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

West Devon Bee Improvement Group

West Devon Bee Improvement Group

Mainly in the Tavistock and West Devon/Plymouth contact area ...

South Devon Bee Improvers Group

SDBIG Area covered: Devon, south of Exeter and including the eastern side of Dartmoor and Plymouth ...
B4 Project  - Cornwall

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 ...
Lilac Cottage - TA11

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 ...
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 ...
Wight Bee Improvement Group

Wight Bee Improvement 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 only those considered to be worthy of passing on their bloodlines ...
Kings Orchard - East Cornwall

Kings Orchard – East Cornwall

Based in East Cornwall a small group with the emphasis of breeding pedigree lines of Cornish Native dark bees ...


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, ...
Lancashire Black Bee Project

Lancashire Black Bee Project

We currently run 12 breeding apiaries across Lancashire with a further two in North Wales ...
Abberton Reservoir - Essex

Abberton Reservoir – Essex

Abberton Reservoir is about 10 miles south of Colchester and the area is sparsely populated with people and importantly beekeepers so ideal for our purpose ...
Wheal Primrose

Wheal Primrose

In addition to raising queens with native appearance and characteristics the group are looking to select queens with calm temper and Varroa resistance ...

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 members and to expand our area of influence to other like minded beekeepers in the locality ...
East Midlands Bee Breeding Group

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 Thrumpton Apiary throughout the season from mid Spring, at 2pm on a Sunday ...

Sheffield Rivelin Bee Breeding Group – S6

Working towards selective breeding of local bees.

contact Phil Khorassandjian (more…)

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 in the Galtee/Vee valley and surrounding areas of South Tipperary. (more…)

Cornwall Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Group – TR27

Assessment of colonies for the degree of varroa tolerance via grooming, removal and damage. Selection of the best for drone and queen production. (more…)

The Marches Group – SY10

We operate on a small scale in the Tanat Valley, rearing and improving our stocks of native Apis Mellifera Mellifera

contact Steven Jones

Lune Queens and Bees-LA1

New group formed in North Lancashire

Selective breeding and bee improvement for the local area based on AMM. (more…)

Upper Maelor-LL11

Our group operates on the high ground above Wrexham. The starting point of our activity has focused upon the villages of Bwlchgwyn, Gwynfryn, Minera and Coedpoeth. (more…)


contact M Mends

01646 600341

Upper Dee Bee Improvement Group

This group covers a substantial area stretching from the Dee valley (Glyn Dyfrdwy) between Corwen and Bala and Westwards to Cwm Main on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park. The aim of the group is to achieve a high percentage of quality native or near-native drones in the district so that everyone in the area can let their virgins mate freely, (more…)

Stiperstones & Long Mynd Area Bee Breeders – SY15

SLABB [Stiperstones & Long Mynd Area Bee Breeders] is based in mid Shropshire/adjacent Welsh Marches. Core activities centre around selective breeding from the best near-native bees and local bees (more…)

Dark Bee Conservation Group – WF5

West Yorkshire group aiming to promote and improve the local bee whilst preserving the natural honey bee diversity, reduce colony losses and reduce the dependence on therapeutic and chemical treatments.

contact Stuart Atkinson (more…)

Denbigh Vale of Clwyd – LL16

Denbigh, Ruthin and outlying areas. Queen rearing, selective breeding and bee improvement.

contact Steve Cawthray

Wight Bees – PO35

Bee Improvement on the Isle of Wight

contact Derek Sothcott 01983 873804

Clwydian Range – CH7

Part of the North East Wales group

contact Geoff Critchley

download the Groups Handbook here; there is also information in BIM 33