Cheshire Honeybee Improvement Partnership (CHIP)

Cheshire Honeybee Improvement Partnership (CHIP)

Main objective: “To encourage all Cheshire beekeepers to develop a Voluntary Exclusion Zone (VEZ) throughout the County”.

The CHIP is a collective bee improvement group within the whole of Cheshire, devoted to the improvement of the honeybees within the County. Overseen by some of the most qualified, practical and imaginative beekeepers, supported and managed by the likeminded.
Affiliated Partners are invited from individuals or mini groups who understand VEZ and whole heartedly enter into the principle of collective Queen and Drone breeding from the best stock with the resulting off spring being distributed to affiliated beekeepers throughout the county. By breeding from the best queens to the drones with the best characteristics and culling the worst, we hope to quickly affect the quality of all the bees in the County.

Historic News

31st March 2016 A press release from the Cheshire Honeybee Improvement Project CHIP was as Follows:-

“A recent meeting between David Buckley, Peter Sutcliffe, Marshall Pugh and Frank Hilton at which we discussed the situation in Cheshire with regard to imports of bees and the impact on local strains. All agreed that we wished to work together with other BIBBA members in Cheshire to try to redress the situation and move as swiftly and as far as possible towards establishing Apis.mellifera.mellifera in Cheshire. With that as our end-goal, we want to support and work with local queen-rearing groups to encourage beekeepers to resist imports and breed local, acclimatised, strains.”

Like-minded Beekeepers throughout Cheshire are invited to join us in this ground-breaking initiative by forming or joining practical queen-rearing groups in their locality. This project does not interfere with private queen rearing being conducted now or in the future by its individual participants.


Individual or mini group partners submit their darkest queens and/or drones with the most desirable characteristics for testing for disease. If clear, the sample is scored for selection to find the best queens in the County and the drone colonies with the most desired characteristics. Arrangements are then made to transport queen eggs to a cell building apiary and sealed drone brood to a mutual mating apiary within the confines of a programme calendar, to be joined by the virgin queens later. On reaching maturity and at a suitable time the queens and drones are released simultaneously to mate.
This is just a simplified description which will vary in practice, the current breeding programme will be detailed in the News section below, where you can comment, discuss and submit ideas in a discussion forum.
Frank Hilton


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