBA). (more…)

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