BIBBA Bee Improvement and Breeding Groups

Local Groups

BIBBA encourages the formation of local queen rearing groups to aid the improvement of local bees and to support the objectives of BIBBA to improve and propagate the native and near native honey bees.

Benefits of Local Groups
Many beekeepers only have a small number of colonies, so they find it easier to work with others. A group will have beekeepers with different expertise that can be pooled. Even the newest beekeepers can have a useful role until they gain knowledge and experience.A local group can pool expertise of different disciplines… honey bee management, record keeping, queen rearing, equipment making, administration, etc. More beekeepers means there are more colonies to select material from and to provide good quality drones, as well as maximising the number of colonies under management, evaluation and study.Groups can liaise with one another and with scientific institutions if they wish. They can distribute genetic material beyond their own confines to wider circles of beekeepers, thereby improving bees overall.

Forming a bee improvement and breeding group
There are several things you need to consider including:-

  • Do you need a constitution, so members know what is expected?
  • What assessment criteria do you want in your bees?
  • How are you going to operate?
  • Do you need funding?
  • Can you combine with a local BKA?

You may already have the expertise, but if not, then BIBBA can offer help and tuition, perhaps from other groups or experienced individuals. We ask only that one person in a group is a member of BIBBA, although we hope more will join over time.

Where to now?
View the entries below; if there is a group near you then get in touch, otherwise contact the groups secretary


Abberton Reservoir - Essex

Abberton Reservoir – Essex

Native bee breeding group based at Abberton Reservoir ...
Leek and Moorlands - ST9

Leek and Moorlands – ST9

Leek and Moorlands Beekeepers have been raising queens for over 30 years and welcome beekeepers of all levels of experience ...

East Midlands Bee Breeding Group

The East Midlands BIBBA group have, for many years, worked together in a bee breeding programme on the Derbyshire Nottinghamshire border. In 2017 BIBBA East Midlands will meet at the ...

B4 Project – Cornwall

The B4 Project is a Community Interest Company representing a group of beekeepers whose aim is to protect the UK’s native honey bee, Apis mellifera mellifera ...

Stratford-upon-Avon BIG – CV37

Group formed in 2006, our aim is to continue our efforts to improve the Amm characteristics of the local bee population in the District for the benefit of the Association ...

South Devon Bee Improvers Group

The group is called South Devon Bee Improvers Group (SDBIG) Area covered: Devon, south of Exeter and including the eastern side of Dartmoor and Plymouth (the South Hams and Teignbridge ...

Godolphin-Cornwall

We have been queen rearing and improving stocks of local bees since 2015, based in the medieval garden and a small more private are on Godolphin Hill, we work closely ...

Wheal Primrose

Wheal Primrose Named after a local Tin mine the group currently has 4 members and is looking to recruit more in the locality. In addition to raising queens with native ...

Kings Orchard – East Cornwall

Kings Orchard Honeybee Improvement Group Based  in East Cornwall a small group with the emphasis of breeding pedigree lines of Cornish Native dark bees utilising isolated mating apiaries and Instrumental ...

Lancashire Black Bee Project

The Lancashire Black Bee project was established in 2015 and is being delivered through “The Bee Centre”. We currently run 12 breeding apiaries across Lancashire with a further two in ...

Wight Bee Improvement Group

Overview of aims of the Group:  Queen Rearing will only be carried out using IOW mongrel stock, members will be encouraged to keep records of all their own stock, using ...

Exeter Bee Breeding Group

contact Cathy *protected email* ...

Lilac Cottage – TA11

Lilac Cottage British Black Bees aim to work with the B4 project to establish breeding stock, and a mating area in North Somerset ...

West Devon Bee Improvement Group

Mainly in the Tavistock and West Devon/Plymouth contact area Overview of aims of the Group: To demonstrate the qualities of locally-reared bees and to encourage local beekeepers to develop their ...

Cheshire Honeybee Improvement Partnership (CHIP)

Formed in 2016 by a group of Cheshire-based BIBBA members, to help form local queen rearing groups to aid the improvement of local bees and support the objectives of BIBBA; ...

Shebbear Black Bee Conservation Project – EX22

Overview of aims of the Group: Reintroduction of black bee colonies into the Shebbear area and encouraging existing bee keepers to switch to black bees Specific short-term targets: Breeding and ...

Sheffield Rivelin Bee Breeding Group – S6

Working towards selective breeding of local bees. contact Phil Khorassandjian ...

Galtee Bee Breeding Group

The Galtee Bee Breeding Group was formed in the year 1991 with the object of conservation, study and improvement of the native strains of dark European Honeybee Apis mellifera mellifera ...

information on starting a group is available here; there is also information in BIM 33