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NatBIP News No9

[…]area resulting in further hybridisation of the local population. This hybridisation of our local bees makes bee improvement in our area more difficult, as hybrids do not breed true and, therefore, make selection and improvement a slow and difficult task. The National Bee Improvement Programme Who can participate in NatBIP? One of the mating nucs at the Special Apiary Project […]

September 2022 BIBBA Monthly

[…]evolving really well, engaging with the local community, steadely earning trust with the island's beekeepers. More bee keepers have engaged with the Project thanks to the 'Game of Drones', a talking point on the islands by the locals and visitors, and also thanks to the recent Sunday broadcast on BBC Radio 4!   Supporting and engaging with the local schools has proved […]

Winter Wax Processing, Yorkshire Style!

[…]that I like to get out of the way is processing all the cappings and old combs from the previous beekeeping season. I’ve been using an old kit from Thornes for many years. Whilst this is well built, I often find that, if I have lots of cappings that I need to process, it struggles to cope. So I decided […]

August 2022 BIBBA Monthly

[…]60’s and this is what BIBBA has always been committed to; we just refer to it now as sustainable bees and beekeeping based on the native or near native honey bee. Unfortunately, honey bees now have many more challenges in the first half of the 21st Century and projects such as the ones at Abberton and Sandringham are very important. […]

A Simple Method of Simultaneously Raising Queens and Producing Nuclei

[…]together, or an association’s breeding programme. Basis of the Method In September 2016, at the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeding Association (BIBBA) conference on the Isle of Man, I was lucky enough to attend an excellent presentation on queen rearing by the Dutch commercial beekeeper Jeroen Vorstman.  I had been raising queens myself quite successfully for some time using the […]
Read more » A Simple Method of Simultaneously Raising Queens and Producing Nuclei

Improving bees by raising your own queens

[…]isolated. For security reasons we ask the location is not disclosed to anybody. For working at the bees, bee suits and gloves are not essential, but head protection is. What is or isn’t included? A one day practical and online video. Pre – COVID, this was a 2 day course, but the videos now replace the first day. Please see […]

BOBBI Spring 2022 Newsletter

[…]the 2021 beekeeping season.  For me personally, it was the worst season I’ve had in 15 years of beekeeping.  Cold weather then, near continuous rain, well into May, meant the queen rearing was off to a very slow start.  To put 2021 into context, I spent more money on buyer sugar to feed my starving hives than I did on […]

NatBIP News No8

[…]goes on. The National Bee Improvement Programme is designed to promote the partnership between bees and beekeepers, for the mutual benefit of both. The Programme centres around its participants not its organisers. We really welcome the input of ideas and descriptions of practices that you have found work for you. If it is good for you, it is probably good […]

Show Sign Up

[…] Your subscription has been successful. Sign Up for Info on BIBBA We will keep you updated on what is happening. Enter your email address to subscribe Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g Enter your FIRSTNAME Enter your LASTNAME Enter your mobile number +93 AF +358 AX +355 AL +213 DZ +1684 AS +376 AD +244 AO […]

March 2022 BIBBA Monthly

[…]from warmer climates to the frozen north. “Bees from faraway places never do as well as local bees, the best bees for you are in your yard or in your neighbour’s yard, raise queens from them”. If it works for him why do we need imports? Is it because those importing aren’t capable of raising their own queens? Watching this […]

Scillonian Bee Project

[…]Scillonian weather, in particular the long dry summers. ​This is more than likely because honeybees have been imported (but luckily from varroa free locations, Colonsay, and the Isle of Man). Another part of the Project will be to take an annual DNA sample from as many colonies as pos)sible so that we can use the results to help the bees […]

Let’s Go Beekeeping!

[…]that he has. So, as Roger says, “beekeeping is fun”: join us on a journey through the craft of beekeeping. Let’s Go Beekeeping! Using a Toggle Hive Strap Colony Assessment Assembling National Beehive Brood Box and Super: Roger's Way! Assembling a National British Standard Brood Frame for a Bee Hive (DN1) The Roger Patterson Way! Introducing a Protected Queen Cell […]

Home

[…]Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. This is an initiative organised by the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders’ Association (BIBBA), with the aims of reducing the number of imports of honey bees into Britain, Ireland and associated islands* and of improving the quality of our honey bees. This Programme aims to provide a way forward to […]

Why do the bees rear so many drones?

[…]and others, with a bias toward conservation and the environment, rearing our own queens from black bees. Why do the bees rear so many drones? This piece aims to explain: why the production of a large number of drones is the inevitable consequence of the free mating of queens in drone congregations; and why this proliferation of drones is […]

Webinars – January 2022

[…]with a number of different approaches. In 2016 a number of beekeepers who wished to practice more bee-friendly methods of keeping bees founded Lune Valley Community Beekeepers and Fred became its chairman. The Group has grown steadily ever since, mainly with members new to beekeeping whose interest lies mainly in environmental matters rather than honey production. Lune Valley Beekeepers maintain […]

Home5

[…]Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. This is an initiative organised by the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders’ Association (BIBBA), with the aims of reducing the number of imports of honey bees into Britain, Ireland and associated islands* and of improving the quality of our honey bees. This Programme aims to provide a way forward to […]

Education & Training

[…]to get reminders Let's Go Beekeeping Roger Patterson gives practical beekeeping tips in this video series. BIBBA Publications We have a range of publications available to the public. They are available from all good beekeeping book suppliers and on Amazon. Upcoming Webinars BIBBA put together an excellent programme of speakers every year. Find out about our upcoming events. Webinar Archives […]

Home3a

[…]Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. This is an initiative organised by the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders’ Association (BIBBA), with the aims of reducing the number of imports of honey bees into Britain, Ireland and associated islands* and of improving the quality of our honey bees. This Programme aims to provide a way forward to […]

BIBBA YouTube Videos

[…]who have inspected colonies more than 40-50 times. Queen rearing, bee improvement, locally adapted bees, etc All beekeepers should be able to get something out of this group, as the stock we keep is very important, not just for ourselves, but our surrounding beekeepers and the free-living population. General Interest The videos under this heading are suitable for all beekeepers. […]

Sandringham Report 2021

[…]a single graft cell when we introduced grafts on 16th August. It is not clear why this should have been so, but the bees were clearly beginning to prepare for Winter – drone numbers were very low and a lot of propolis used to seal the boxes together. Temperatures did not exceed 20C in the last 10 days of the […]

BIBBA Books

[…]appropriate. The Teaching Apiary: A brilliant resource For many years Teaching Apiaries have been used by Bee Keeping Associations (BKAs) to teach the practical side of beekeeping. Alas, not all BKA’s yet have these valuable facilities, though this book should encourage them to consider the value of having one. Roger Patterson has been involved with his local BKA teaching apiary […]

Tim Smit’s View

[…](NatBIP) into its next phase and, as part of this, we need promote our message about native honey bees and bee improvement to a much wider audience. We are therefore very pleased that Sir Tim Smit (from the Eden Project) offered to help us promote that message through this short video. Although he is not a beekeeper himself, he is […]

The Native Irish Honey Bee

[…]a ‘go to’ source of information not just for beekeepers in the island of Ireland but for all beekeepers who keep Amm bees or who want to know more. It covers all the essentials: What is a native Irish honey bee? Consideration of honey bee genetics (which will become an increasingly important issue in the 2020s as our knowledge of […]

Lune Valley New Breeding Apiary

[…]Beekeepers was founded in June 2016 by a small group of beekeepers who wanted to engage in more bee-centric rather than beekeeper-centric approaches to beekeeping, and adopt a focus on improving the environment for bees rather than producing honey. These approaches included: only inspecting colonies three or four times a year unless really necessary letting the bees swarm naturally and […]

Silent Earth

[…]the agenda of debate relating to pollinators in the 2020s. This a key debate with which all beekeepers and beekeeping organisations will need to engage. BIBBA certainly intends to be at the centre of this debate. If you have not already seen it, it is well worthwhile reading Dave Goulson’s recent interview with Sarah Wyndham Lewis (of Bermondsey Street Bees) […]

Bee Improvement Strategies

[…]question any individual or group should consider is what method should I/we follow to Improve our bees and to produce queens. There are a few key choices depending on your aims, capacity (time and equipment) and capabilities. I’m assuming the reader is looking for a bee that is native and/or locally adapted. Kevin […]

LVCB Breeding Group-LA1

[…]in 2016, Lune Valley Community Beekeepers promotes a responsible, alternative, low intervention, bee-centric approach to beekeeping. With a Club apiary in Lancaster our main area of operation is the lower Lune Valley and the surrounding areas. We have just set up a breeding apiary with the objectives of providing a source of healthy, dark, docile bees, well suited to our […]

NatBIP News No 7

[…]that we are part of a movement that is taking steps to a sustainable future, that aims to improve beekeeping and leave our bees in a better condition than we found them. Enjoy the winter break and make positive plans for next […]

Colony Increase – The Roger Patterson Method

[…]The author has used the whole method or parts successfully for over 40 years. Although it has been used in the UK, there is no reason why it can’t be successfully implemented throughout the world. It is suitable for all beekeepers, whether small scale where selective parts of this book can be used, or by larger sale where the full […]
Read more » Colony Increase – The Roger Patterson Method

NatBIP News No6

[…]through natural selection. This is why BIBBA puts emphasis on the native strain of honey bee, Apis mellifera mellifera. Beekeepers can argue about the relative merits of different strains and sub-species but ultimately, for bee improvement, we need to go down the easiest route. If beekeepers could all agree, we could try to impose an exotic strain on to our […]

BIBBA Monthly – June 2021

[…]colonies per year in favourable conditions. This is an excellent method for sustainably producing bees to supply new beekeepers and for providing an income stream for commercial beekeepers. Several queens can also be mated in the nucs during the summer, so adding value. Producing bees and queens locally avoids the use of imports that are a concern to many beekeepers, […]

Bee Improvement Days 2021

Bee Improvement Days 2021 The Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders' Association (BIBBA) will be running a small number of practical and theoretical courses during the summer months. These will be aimed at beekeepers who wish to improve their bees, with emphasis on suitability to the environment, docility, calmness on the comb, ease of management, good use of stores, etc. The […]

NatBIP News No5

[…]us to select and improve from this population. As beekeepers, we sometimes ask a lot of our bees, but bee improvement offers us the chance to develop bees that are good survivors as well as offering the qualities that the beekeeper wants or needs. Queen rearing and drones Photo by Roger Patterson It is worth remembering that all the queens […]

Live @ the Hive

We have been beset by technical problems but hope to return later in the year. Over the summer, BIBBA is broadcasting a series of live, unscripted apiary demonstrations. These will be live streamed on YouTube for members to watch. Recordings will be available later for anyone to watch. “Live @ the Hive” features Roger Patterson bringing you live sessions direct […]

Webinars on YouTube

OUR SPRING WEBINAR PROGRAMME HAS NOW FINISHED Don’t forget to sign up here, for free, to learn more about our exciting, upcoming programme. Recordings of the majority of our spring webinars are available below and on our YouTube […]

NatBIP News No4

[…]Unfortunately, this has been going on for a long time, and the result is destabilisation of our bee population. We have a bee population in which the development of local adaptation is constantly undermined by the introduction of new untested genes. The development of a locally adapted bee is a goal worth aiming for and accepting that we have to […]

West Linton BKA-EH46

Midlothian group helping local beekeepers and novices start beekeeping and bee improvement. Our intention is to lend a colony bees to each new beekeeper that joins us, from which they can, with our assistance, breed new colonies both for themselves and to repay their debt. For further information please contact: […]

East Midlands 1998

[…]sake of change, or to be panicked into making changes when things go wrong. This last season has been disappointing largely because it has been such a wet season, as the weather records that have been broken clearly indicate. What we have learnt though, in this wet season, is that in such conditions we need to modify our techniques to […]

Reports and Accounts

AGM 2022 BIBBA 2021 Trustees Report BIBBA 2021 Accounts AGM 2021 BIBBA 2020 Trustees Report BIBBA 2020 Accounts AGM 2020 (postponed) BIBBA Trustees Report and Accounts for 2019 AGM 2019 BIBBA 2018 trustees report BIBBA 2018 final accounts AGM 2018 BIBBA Report and Accounts to AGM 2018 AGM 2017 BIBBA Trustees’ Report to AGM 2017 BIBBA Accounts- to AGM 2017 […]

NatBIP News No3

[…]the bees’ reaction. If the feed holes on the crown board are covered, uncover them to view the bees. The bees should be calm and not worried by the intrusion so far. If they are taking to the air and possibly pinging off the veil it is a bad sign, and you will be thinking more towards a score of […]

NatBIP News No2

[…]working within a Group, due to achieving greater influence, unless you happen to be a large-scale beekeeper whose bees can dominate your area. You may be lucky enough to be near a larger scale beekeeper who is sympathetic to the NatBIP project. This could have big advantages, particularly when it comes to the mating of newly reared queens. If you […]

Liz Childerley

[…]I witnessed BIBBA moving through a very exciting chapter in its history.  Never before have beekeepers in such numbers been so receptive to the solutions for sustainable beekeeping that BIBBA offers. I’m delighted also that the National Bee Improvement Programme has been welcomed so heartily by beekeepers and with a near 50% increase in our membership during 2020 there is […]

Salisbury and District BKA

  A group formed to encourage and support local beekeepers keep locally-adapted bees with locally raised, open-mated queens of local heritage.   Please Contact: Matthew […]

BIBBA Opposes the Importation of Honey Bees and Queens

[…]supports the prosperity and wellbeing of all our current populations of bees, including honey bees, bumblebees and solitary bees as well as other pollinators, Imported honey bees pose a considerable risk each year to our present populations in many different ways. This ever-growing practice is not sustainable. It is most likely that the seriously damaging invasive pests and pathogens we […]
Read more » BIBBA Opposes the Importation of Honey Bees and Queens

North Gower Bee Improvement

[…]low number of beekeepers (mostly hobbyists) which may have helped reduce mass import of non-native bees in this area. Furthermore, the isolation of the northern tip of Gower may offer a stronghold for colonies of near native bees. The group which is just starting is looking to encourage breeding from these local near native stocks and improve their qualitive through selective […]

NatBIP News No1

[…]of individuals or groups as different approaches are inevitable. The particular qualities of the bees will vary in importance for different beekeepers and some may wish to alter the card for this reason. The important thing is that it is quick and easy to use and that it produces useful information that shows the variation between colonies. When working in […]

Section 8.1 – Dominating an Area with the Selected Strain

[…]any improvements we may have gained through our efforts to establish our selected strain. We have been monitoring our colonies and keeping accurate records to enable us to see at a glance our progress (see using NatBIP record card). We can then select and cull the queens that we consider don’t display the chosen traits and replace them with ones […]
Read more » Section 8.1 – Dominating an Area with the Selected Strain

Section 5.1 – Queen Rearing Methods

[…]the apiary and between apiaries. The best queens are produced by strong colonies of well-fed bees. The nurse bees are able to produce copious amounts of royal jelly and thus feed the queen larvae adequately. Rearing from poor weak colonies without adequate feeding will result in inferior queens. Queens can possibly be reared from mid-April to mid-September in many areas, […]

Section 4.14 – NatBIP 1 Record Card Instructions

[…]and can be adjusted or changed according to your own preference. Instructions Top table Box Beekeeper/Group: Name of beeper and/or Group or Association Queen or Colony Origin: Source or origin of Queen and/or Colony Name or No. of Strain: Queen Name or No.: Name/no. if breeder Queen Mark/Age: Letter for year colour. Circled if marked Queen description: Colour, stripes, clipped? […]
Read more » Section 4.14 – NatBIP 1 Record Card Instructions

Section 3.1 – The Selection of Local Stock

[…]in the following text. 1. Native appearance Most of us will be starting with randomly hybridised bees, that is bees that are a mixture of various sub-species. This is the result of over 150 years of importing bees that originated in different climatic zones around Europe. Some people view importing bees as a positive, citing genetic diversity, docility and prolificacy […]

Section 2.1 – How NatBIP will work

[…]or local associations, often with useful facilities such as a ‘group apiary’. Commercial beekeepers or bee farmers will be especially welcome as they often exert a big influence in an area due to the number of colonies that they run. The Improvement Process Put simply, the improvement process is about increasing the frequency of favourable genes in a population and […]

NatBIP Guide

[…]information and feedback from participants according to their experiences in improving their bees. Beekeepers may wish to refer to relevant sections of the Guide online or print out all or part of the Guide as appropriate. This can provide a hard copy of the document which can be stored in an A4 binder. Individual sections can be reprinted as necessary […]

National Bee Improvement Programme (NatBIP)

[…]Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. This is an initiative organised by the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders’ Association (BIBBA), with the twin aims of reducing the number of imports of honey bees into Britain, Ireland and associated islands,* and of improving the quality of our honey bees. This Programme aims to provide a way forward […]

Section 1.1- Introduction

[…]find common ground and begin to select and improve their local bees. For over 150 years we have been importing bees of other sub-species, often with the aim of obtaining better quality bees. At best, this has only resulted in short-term relief, perhaps with more docile bees but, unfortunately the good qualities cannot be maintained, and it is not long […]

Section 1.2 – Aims, Imports & Bee Breeding

[…]support of beekeepers aiming to develop Varroa resilient bees The Problem with Imports Imports of bees have been growing, year on year, and, although currently at record levels, at best, only produce a short-term respite, in terms of quality. In the long-term no consistent improvement in the quality of our bees is achieved, and the system relies on further imports […]

Section 1.4 – The Agreement

[…]use of imported bees, or the offspring of recently imported bees. The focus will be on: native bees near-native bees long-established local bees in an area This will allow any beekeeper, whatever their circumstances, to avoid the use of imported stock and take part in improving the honey bees in their […]

Section 1.3 – Participation

[…]use of imported bees, or the offspring of recently imported bees. The focus will be on: native bees near-native bees long-established local bees in an area This will allow any beekeeper, whatever their circumstances, to avoid the use of imported stock and take part in improving the honey bees in their […]

Using a Smoker

[…]leaves, etc, etc. It is permanently in my car, so I have it if needed. I always take it to the bees, but I’m in a rural area, so unless it has been raining there is always fuel available. Keep matches or other method of lighting with you, but in emergency I have used a magnifying glass on a sunny […]

Mailing List test

[…]could not be saved. Please try again. Your subscription has been successful. Receive Regular mailings Subscribe to our email list and stay receive a programme of educational emails. Enter your email address to subscribe Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g I agree to receive your emails and accept the data privacy statement. You may unsubscribe at any […]

BIBBA Associated Organisations

[…]either live or as recordings. BIBBA is a national charity concerned with improving standards of bees and beekeepers. We feel we can best do this in collaboration with existing organisations. We have therefore formed a category of “BIBBA Associated Organisations”, that will help two way communication between organisers. By becoming a “BIBBA Associated Organisation” you can enjoy the benefits listed […]

Webinars – Summary

Recordings of the majority of webinars are also available on our YouTube Channel Don’t forget to sign up here, for free, to learn more about our future […]

BIBBA Monthly – December 2020

[…]amount of time at home during 2020. It has given me a chance to think about how to improve my bees and beekeeping and to decide what equipment I prefer to use and which can be let go. The NatBIP message is still spreading amongst beekeepers and the BIBBA and other webinars offer some golden tips to try next year. […]

New Member Euro Direct Debit

[…]being made on your account.• If an error is made in the payment of your Direct Debit, by the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Association or your bank or building society, you are entitled to a full and immediate refund of the amount paid by your bank or building society.– If you receive a refund you are not entitled to, […]

Selwyn Runnett

[…]the importance of honey bees as part of the wider eco-system and their role as pollinators. He has been keeping bees actively for 12 years and became a part-time commercial beekeeper three years ago committed to methods of sustainable commercial beekeeping. He currently runs about 60 hives with plans to increase up to 150. He is a Member of his […]

Richard Senior

[…]Association- combining his love of bees with his love for teaching.  Richard started his beekeeping journey with a nuc of bees in 2006 after a 6-week local association beginners’ course and over the years has gradually expanded to 50 colonies. Proud to be the current chairman of Barnsley Beekeepers Association, Richard is a strong believer in locally produced bees and queens […]

Brian Holdcroft

[…]Local Museum and Art Gallery where he discovered an observation hive. The memories of seeing the bee activity in this hive still loom large with him today.He has a particular interest in the historical relationship that we have with the honey bee and much of his work as an artist references these connections. contact Brian at […]

Adam Tofilski Webinars

[…]mellifera mellifera, which is nowadays endangered by extinction because of imports of non-native bees by beekeepers. The native bees deserve to be protected because they are better adapted to local climate and survive better. The simplest method of protection is not buying any imported queens. It would be even more effective to identify local bees and requeen non-native colonies with […]

Videos

[…]to use  “advice”, “information” or methods that may not be the best suited for their bees or conditions. To help beekeepers, below is a list of videos with good, sound, reliable content that have been selected by experienced beekeepers. We recommend them as being suitable for our conditions in the British Islands and Ireland. It is not exhaustive by any […]

Alla Neal

[…]2014 and together with her husband manages 12-15 colonies on multiple sites. She does not import bees and has been a BIBBA member since 2015. She has passed BBKA General Husbandry assessment in 2019 and hopes to become a Master Beekeeper and a Honey Show judge one day. Alla is a Chartered Accountant and is/was a treasurer in her local […]

Book title

[…]History of the Bee”, written by John Anderson. As well as some lovely hand-drawn details of bee anatomy, there is another book tagged on from page 36 called “How to Handle Bees”, from the same author. You can download the book […]

BIBBA Webinars – The National Bee Improvement Programme (NatBIP)

[…]five sessions to host as follows (all are Tuesdays at 7.30pm):- 5 20th Oct “Resilient Honeybees” by Grace McCormack 6 27th Oct “Where we are, how we got here and how we can move on…….” by Roger Patterson 7 3rd Nov “Some Fresh Ideas for Teaching and Learning” by Roger Patterson 8 10th Nov “Bees and queens for everyone” by […]
Read more » BIBBA Webinars – The National Bee Improvement Programme (NatBIP)

Queens: Collaboration and how to make it easy on yourself and your bees – by Karl Colyer

[…]usual this year and we figured that his ‘rejects’ may well be better than my current choice of bees. I had bees up on Saddleworth Moor (900ft), just into Derbyshire (1,130ft) but most were down on the Cheshire plains with a similar altitude and climate to West Sussex. I certainly wouldn’t want to impose the cooler, windier and wetter options […]
Read more » Queens: Collaboration and how to make it easy on yourself and your bees – by Karl Colyer

Queens – an example of collaboration between beekeepers, by Roger Patterson

[…]packages contained queen bees! In total I posted about 40 queens in 6 batches. I know that queen bees have been posted in travel cages for a long time, mainly from commercial suppliers, but it was still interesting to find few problems when done by amateurs in less than ideal conditions. I will describe a little about how the queens […]
Read more » Queens – an example of collaboration between beekeepers, by Roger Patterson

Welcome to the October BM Newsletter by Karl Colyer

[…]colony starved to death in the first week of September. I’ve nothing against personal choices on bees but these bees were probably not best suited to new beekeepers and their surroundings. We need to improve our bees!The NatBIP webinars are progressing well. Please attend on the night if you can – feel free to ask questions. Recordings will also be […]
Read more » Welcome to the October BM Newsletter by Karl Colyer

News on NatBIP

Thanks for signing up to receive reminders on the current season of webinars on the National Bee Improvement Programme. You will also receive updates on BIBBA activities. We will register you as a supporter of NatBIP so that you receive information on progress in the future. Will will undeavour to only send one email to those who have previously signed […]

Sept 2020 – book download

Book download This month’s download is from 1907 and is called “Facts about bees”, written by E. Root. It’s fascinating to know just how much information was around a hundred years ago despite no internet and […]

Sept 2020 – Karl Colyer intro

[…]attendees maximum) which sounds a lot but we are opening up the webinars for a short while to all beekeepers and spaces are being booked up quickly. We will soon be publishing details and timings of the next major deliverables in the NatBIP programme to help prepare everybody for their next season’s […]

Cupkit, Fakes and Annoyance

[…]both as a complete system, and with the cup and holders only, but I graft into them.  Many other beekeepers do the same, preferring them to some of the other dedicated cups that are available. Fig. 1. Showing cages dropped off the holders in use, so releasing the emerged queens. The Nicot-manufactured parts are high quality and everything fits perfectly, […]

Conserving black bees

[…]Others would argue that it is easier and cheaper to import from abroad; after all, some think bees are bees are bees! When asked about the Black Bee, many will repeat what they have read in books and journals: a defensive and aggressive race with low productiv­ity, adapted to the colder, wetter cli­mate of western and northern Europe where it […]

Webinar – Season Three

The recordings for all our Season Three Webinars are on our Youtube Channel. Below is the play list (use the button that says 1/9 in the top right corner of the video […]

BIBBA News – back issues

You have signed up to the mailing list for news about BIBBA and the National Bee Improvement Programme. Please add to your email contacts, to reduce the chance of our newsletters going into your spam folder.You will receive a confirmation email; if it does not come through then check your spam folder. You can view recent back issues of […]

News

[…]gradually evolve to produce good results in the current conditions. By constantly selecting the bees that do best, our bees will be constantly evolving to cope with changing environmental or climatic conditions. Why NatBIP needs your support. For over 150 years we have viewed imports as the way to a better bee, but now is a good time for a […]

Webinars – Season Two

[…]Roger Patterson – “Dead Bees Don’t Buzz – Surviving the Winter “ Presentation:  “Dead Bees Don’t Buzz – Surviving the Winter “ View Recording – Roger Patterson – “Dead Bees Don’t Buzz – Surviving the Winter “ Tuesday 25th August 7:30pm – Lynfa Davies – “The Mystery of Mating” Presentation:  “The Mystery of Mating”. View Recording – Lynfa Davies – […]

Help Required

[…]with BIBBA organisation until 2015, when I complained to Roger Patterson that the website had not been updated in the four years since Dave Cushman had died. His response was, “well you sort it then”. And so I took over the BIBBA website and migrated it to WordPress. Within six months I’d also taken on the membership secretary role. Until […]

The Honeybees of the British Isles – Beowulf Cooper – download pdf

Members can download a copy of this book free of charge for their personal use, if logged in to the website.This electronic download is ONLY available to current BIBBA members. It is strictly copyright protected against any distribution, loaning, display, broadcasting, selling or copying. By downloading this file, you agree to these terms and […]
Read more » The Honeybees of the British Isles – Beowulf Cooper – download pdf

Surrey Hills Queen Rearing – GU1

[…]In line with BIBBA’s objectives we look towards breeding from local stock without importing any bees or queens. Promoting this approach we hope to encourage other beekers to do the same. contact Sarah Rowlands […]

News for Non-Members – June 2020

Welcome to BIBBA News for Non-members – June 2020 CHAIR’S WELCOME After the glorious May weather, many of us were wondering when the rain and cooler weather would come. Well, I guess we need to be careful what we wish for! In this June issue you will be able to: keep up to date with NatBIP strategy be aware of […]

Bloomington Bees – USA

[…]Bees: We are currently a small group but currently looking for more members who share the love of Beekeeping and a passion for honeybees.  Bloomington Indiana 47403 USA contact  Nathanael […]

NatBIP – May 2020

[…]of hybridization of our bees can be reduced and we can develop local strains based on the native bee. Why the native bee? The natural advantages it enjoys in our environment make this the easiest strain to refine and maintain. Aren’t there better strains available? The genetic diversity within any strain contain all the qualities we could want. By working […]

_BM-footer

[…]some people want things that are the opposite of others (have you ever heard about this dilemma in beekeeping?) but all feedback is welcome.If you want to contribute an article or draw the attention of BIBBA members to some beekeeping news, please let the BIBBA team know by filling in the feedback form. click to send FEEDBACK and ideas IMAGES: […]

Breeding Techniques and Selection for Breeding of the Honeybee – Ruttner – download pdf

Members can download a copy of this book for their personal use. This electronic download is ONLY available to current BIBBA members. It is strictly copyright protected against any distribution, loaning, display, broadcasting, selling or copying. By downloading this file, you agree to these terms and […]
Read more » Breeding Techniques and Selection for Breeding of the Honeybee – Ruttner – download pdf

PayPal – Rest of World

[…]are now online; we aim to produce occassional printed material. the overseas rate has been reduced to £20 membership is valid until 1st January next after completing your payment please go […]

Membership Application

[…]of bee improvement and queen rearing. Support projects 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. Read our Privacy Policy and Constitution here JOIN HERE – select […]

BBOBI Group – April 2020 Newsletter

[…]You could also read up on the Miller Method, this is a good link: http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/millermethod.html Keep an eye on the What’sApp group, it is the best way to make cries for help. If you’re not included, email me your phone number to be added to the thirty or so members on the group today. If you do not wish to read […]

Bucks Berks & Oxon Bee Improvement (BBOBI ) – RG9

[…]by Reg Hook, a founding member of SCBKA and a tutor at Berks College of Agriculture. Reg has been breeding near native dark bees for over 20 years and has distributed stock to both members of Reading and Wokingham BKA while teaching at BCA, so it makes sense to continue his work in the local area. Free Virgin Queens Due […]
Read more » Bucks Berks & Oxon Bee Improvement (BBOBI ) – RG9

I Want Bees

[…]Linnaeus 1758 is a subspecies and northern geographical race of Apis mellifera, the western honeybee. It may be subdivided into many local ecotypes. Its various vernacular names include:“Dark European Honeybee” (English),“L’abeille noire” (French),“Die dunkle Biene” (German) and“Det mörka Nordiska Biet” (Swedish) Apis mellifera mellifera is distinguished from other subspecies of the honey bee by:a) Morphological characters, including colour, size, wing […]

A Proposal for a National Honey Bee Improvement Programme

[…]and propagated the best local bees, a good reason could then be made for not using imported bees. Beekeepers would benefit in two ways, that is, in a reduction in the biosecurity risks associated with imports, and through the opportunity of supporting and participating in a project that could deliver a better-quality bee. Taking part in a scheme to sustainably […]
Read more » A Proposal for a National Honey Bee Improvement Programme

Bee Improvement Strategies – Kevin Thorn -part one

[…]the reader is looking for a bee that is native and/or locally adapted. The first thing for a new beekeeper to understand is that honey bee mating biology is very different from that of mammals and breeding “pedigree” queens is hard when in nature they fly 3+ miles to mate with up to 35 males from random hives (sources differ […]
Read more » Bee Improvement Strategies – Kevin Thorn -part one

Bee Improvement Strategies – Kevin Thorn -part two

[…]this wouldn’t work there are many examples of where this has been done and after many years the bees have been found to be 70-99% pure AMM (you do need to be able to tell the difference between AMM and Carniolan queens though). Propagating queens You can start to introduce more propagation methods too – different methods of transferring larvae, […]
Read more » Bee Improvement Strategies – Kevin Thorn -part two

Nick Bentham-Green

[…]At this time Nick became very interested in bee improvement, realising that he had in fact been doing the same, with his own bees for a number of years. In 2011 Nick retired from the Royal Marines and became a full time beekeeper. He now runs about 30 colonies, and helps with the management of a number of BipCo mating […]

Lester Wickham

[…]Rogate where he was impressed by the reasoning put forward by Beowulf Cooper for the native bee. The concepts he learned there he put into practice with his own beekeeping, which at that time went alongside keeping sheep on his farm and holding down a job in Sheffield with a firm of surveyors When he retired Lester sold the farm […]

Lampeter – SA48

[…]one base near Lampeter. Bees should keep themselves and go some way towards keeping their owner. Bees that give a surplus of 80lbs of honey and never need feeding are more profitable than bees that give 100lbs of honey and need to be fed 50lbs of sugar in the autumn or when there is prolonged bad weather or a summer […]

Hazelbeach Black Bee Breeding Group – SA73

The group works in South West Pembrokeshire to breed and conserve a strain of the local black bee. An ultimate aim would be to influence the conservation of the black bee widely in the Pembrokeshire peninsula. contact Mel […]

Wisborough Green BKA – RH14

Wisborough Green BKA teaches beekeepers in West Sussex. Near native bees and queens are produced in our extensive teaching apiary as part of the tuition. contact Roger Patterson 01403 790 […]

Bees for Sale

[…]Queens for Everyone” roadshow. Two Frame Nucs Contact a Local BIBBA Group: We have a number of Bee Improvement Groups around the UK. Often these groups have surplus bees and queens. Click here to find your nearest group. Members wishing to sell bees can put a notice on the website. You must be logged in, then click […]

Test Valley Black Bee Project – SO20

[…]to the conservation and reintroduction of the native black bee. We are a friendly team of bee keepers working together to improve the qualities of the existing surrounding bee population. Our aim is to work towards locally adapted colonies focusing on the reintroduction and proliferation of the native black bee. Contact: Nicola Crosswaite 07905929114 […]

BIM 52 – Spring 2019

[…]size fits all – Baruch Livneh Battling the Bandits – Dorian Pritchard Adventures in Beekeeping – Brian Ripley BIBBA Conference 2018 – Roger Patterson SICAMM Conference 2018 – Jo Widdicombe Aimo Nurminen – Lassi Kauko BIBBA members can download a pdf copy of the full magazine for personal […]

Set up a Direct Debit – New members

[…]being made on your account. • If an error is made in the payment of your Direct Debit, by the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Association or your bank or building society, you are entitled to a full and immediate refund of the amount paid by your bank or building society. – If you receive a refund you are not […]

What does BIBBA Offer?

[…]of bee improvement and queen rearing. Support projects 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 […]

BIG_NY – YO21

Small group of beekeepers based in North Yorkshire formed in 2019 with an aim to improve our bees by selecting and breeding from colonies with characteristics we believe will provide the best possible strain of bees suited to our locality. Contact […]

Adrian Waring

[…]but we did range over many topics not on the curriculum!   His knowledge extended well beyond bees and beekeeping.   On one occasion travelling to a BIBBA meeting (he had persuaded me to join), I quoted a couple of lines from a Rupert Brooke poem – Adrian recited the rest of the poem! He demonstrated skill at managing bees and queen rearing which […]

Neville Dearden

[…]discussions with the late Colin Butler at Rothamstead, and, the late Adrian Waring’s paper on Bee Space stated “The horizontal bee space in this hive was perfect. There was never any brace comb built there.” Until relatively recently some of these hives were still in use at the BBKA apiary at Stoneleigh Park and Neville still has one in regular […]

BBOBI Group – March April 2019 Newsletter

[…]together to review our progress to our aims and share our lessons. We’ve had interest from new beekeepers and keepers wanting more bees. We can’t promise to supply nucs in this our first year, but if interested please get in touch and we’ll add you to the list. Communications are doing really well via WhatsApp group, so if you wish […]

University of Plymouth Project

[…]drone brood timings, worker brood cycle, and thriftiness. We will investigate these traits using a bee keeping survey. The survey has been designed in collaboration with bee-keepers and tries to get as much detail as possible whilst at the same time being practical and feasible for bee-keepers to complete. It will require you to measure and record specific parameters throughout […]

Beekeepers come swarming to the Sustainability days

[…]events. A whole range of topics were discussed on the day including: Roger’s system of keeping bees, having non-prolific bees and still getting plenty of honey. Simple factors to consider for bee improvement Getting queen cells and two framed nucs set up How to get up to 11 colonies in one season Roger frequently signposted attendees to the Dave Cushman […]
Read more » Beekeepers come swarming to the Sustainability days

Strategy

[…]native and near-native bees; and Scientific research on issues relevant to native and near-native bees. For all beekeepers and the general public, it does this by: Providing information on all aspects of native, near-native and locally adapted bees; Designing and delivering education and training programmes for beekeepers of different experience levels; Developing and supporting initiatives to increase the availability of […]

Appetitive floral odours prevent aggression in honeybees

[…]to recruit nestmates into defensive tasks. The effect of floral odours on this behaviour has never been studied, despite the relevance of these olfactory cues for the biology of bees. Here we use a novel assay to investigate social and olfactory cues that drive defensive behaviour in bees. We show that social interactions are necessary to reveal the recruiting function […]
Read more » Appetitive floral odours prevent aggression in honeybees

How I select my ‘Breeder Queens’

[…]may not be much use as a breeder. We are all in different situations and working with different bees so compromises in our selections may have to be made. In other words, we cannot expect to have breeders that are perfect in every way. If we have neighbours who repeatedly import queens it can make it difficult for us to […]

Sustainable Bees & Queens: Chesterfield

There is growing concern amongst beekeepers of all abilities and experience about the ever-increasing importation of bees and queens. This is on several grounds, including the possibilities of introducing pests, diseases and pathogens, aggression in subsequent generations and the unsuitability to our fickle […]

Downloads

[…]of BIBBA. For technical reasons, that are due to Internet servers, the original filenames have been changed to all lower case, but have not been modified in any other way. DOWNLOAD  BIBBA Studbook Stephen Loughborough has created a very useful stud book. This is an Excel template, that will record assessed behavioural data used for selecting male and female lines as […]

Sustainable Bees & Queens: Kent

There is growing concern amongst beekeepers of all abilities and experience about the ever-increasing importation of bees and queens. This is on several grounds, including the possibilities of introducing pests, diseases and pathogens, aggression in subsequent generations and the unsuitability to our fickle […]

Sustainable Bees & Queens

[…]enough bees for their beginners and queens to head them. In response to the obvious need the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Association (BIBBA) are staging a series of one day regional events during the 2018/19 winter. These are to help and encourage everyone from the small-scale beekeeper upwards and BKAs to produce bees and queens from local stock, by […]

Sustainable Bees & Queens – South East

[…]enough bees for their beginners and queens to head them. In response to the obvious need the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Association (BIBBA) are staging a series of one day regional events during the 2018/19 winter. These are to help and encourage everyone from the small-scale beekeeper upwards and BKAs to produce bees and queens from local stock, by […]

Sustainable Bees & Queens – South West

[…]enough bees for their beginners and queens to head them. In response to the obvious need the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Association (BIBBA) are staging a series of one day regional events during the 2018/19 winter. These are to help and encourage everyone from the small-scale beekeeper upwards and BKAs to produce bees and queens from local stock, by […]

Sustainable Bees & Queens : Midlands

[…]enough bees for their beginners and queens to head them. In response to the obvious need the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Association (BIBBA) are staging a series of one day regional events during the 2018/19 winter. These are to help and encourage everyone from the small-scale beekeeper upwards and BKAs to produce bees and queens from local stock, by […]

Sustainable Bees & Queens : East Anglia

[…]enough bees for their beginners and queens to head them. In response to the obvious need the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Association (BIBBA) are staging a series of one day regional events during the 2018/19 winter. These are to help and encourage everyone from the small-scale beekeeper upwards and BKAs to produce bees and queens from local stock, by […]

Sustainability – Bees and Queens for Everyone using low-cost, simple methods

[…]of one day regional events in early 2019 to help and encourage everyone from the small-scale beekeeper upwards and BKAs to produce bees and queens from local stock, by using simple techniques that may be little more than a variation of what many beekeepers already do and at little or no cost. Topics include:- Why raise queens? Addressing perceived problems […]
Read more » Sustainability – Bees and Queens for Everyone using low-cost, simple methods

The Eden Project’s 2nd Conference for Sustainable Beekeeping

[…]Sussex University Using whole genome sequencing to analyse the genetic diversity of the UK honey bee population. HONEY BEE CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABLE BEEKEEPING Dr Mark Barnett, Edinburgh University:- The need to conserve the Dark European honey bee. Dylan Elen, Bangor University:- Developing sustainable beekeeping in Wales, some results of initial genetic survey. Prof Grace P McCormack, National University of Ireland […]
Read more » The Eden Project’s 2nd Conference for Sustainable Beekeeping

BIM 51 – Summer 2018

[…]more than you saw on the surface BIBBA Conference – Roger Patterson‘Improve Your Bees and Beekeeping’ Shakespeare’s Bees – Gaynor SmithGoing Native in Stratford Just look what happens if . . . – Dorian PritchardAll beekeepers must manage varroa in their stocks In Memory of Abess – Dawn Boswell-Challandthe Americans would call her a ‘gator’ queen with four abdominal segments […]

Estimating C-lineage Introgression

[…]an accurate and costeffective SNP-based tool Henriques et al The natural distribution of the honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) has been changed by humans in recent decades to such an extent that the formerly widest-spread European subspecies, Apis mellifera mellifera, is threatened by extinction through introgression from highly divergent commercial strains in large tracts of its range. Conservation efforts for A. […]

Mount Edgcumbe Cornish Bee Group – PL10

[…]sides of the lower River Tamar. Our aim as a BIBBA group is to foster interest in the native honey bee and to help beekeepers to improve their own stock using Amm characteristics as a guide. contact Kathy […]

BIBBA Conference 2018

[…]of presentations to choose from. For identification purposes they are “Room 1, 2 & 3”:- Bee breeding, bee improvement, queen rearing, etc. These topics will satisfy those who wish to improve their bees and those locally. There will be information to help beekeepers to produce their own queens from stock that suits their environment, rather than relying on buying queens, […]

Shebbear Black Bee Conservation Project – EX22

[…]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 monitoring of black bees at Newton Mill, formation of a CIC (or Charity) to teach bee keeping contact Adrian […]
Read more » Shebbear Black Bee Conservation Project – EX22

Cheshire Honeybee Improvement Partnership (CHIP)- CW9

[…]BIBBA members, to help form local queen rearing groups to aid the improvement of local bees and support the objectives of BIBBA; to improve and propagate the native and near native honey bees. The CHIP members have formed a collective queen rearing group and are each helping other local individuals and groups to enter into selective and practical queen rearing […]
Read more » Cheshire Honeybee Improvement Partnership (CHIP)- CW9

Two Day Course – Norfolk

Hosted by: Norwich and District Beekeeping Club Venue: University of East Anglia, Dev Farm, Bluebell Road, Norwich, Norfolk. NR4 7TJ Cost: Inc lunch/refreshments £65 before May 1st, £75 afterwards Details and booking: Stewart Spinks. 01603 402130, 07889 727 543, […]

Albert Knight

[…]magazine.   It was Albert who suggested the British Isles Bee Breeders Association be changed to Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Association, as a more inclusive title! He was a knowledgeable beekeeper & queen breeder, who was always ready to share his experience to help others.   Albert wrote to me: “The committee members took BIBBA forward with renewed vigour and surprised […]

BIM List

This content is for BIBBA members only; please login to view the […]

Roger Patterson “The Patterson Unit”

[…]where he passes on the knowledge gained from experience and observing bees, in the hope it helps beekeepers to keep their bees in an understanding and caring way. He presents the popular BIBBA “Bee Improvement for All (BIFA)” days. He owns and manages Dave Cushman’s website www.dave-cushman.net, that is accepted as one of the world’s most comprehensive beekeeping websites, also […]

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 contact Jon Penton 07712 […]

Bee improvement for all day- Lanarkshire

£10 a head; tea and coffee provided, bring your own packed lunch Contact details Susan Fotheringham Bank details for BACS payments (preferred): Lloyds Bank Sort code: 30-98-97 Account number: 30350560 Directions: CLYDESMILL M74 southbound CLYDESMILL M74 […]

Bee Improvement for All – Edinburgh

[…]e.g. a swarming colony, as well as some of the simpler artificial methods that will suit the beekeeper or group who needs more queens. All suggested methods are easily understood and suitable for all beekeepers, whether they are beginners or more experienced. There will be a number of ideas and options given in an unbiased way. Beekeepers should learn more, […]

Wight Bee Improvement Group

[…]of passing on their bloodlines. At present no drone rearing is possible due to the variety of both beekeepers and imported stock. Hopefully this can be improved as the group increases in members and stock Specific short-term targets: Well mannered calm bees – low swarming – good foragers – non followers. With a little tuition it is hoped the group […]

BIM 50 – Winter 2017

[…]the course (and returning from my honeymoon) I found that one of my colonies had swarmed… Beekeeping on Scilly – Jo Widdicombe Within a bee population there are 19 or more different sex alleles, that is variations of the sex determining gene BIBBA members can download a pdf copy of the full magazine for personal […]

Bee Improvement for All – Devon

[…]at Eden Project and four associated events on the same weekend, we have had to cancel the Bee Improvement for All Day at South Brent. This is a great pity because there have been over 40 of these popular events since 2014, many of which have reached venue capacity. We apologise for the inconvenience and hope we can reschedule it […]

Kings Orchard – East Cornwall

[…]in East Cornwall a small group with the emphasis of breeding pedigree lines of Cornish Native dark bees utilising isolated mating apiaries and Instrumental Insemination. Working closely with the other bee improvement groups in the South West. contact Dave Ledger […]

Breeding for resistance to Varroa destructor in Europe

[…]test for Va r ro a resistance. Some of them (e.g., mite population growth, hygienic behavior) have been implemented in large-scale selection programs and signi?cant selection e?ects have been achieved. Survival tests of pre-selected breeder colonies and drone selection under infestation pressure are new attempts to strengthen e?ects of natural selection within selective breeding programs. Some perspectives for future breeding […]
Read more » Breeding for resistance to Varroa destructor in Europe

Wheal Primrose

[…]calm temper and Varroa resistance. The group are happy to share virgin queens with other local beekeepers. contact Nick Jones […]

Bee Improvement for All – Portishead

[…]made using the following link (no payments accepted on the day) http://northsomersetbeekeepers.org/bee-improvement-for-all-27-january-2018/   course info: […]

Godolphin-Cornwall

[…]closely with the B4 group, CBIBBG and the Cornish Bees Trelluswell group. Bob Black bob@cornishbees.com Beekeepers unite to save Native Bees in Cornwall Representatives of 4 bee groups came together at Godolphin House in Helston on 6th November 2017,  to celebrate new signboards put up with the National Trust in the Medieval garden. The signs highlight the difficulties honey bees […]

Course Feedback

[…]it was very wide ranging and of value to every beekeeper with some experience and knowledge of beekeeping basics, given that all beekeepers depend on queen rearing in one form or another to keep their colonies going – and, if they want good tempered, quiet bees suited to their locality or other attributes then improvement by careful selection and breeding […]

Members List

You need to login to access the membership list Only those who have chosen to share their details will be able to view the members list Use your email address (as registered with BIBBA) for your username The first time you wish to login, you will need to set a password: click the arrow to open the login page click […]

Countryfile – on the Rame Peninsula

[…]just came back to their original storyline which included irrelevant facts like how long I had been beekeeping and how much honey I hope to produce. Most disappointing of all were the close-up shots of the bees which were interspersed throughout the programme. These were not my bees and clearly were not ‘black bees’. By the time they filmed my […]

Instrumental Insemination of Honey Bee Queens

Resources http://www.coloss.org/beebook/I/instrumental-insemination http://www.beeculture.com/instrumental-insemination/ Sue Cobey http://www.honeybeeinsemination.com/resources.html solution for cryopreservation http://www.amplab.de/en-EN/beebreeding.html Schley equipment […]

SICAMM Conference 2018

Finnish Beekeepers’ Association is happy to invite you to the SICAMM conference in Mustiala, Finland, 12th-15th July 2018 Per Thunman, Dorian Pritchard and Philip Denwood had an excellent meeting in Finland with Finnish colleagues. They stayed in the proposed conference centre and agreed the provisional programme which  can be seen on www.mehilaishoitajat.fi/sicamm-2018. This will be updated as soon as there […]

Conference 2016 Archive

[…]2016 on the Isle of Man Tuesday 20th-Thursday 22nd September 2016 The conference was open to all beekeepers, whether BIBBA members or not. download Conference Programme as pdf There were two streams of presentations to choose from, click on the names to see full details: Accompanied persons programme There was insufficient interest to run a programme for partners. click for […]

BIBBA Buzz 11 – July 2017

BIBBA Conference 2018 We need a venue for the next conference. Going backwards they have been held in The Isle of Man, Llangollen, Scotland, Ireland and Stoneleigh. It seems reasonable to move the conference around to satisfy all our members, but at the same time the location needs to have good transport connections. We need two rooms that will take […]

East Midlands further notes

[…]already in two sets of 3 across the estate. We are currently starting to locate and contact  beekeepers who have colonies near by to chat to them about our plans and objectives for the new season with the intention to build up the genetic proportion of Amm around the new location. Whilst this sounds ambitious, we have set our sights […]

Black Bee Reserve

[…]visitor about our native Northern European Bee, Apis mellifera mellifera. Referred to as the Black Bee, it has been found to be thriving in Mount Edgcumbe Park and the surrounding Rame Peninsular, as well as in other parts of Cornwall.  Dr Mairi Knight of Plymouth University spoke of current research by her Department of Molecular Sciences into local adaptation in […]

Abberton Native Bee Group/ Essex 4 Bees – CO2

[…]site when three came along at once! One of the sites was just a mile away from our proposed native bee site and Bill kept bees within two miles. Rather than any objection to our bringing in new bees Tom, Russell and Bill were keen to have native stock at their apiaries and Bill volunteered to take on the day […]
Read more » Abberton Native Bee Group/ Essex 4 Bees – CO2

Bee Breeding and Queen Rearing Courses UK

[…]may not suit their environment, or run the risk of importing pests and diseases. BIBBA Open Days Bee Improvement For All (BIFA) days One and two day Bee Improvement Courses If you would like an event in your area, either a standard one or something different to suit you, please contact BIBBA Conference and Workshop Secretary Roger Patterson by email […]

Bee Improvement for All: Saffron Walden

[…]for All’  day with Roger Patterson: A one day event packed with sound information to help all beekeepers improve their bees. The presentation will concentrate on encouraging beekeepers to raise their own queens to produce docile colonies that are productive, healthy and best suited to their environment. Saturday 18 November 2017, 9 am – 4.30 pm at Sewards End Village Hall, […]

2 Day Bee Improvement: Preston

[…]leave the course with the confidence and skills to start rearing queens and developing their own bee stocks. Who is it for? This course is aimed at beekeepers who:- currently manage several colonies know the “basics” of beekeeping, i.e. the life cycles, swarming procedure of a colony, disease recognition, etc, are able to recognise eggs and young larvae, can handle […]

2 Day Bee Improvement: Preston

[…]leave the course with the confidence and skills to start rearing queens and developing their own bee stocks. Who is it for? This course is aimed at beekeepers who:- currently manage several colonies know the “basics” of beekeeping, i.e. the life cycles, swarming procedure of a colony, disease recognition, etc, are able to recognise eggs and young larvae, can handle […]

2 Day Bee Improvement Course. Exeter, Devon.

Contact Cathy Mudge  more info Powered by […]

2 Day Bee Improvement Course: Suffolk

Improving bees by raising your own queens – course Tutor – Roger Patterson In conjunction with West Suffolk BKA and BIBBA Thursday 20 July and Friday 21 July at Nowton Park Apiary, near Bury St Edmunds. Course fee Early bird £50 if booked before 4 July the event £60 if booked on or after 4 July. Please bring your own […]

Bee Improvement For All: West Sussex

A one day event packed with sound information to help all beekeepers improve their bees. The presentation will concentrate on encouraging beekeepers to raise their own queens to produce docile colonies that are productive, healthy and best suited to their environment. The bees often give us opportunities during the summer and there will be plenty of ideas on how to use […]

BIBBA Open Day. Lampeter.

[…]techniques How to assess colonies for behaviour Setting simple criteria for what you want in your bees Raising queens by simple methods (the bees often do it for you!) Making up and maintaining nuclei Introducing queens and queen cells Cost: £18/head before 13th June, £20 afterwards. Includes refreshments and lunch. Powered by […]

BIBBA Open Day. Wakefield.

[…]techniques How to assess colonies for behaviour Setting simple criteria for what you want in your bees Raising queens by simple methods (the bees often do it for you!) Making up and maintaining nuclei Introducing queens and queen cells   Cost: £18/head before 25th May, £20 afterwards. Includes refreshments and lunch. Powered by […]

BIBBA Open Day – Improve Your Bees

[…]and practice for all beekeepers This is an all day summer event to help increase the knowledge of beekeepers of all abilities on bee improvement. Attendees are encouraged to rear queens from desirable colonies that are docile, calm on the comb, productive and suit their local conditions. There will be one or two PowerPoint presentations to inform attendees of the […]

Peter Jenkins

[…]since the age of 14, a period of over 50 years. He now keeps around 40 colonies of near native bees in and around the marginal areas of Cardiganshire. Spending most of his working life as a Chartered Engineer working around the world on marine and naval projects has meant that, for many years, he had little time for regular […]

BIM 49 – Spring 2017

[…]earlier, in fact in the 17th and 18th centuries. Interesting how they did this, in what must have been skep beekeeping, and everything being transported by sea. It is recorded that by 1911 a Mr Kelly of Sulby in the north of the island ran 120 hives. A journalist for the British Bee Journal reporting a trip to the island […]

Scottish Native Honey Bee Society

[…]Andrew Abrahams Soapbox presentations The role of science Making native bees available Defining the new society Exploring actions for the future [/column-half-1] [column-half-2] Aims for the day Understand native bees better Learn about existing groups Agreement on the society’s aims Getting more people involved Meet others from same area Decisions on what to do next [/column-half-2] full details of start […]

2 Day Bee Improvement Course. North Wales.

if you wish to book or have any queries, please contact Steve Rose more […]

Event Info

[…]may not suit their environment, or run the risk of importing pests and diseases. BIBBA Open Days Bee Improvement For All (BIFA) days One and two day Bee Improvement Courses   If you would like an event in your area, either a standard one or something different to suit you, please contact BIBBA Conference and Workshop Secretary Roger Patterson by […]

BIPCo 6th Annual Bee Improvement Day

BIPCo would like to invite beekeepers to the 6th Annual Bee Improvement Day   A one-day event organised by the Bee Improvement Programme for Cornwall (BIPCo)   To be held at Lanhydrock Memorial Hall, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL30 5AE on Saturday 18th February 2017 commencing at 9.00am for registration (9.30am start) until 3.30pm   A day for all those interested in […]

BIM 48 – Winter 2016/17

[…]– Anna Brandorf & Marija Ivoilova The rearing of high quality queens is an important element in bee colony reproduction. Bee Improvement – Roger Patterson One and Two Day Practical Courses BIBBA members can download a pdf copy of the full magazine for personal […]

BIFA – Sunniside, Newcastle upon Tyne

[…]of £15/head will apply to all. If telephone or email bookings are made and full payment has not been received by 7 days in advance (unless by arrangement) it will be assumed the booking has been cancelled and the place may be […]

The black bee, an increasingly rare pearl

[…]mellifera is therefore a subspecies of one of these lines. Bad reputation The use of the black bee by beekeepers has declined sharply because it has a reputation for being aggressive and producing little honey. The black bee is certainly not a docile bee. For some, this ability to defend themselves, this reactivity to stress, is even an advantage because it forces […]

BIFA – Colchester

[…]of £15/head will apply to all. If telephone or email bookings are made and full payment has not been received by 7 days in advance (unless by arrangement) it will be assumed the booking has been cancelled and the place may be re-allocated. Download: […]

BIM 47 – Autumn 2016

[…]BIBBA Buzz… Seventy years ago – Jo Widdecombe Two quotations, From The Lore of the Honey-Bee by Tickner Edwardes & The Bee-Keeper’s Guide by W. Herrod-Hempsall. Queen raising – Alan Brown Every beekeeper can raise queens and they probably do so every year Burzyan wild-hive honeybees – R. A. Ilyasov, M. N. Kosarov. A. Neal, F. G. Yumaguzhin When the […]

Work with Bangor University

[…]2015 and 2016 with their wing patterns and behavioural traits. There is a strong interest amongst beekeepers in Wales to address the decline in honey bee numbers through selective breeding to restore the adapted native bee phenotype in the face of decades of hybridization with non-native subspecies. In addition to recording behavioural traits, the assessment of “purity” is currently through […]

BIBBA Queen Rearing Table (Tom’s Table)

[…]or Cupkit Cellplug Box. This is a more comprehensive version of “Tom’s Table” that has been rewritten by Roger Patterson in 2015, to include other methods of producing queen cells and to correct one error. This version covers grafting, cell punching, cell plugs, Miller/Alley and Morris Board methods. BIBBA Queen Rearing […]

A warm welcome to the BIBBA Conference 2016

[…]different styles of honey from different habitats. The Bees Act 1989 has prohibited the import of bees and bee products onto the island and kept the invasion of the Varroa mite at bay; local beekeepers on the island don’t have to use miticides as a result. Our indigenous bee, the Manx Dark Honey Bee is further protected by the work […]

New Approach to the Mitotype Classification

[…]honey bees of the evolutionary lineage M from Ural and West European populations of black honeybee A. m. mellifera and Spanish bee A. m. iberiensis. A new approach to the classification of the honeybee M mitotypes was suggested. Using this approach and on the basis of the seven most  informative SNPs of the mtDNA COI–COII region, eight honeybee mitotype groups […]

Group Presentation & Discussion “Bee improvement and bee breeding groups – some experiences and ideas”

[…]session has been included in the programme because BIBBA intends to expand the network of bee breeding and bee improvement groups, as a way of helping beekeepers with a small number of colonies to improve their bees in a meaningful way. BIBBA has a list of groups, with a Groups’ Secretary who can offer help, advice and encouragement where needed. […]
Read more » Group Presentation & Discussion “Bee improvement and bee breeding groups – some experiences and ideas”

Irene Power “Beekeeping and a Full Time Job”

[…]with keen interests in honey bee health and queen rearing & honey production. Lecture Title: “Beekeeping and a full time job” The age of beekeepers in recent years has lowered, with many in full time employment, possibly with young families and other interests that have a demand on leisure time. This talk will cover the topic of how to manage […]
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Nick Bentham-Green “Bee Improvement in Cornwall, Achievements and Aspirations”

[…]these will be discussed during Nick’s presentation. The groups being BipCo, CBIBBG the Cornwall Bee Improvement and Bee Breeding Group, and B4 (Bring Back Black Bees). Their principle aims are the same and for that reason, Nick saw it as very important that there is a regular free and frank exchange of ideas between the 3 groups, so that there […]
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Clive de Bruyn “BIBBA in the Isle of Man 40+ years ago”

[…]member of the Village Bee Breeders Association (now BIBBA). He gained the National Diploma in Beekeeping in 1976. For 15 years he was the County Beekeeping Lecture in Essex. He was the British delegate to Apimondia for 16 years. Within the BBKA and NDB Clive has been a board member and is still an examiner. Clive has travelled widely to […]
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Dorian Pritchard “Selective breeding without inbreeding; where’s the happy medium?”

[…]Dark Bee, A. m. mellifera, after comparing the performance and honey quality of local and foreign bees side by side in a rape field. He has been prominent for many years at local, national and international levels of beekeeping, serving as Conservation Officer of BIBBA and for 10 years as President of SICAMM, the international association for conservation of the […]
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Trisha Marlow “(The) Status Quo: Rocking all over the Hive “

[…]village shops, and the most northerly castle in the UK. Trisha is a BBKA Master Beekeeper, Project Manager with Bees Abroad (UK NGO), trustee of BIBBA, county Bee Recorder for Montgomeryshire, and member of both Shropshire Beekeeping Association and the Welsh Beekeepers Association. A firm advocate of accessible continuing education and capacity building for all beekeepers, Trisha runs the BBKA Facebook group […]
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Keith Pierce “Apideas: Their operation and maintenance”

[…]Title: “Apideas. Their operation and maintenance” To be able to keep ahead of your beekeeping problems, each beekeeper should ideally operate a percentage of mini mating nucs, according to the amount of honey producing hives that they keep. The aim is to always have a surplus of spare queens, to stay ahead of the needs of the bees. It should […]
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Phil Chandler “Balanced Beekeeping: Top Bars, Eco Floors and Black Bees”

[…]for our bees, without having to climb trees? What are the advantages of top bar hives for bees and beekeeper? What is the point of balance between the bees’ needs and ours, as beekeepers? Do native and near native bees best suit balanced beekeeping? Should we be “re-wilding” our black bees? If so, how should we go about […]
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Eoghan Mac Giolla Coda “Producing Honey Under Difficult Conditions”

[…]Co. Louth, he embarked on his own beekeeping enterprise using local strains of native Irish honey bee. He is Education Officer for Co. Louth Beekeepers’ Association, helping organise classes for beginners and improvers and lecture programmes for all members, and he also lectures to other beekeeping associations around Ireland. He is involved with Co. Louth BKA’s native honey bee breeding […]
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Jim Ryan “Beekeeping – If the bees wrote the book”

[…]been chairman for 16 years and am currently chairman of Galtee Bee Breeders. Lecture Title: “Beekeeping – If the bees wrote the book” As beekeepers we have certain ideas in our head each year as to what we hope to achieve in our beekeeping. But how do the bees look at it? What do they hope to achieve? Our main […]
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Paul Cross “Development of a miniature vibration energy harvester for battery-less tracking of honey bees”

[…]Title: “Development of a miniature vibration energy harvester for battery-less tracking of honey bees” The recent global decline in honey bee colonies has ignited efforts to better understand the spatial interaction of bees with their environment. To date, no technology exists to effectively track such things as foraging, queen and drone flight paths or enable the long-term evaluation of navigation […]
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Pete Sutcliffe – “The hive as a processing centre”

[…]Module examinations. Pete has also been active within Cheshire BKA: having edited the Cheshire Beekeeper magazine for several years, and been Chair of his local Branch and County Archivist. He is currently leading a county-wide working group on selective queen-rearing. Lecture Title: “The hive as a processing centre” “A hive of activity” as the saying goes! To ensure the colony […]
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The health and status of the feral honeybee population of the UK

[…]honeybee colonies. Deformed wing virus was shown to be 2.4 fold higher in feral than managed honeybees. Managed honeybee colonies not treated for Varroa showed similar levels of deformed wing virus to that of feral colonies. In the absence of managing the Varroa mite, feral populations are subject to potentially lethal levels of DWV. Such a finding provides evidence to […]
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Steve Rose “My Approach to Bee Selection”

[…]studies are conducted by M.Sc and Ph.D students and cover topics such as genetic purity of the bees of the locality, development of instrumentation for tracking bees in flight and assessments of various techniques, including morphometric and nuclear, for determining purity. The presentation also touches on projects conducted jointly with other breeding groups located outside the […]

Jim Pearson “Myths, Legends and Lies”

[…]is a practical beekeeper who applies science where required and where he sees the relevance to his beekeeping. As a progressive beekeeper he is always trying to understand bees more and in doing so he has discovered that some of what has become standard information is not always correct. A keen enthusiast of native and near native bees, he manages […]

Philip Denwood “Towards a History of the Dark Bee in Britain”

[…]“Towards a History of the Dark Bee in Britain” There are two common misconceptions about honey bees and the dark bee Apis mellifera mellifera in particular in the British isles: 1) English Government circles (as distinct from Scottish) follow the belief that the honey bee was introduced to the British Isles by monks in Anglo-Saxon times. It is therefore not […]
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Huw Evans “Electronic monitoring as a tool for better beekeeping and queen breeding”

[…]temperature, humidity, hive weight and apiary weather conditions. The data collected offers a beekeeper/queen breeder a powerful tool to examine the colony and queen conditions without disturbing the bees. Weight data can be used to calculate the “adjusted production figure” (average harvested by each apiary minus the harvest of each hive) for each individual hive in order to avoid mistakes […]
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Jo Widdicombe “The Principles and Practice of Bee Improvement”

[…]approach than the constant import of bees of other sub-species. The talk emphasizes that ‘Bee Improvement’ is relevant to all beekeepers and that rather than contributing to declining qualities in our bees we can all play an important role in reversing this trend, helping to raise the standards of bees in Britain and […]
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Tony Maggs “Bee Farming with Native/Near Native Bees”

[…]in Great Britain there are several ‘styles’ of beekeepers – beginners, hobbyists and ‘Bee Farmers’. Bee Farmers are generally running many hives, possibly hundreds, on a commercial basis, so their motivation and methods are different to that of the hobbyist running a few hives and selling a few pots of honey at the gate. So where do their bees come […]
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Direct Debit

[…]being made on your account. • If an error is made in the payment of your Direct Debit, by the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Association or your bank or building society, you are entitled to a full and immediate refund of the amount paid by your bank or building society. – If you receive a refund you are not […]

What is BIBBA’s policy on importing bees?

[…]is BIBBA’s policy on importing bees? BIBBA does not support the importation of honey bees as not only does it pose a health risk to our bees but importation also works against the development of local adaptation. The mixing of different sub-species  makes selection and improvement of our bees more difficult due to hybridisation and it negates the effects of […]

Improving bees by raising your own queens

[…]isolated. For security reasons we ask the location is not disclosed to anybody. For working at the bees, bee suits and gloves are not essential, but head protection is. What is or isn’t included? A one day practical and online video. Pre – COVID, this was a 2 day course, but the videos now replace the first day. Please see […]

Scillonian Bee Project

[…]Scillonian weather, in particular the long dry summers. ​This is more than likely because honeybees have been imported (but luckily from varroa free locations, Colonsay, and the Isle of Man). Another part of the Project will be to take an annual DNA sample from as many colonies as pos)sible so that we can use the results to help the bees […]

Let’s Go Beekeeping!

[…]that he has. So, as Roger says, “beekeeping is fun”: join us on a journey through the craft of beekeeping. Let’s Go Beekeeping! Using a Toggle Hive Strap Colony Assessment Assembling National Beehive Brood Box and Super: Roger's Way! Assembling a National British Standard Brood Frame for a Bee Hive (DN1) The Roger Patterson Way! Introducing a Protected Queen Cell […]

Why do the bees rear so many drones?

[…]and others, with a bias toward conservation and the environment, rearing our own queens from black bees. Why do the bees rear so many drones? This piece aims to explain: why the production of a large number of drones is the inevitable consequence of the free mating of queens in drone congregations; and why this proliferation of drones is […]

The Native Irish Honey Bee

[…]a ‘go to’ source of information not just for beekeepers in the island of Ireland but for all beekeepers who keep Amm bees or who want to know more. It covers all the essentials: What is a native Irish honey bee? Consideration of honey bee genetics (which will become an increasingly important issue in the 2020s as our knowledge of […]

Bee Improvement Strategies

[…]question any individual or group should consider is what method should I/we follow to Improve our bees and to produce queens. There are a few key choices depending on your aims, capacity (time and equipment) and capabilities. I’m assuming the reader is looking for a bee that is native and/or locally adapted. Kevin […]

Bee Improvement Days 2021

Bee Improvement Days 2021 The Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders' Association (BIBBA) will be running a small number of practical and theoretical courses during the summer months. These will be aimed at beekeepers who wish to improve their bees, with emphasis on suitability to the environment, docility, calmness on the comb, ease of management, good use of stores, etc. The […]