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June 2022 BIBBA Monthly

[…]sustainable beekeeping. This is an ambitious ‘to do’ list, especially for a 100% voluntary organisation. It will take time and it will not be easy. However, we can win the argument and so achieve the necessary change in UK beekeeping. However, it will take determination and commitment from all of us, both Trustees and Members. Selwyn Runnett Developing Sustainability in […]

A Simple Method of Simultaneously Raising Queens and Producing Nuclei

Eoghan Mac Giolla Coda Eoghan Mac Giolla Coda is a commercial beekeeper based on Ireland’s east coast. As a fourth-generation beekeeper, he learned his craft through helping his father with the famous Galtee black bees of Co. Tipperary. After settling in Co. Louth, he embarked on his own beekeeping enterprise using local strains of native Irish honey bee. Eoghan currently […]
Read more » A Simple Method of Simultaneously Raising Queens and Producing Nuclei

Improving bees by raising your own queens

Improving bees by raising your own queens – a practical course The course consists of one day self-study using bespoke video tutorials and then a practical day in the apiary with Roger Patterson. The improvement of bees is an important part of beekeeping. The suitability of bees to the environment and their temper are issues that concern the caring beekeeper, […]

BOBBI Spring 2022 Newsletter

by Duncan Heather & Brian Green I would be surprised if I wasn’t the only one to be pleases to see the back of 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 […]

NatBIP News No8

[…]writes: Buckley’s Bees are looking for additional part-time beekeepers, throughout the UK, to work with our ever-growing business and enthusiastic team – people who are passionate about these fantastic creatures and the good they do in the world. In addition to genuinely making a positive environmental impact, we can provide a good additional income stream – doing what you love… […]

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March 2022 BIBBA Monthly

[…]still run a viable business without introducing genetic instability into our bee stocks within the UK either through the use of imports, or by breeding within the UK that uses strains of bee other that can reinforce introgression. BIBBA is therefore launching an initiative for commercial and professional beekeepers using our flagship National Bee Improvement Programme (NatBIP) which gives a […]

Scillonian Bee Project

RICK STEIN IN CORNWALL with Nick Bentham Green and Jilly Halliday For those followers of the BBC 2 programme Rick Stein in Cornwall our former Chairman Nick Bentham Green​ and Isles of Scilly beekeeper Jilly Halliday featured in the recently aired Episode 7 of Series 2. One of Rick Stein​'s research team contacted ​Jilly and Nick as they wanted to […]

Why do the bees rear so many drones?

[…]the colony, by the fact that queens mate randomly in drone congregations. In this free-for-all sex orgy in the sky, the probability of a drone from a given colony reaching a queen, is a simple function of the number of drones from that colony being present in the air at that point in space and time. To understand this, imagine […]

Webinar Programme

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

BIBBA YouTube Videos

All the videos on the list below are recordings of presentations that have been organised by BIBBA. They have been arranged into groups under headings to help viewers see what may be suitable for them. The list will be expanded when new videos are produced. All videos have good sound information that is suitable for beekeepers in the British Islands […]

Sandringham Report 2021

[…]that would fit in with HRH the Prince of Wales’s objectives to manage the Estate as a fully organic enterprise farming naturally and sustainably. One of our Trustees, Brian Holdcroft assessed the Proposal and after discussion by the Committee of Trustees, it was agreed that it would make an excellent new Special Apiary Project and fit within our strategic sustainable […]

BIBBA Books

[…]queen rearing is needed more than ever to overcome the increasing number of queen imports into the UK and their genetic impact on the locally adapted and native bees. For many, weak eyes and trembling hands make the idea of larval transfer via grafting a worrying challenge, especially when the larva is separated from its royal jelly and the potential […]

BIBBA eLearning

Ever thought about becoming a beekeeper? Free taster session…what to expect x […]

The Native Irish Honey Bee

The Native Irish Honey Bee Apis mellifera mellifera Launched on the 18th September by our close friends and colleagues in Ireland, this book will become 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 […]

Lune Valley New Breeding Apiary

OUR NEW BREEDING APIARY Dr Fred J Ayres, Chair of Trustees, Lune Valley Community Beekeepers Lune Valley Community 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: […]

NatBIP News No 7

[…]to our beekeeping; interestingly it is an approach which none of the mainstream beekeeping organisations (commercial or amateur) have really taken on board. The agricultural industry is currently looking at more sustainable methods of food production and beekeeping should move in the same direction. The BIBBA View Bob Flowerdew © BBC BIBBA has been presenting a different view for over […]

Colony Increase – The Roger Patterson Method

[…]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 method is more […]
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NatBIP News No6

[…]emerge healthy and would be mated successfully....and so the wait began. Oh! And we didn’t forget to leave a queen cell in the cell raiser colony for them. It was really useful to keep a detailed record of our queen lifecycle. We used the record card from BIBBA. If our predictions were accurate, we were looking to see a new […]

BIBBA Monthly – June 2021

The Scillonian Honey Bee Project The Scillonian Honey Bee Project is the brainchild of Nick Bentham-Green. Nick is the Chair of B4 (Bring Back Black Bees) and a former Chair of BIBBA (Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders’ Association). The Project will run for between 5 and 10 years and will explore how beekeeping on the Isles of Scilly can become […]

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

NatBIP News No5 The 2021 Season Many areas have had a difficult start to the season, through April and May. In Cornwall, where I am, the Spring season is usually good for bees, with plenty of nectar and pollen available. This season was quite different being cold and dry through April to the point of there being almost no nectar […]

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

[…]worldwide, on two sub-species, the Italian and the Carniolan. Beekeepers have tended to forget about the other numerous sub-species that have evolved over millennia to suit differing conditions. This genetic diversity within our bees allows us to select for the qualities that we wish to see in our bees. The article in BBKA News claims to support ‘locally adapted bees’, […]

East Midlands 1998

East Midlands Group - What Did We Learn in 1998? The East Midlands BIBBA group during the Autumn and Winter meetings look back over the past season and assess their activities in bee breeding. This identifies the areas where it is necessary to make changes, but it also shows us if the changes we made as a result of the […]

Recommended YouTube Videos

There are a lot of beekeeping videos online. Some are excellent, with factual and sound information featuring good, knowledgeable and experienced beekeepers. Unfortunately there are many of dubious accuracy, giving poor advice that may be inappropriate for our conditions. As there is no vetting procedure to display educational material online, what is the inexperienced beekeeper to believe? BIBBA strongly believes […]

NatBIP News No3

[…]NatBIP News edition together, we are forecast near-Mediterranean weather across most parts of the UK, and more importantly for beekeepers, quite a sustained period of warmth over several days.  Perhaps these are the right conditions to finally get inside the hive and take a look at what’s been happening during the winter. One of my 2021 beekeeping objectives is to […]

NatBIP News No2

[…]of the queen rearing techniques open to us as beekeepers – plenty of food for thought. Don’t forget to join us on Facebook and share your journey and ask questions to get the most out of this programme. Enquiries to Sign Up for Emails on Future NatBIP […]

BIBBA Opposes the Importation of Honey Bees and Queens

[…]can be found here) As an EU country, Italy has the same stringent import/export regulations as the UK, which include clean health certificates from country of origin and consignment inspections, which are assessed according to risk. Imports from Italy to the UK continued as free trade until the Brexit transition period ended on 31st December 2020 and the new regulations […]
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Section 5.1 – Queen Rearing Methods

Photo by Roger Patterson Queen Rearing Methods There are so many techniques of queen rearing, and so much has been written about them, that it may seem unwise to add any more. Studying too many methods can be a source of much confusion and leave one overwhelmed and unsure of how to proceed. Like most things in beekeeping, the best […]

Section 4.14 – NatBIP 1 Record Card Instructions

Colony Record Card – NatBIP 1 How to use This card is designed to be a multipurpose card that can be used for normal hive management as well as for bee improvement in one apiary, multiple apiaries, or in a bee improvement group. The data collected on each card is for one colony. The summaries at the end of the […]
Read more » Section 4.14 – NatBIP 1 Record Card Instructions

NatBIP Guide

About this Guide This Guide is intended to be under constant review and will be added to, updated and amended in the light of the latest 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 […]

National Bee Improvement Programme (NatBIP)

[…]England, Wales, 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 […]

Using a Smoker

Lighting the smoker and keeping it lit seems to be a major problem to many beekeepers. This is something I have never been able to understand, because it has nothing to do with learning beekeeping, it has more to do with school science lessons and common sense. How many beekeepers do you see who fill the firebox up with fuel, […]

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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 […]