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August 2022 BIBBA Monthly

[…]closed herd/flock. When I began beekeeping in the mid 1970’s I initially stocked up with locally adapted bees and decided to adopt the closed herd/flock principle as far as possible with my beekeeping.  By the 1980’s I was becoming frustrated with the lack of Heritable Performance in my local bees, so I decided to purchase a Buckfast Abbey queen, this […]

A Simple Method of Simultaneously Raising Queens and Producing Nuclei

[…]on his own beekeeping enterprise using local strains of native Irish honey bee. Eoghan currently manages over 150 colonies and rears native queens for his own use and that of local beekeepers. (Photographs by Edmond Kirwan and Jim Agnew) First published in An Beachaire (The Irish Beekeeper) The reader may groan and sigh, “not another queen-rearing method,” and I agree […]
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Improving bees by raising your own queens

[…]is it aimed at? This course is aimed at beekeepers who: - Have several colonies. Are involved in a bee improvement group or are considering starting one. BKA teachers, demonstrators and apiary managers. It will suit those who want to raise good quality queens in batches of 6 or more by using "artificial" methods in controlled conditions. The techniques demonstrated […]

NatBIP News No8

[…]is good for you, it is probably good for others. The 2022 NatBIP Record Card The NatBIP GUIDE is available on the BIBBA website, free for all to use. Some parts of the Guide are still not complete and there is always room for beekeepers to submit useful tips, techniques, and ideas. The 2022 NatBIP Record Card is available for […]

March 2022 BIBBA Monthly

[…]Bees Blog BIBBA at BeeTradex Liz Childerley Saturday 11th March saw BIBBA represented at BeeTradex which was held, as usual at the NAC in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire. The day was a huge success with six of the Trustees volunteering to staff the Stand across the course of the day. In addition, Jo Widdicombe provided one of the speaker sessions on Sustainable […]

Scillonian Bee Project

[…]yields have declined and the belief is that is as a consequence of ​the bees not being able to adapt, over a period of time to the unique 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 […]


[…]@ the Hive Live outside broadcasts of hive inspections and apiary activities. Recordings available on youtube, subscribe to get reminders Upcoming Webinars Sign up, free of charge, to learn more about our future programmes. Previous Webinar Recordings Recommended YouTube There are a lot of beekeeping videos online. Some excellent; some dubious. An experienced practical beekeeper recommends a selection of […]

Why do the bees rear so many drones?

[…]at present some 30 colonies in several apiaries, plus 20 hives in two apiaries in the Tiverton area as part of an independent association - Mid-Devon BEES - that a few of us have started three years ago, teaching beginners and others, with a bias toward conservation and the environment, rearing our own queens from black bees. Why do […]

Webinars – January 2022

[…]increased, so did his number of colonies until by 2008 the time involved in effectively managing them using conventional beekeeping techniques was so great that he had either to give up beekeeping or find alternative approaches. Over the next few years he reduced the number of colonies and visited beekeepers in several other countries and began to experiment with a […]


[…]@ the Hive Live outside broadcasts of hive inspections and apiary activities. Recordings available on youtube, subscribe to get reminders Upcoming Webinars Sign up, free of charge, to learn more about our future programmes. Previous Webinar Recordings Recommended YouTube There are a lot of beekeeping videos online. Some excellent; some dubious. An experienced practical beekeeper recommends a selection of […]


The National Bee Improvement Programme (NatBIP) ihas been launched in 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 aims of reducing the number of imports of honey bees into Britain, Ireland and associated islands* and of improving the quality of […]

BIBBA YouTube Videos

[…]there may be information in another group that is suitable. If you would like to see the entire catalogue of videos, like, subscribe or comment, please visit our YouTube Channel. Jump to: Just Started | The Early Years | Intermediate/Advanced | Queen rearing | General Interest | Live @ the Hive | NatBIP Just Started or about to For those […]

Sandringham Report 2021

[…]Apiary Project at Sandringham 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 […]


Beekeeping: Challenge what you are told! “Have you ever met a beekeeper with fixed opinions about a beekeeping topic? Have you questioned that experience and knowledge they are based on? The craft used to be local, traditionally learnt by observing bees, whereas today, we are bombarded with international communications, promotions, soundbites, sensationalism and the like, with the same information, whether […]

Tim Smit’s View

[…]Eden Project) offered to help us promote that message through this short video. Although he is not a beekeeper himself, he is an environmentalist of global standing and has been a long-standing supporter of our aims and objectives. He has helped to establish reserves for the native honey bee at both the Eden Project and at the Lost Gardens of […]

The Native Irish Honey Bee

[…]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 honey bee genetics increases), conservation, bee improvement and queen rearing, and a review of the past, present, […]

Lune Valley New Breeding Apiary

[…]within the 19 acre grounds of a large nursing home run by the religious order, the Sisters of Nazareth, within the city of Lancaster. Over the next 12 months we worked hard at utilising traditional beekeeping skills such as using chainsaws to fell large trees and driving large earth-moving machines to clear ground not maintained for many years! The outcome […]

Bee Improvement Strategies

[…]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

[…]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 very local environment. For more information please contact : Fred […]

NatBIP News No 7

[…]‘pest and disease resistant’,  ‘good-tempered’ and ‘productive’ bees, or whatever characteristics we value. The beauty of bee improvement is that we can select for the qualities that we want and are not merely subject to accepting the bee breeder’s choice, with bees often designed for warmer, more settled climates. BIBBA has been preaching this message for years but detractors either […]

Colony Increase – The Roger Patterson Method

[…]makes colony increase a very easy and attainable process.I’m kicking myself that this wasn’t available at the beginning of the year as it’s just what was needed, so no guesses what I’ll be encouraging our association to do for our new bee keeping entrants. Roger explains everything very pragmatically and makes no drama of the process, or needing piles of […]
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NatBIP News No6

[…]try to impose an exotic strain on to our local bee population, but we would always be pushing against nature’s preferred route and that would make our task all the more difficult. The easiest way to make sustainable progress is to combine the demands of nature with the demands of the beekeeper. This is achieved by avoiding exotic imports and […]

BIBBA Monthly – June 2021

[…]can become more sustainable as the honey bees that are already on the Isles become increasingly adapted to their environment. But the Project is much more than just about beekeeping. It will look at the available forage for all types of bee: honey, bumble and solitary. The first year is all about getting a baseline – flora and fauna, what […]

Bee Improvement Days 2021

[…]bees, with emphasis on suitability to the environment, docility, calmness on the comb, ease of management, good use of stores, etc. The improvement of bees is an important and interesting part of beekeeping. The suitability of bees to the environment and their temper are issues that concern the caring beekeeper, but are not often taught. This course will cover many […]

North Devon Bee Improvement Group-EX32

North Devon Group operating from an apiary on the outskirts of Barnstaple as part of the North Devon Beekeepers Association. Initially, we will be developing our skills to become self-sufficient in producing Queens and colonies for our teaching programme and as a source of local bees for beginners. In the long term we would be excited to part of the […]

NatBIP News No5

[…]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 available, followed by a cool and wet May, which allowed the bees little chance to get out. The result was, for […]

NatBIP News No4

Sustainable beekeeping: Local adaptation and the native sub-species DEFRA’s response to the 10,000+ signatories opposed to the import of package bees, through the loophole of trade between Northern Ireland and Britain, has just been announced. It seems they have gone back on their assurances, made in February, that only queens, and not packages of bees, can be imported from Europe. […]

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

[…]of cut comb containers for candy. Ron Brown in his excellent little book on managing Apidea mini-nucs advocates the use of cut comb containers for candy. These just nicely fit into the feed compartments of the mini-nuc. The idea being that these are used as a magazine type of replacement, take an empty one out and slot a full one […]

Recommended YouTube Videos

[…]and make adjustments based on their own knowledge and experience. Beginners Pests and Diseases Management techniques Queen rearing and bee improvement General […]

Reports and Accounts

[…]2018 BIBBA Report and Accounts to AGM 2018 AGM 2017 BIBBA Trustees’ Report to AGM 2017 BIBBA Accounts- to AGM 2017 AGM 2016 BIBBA Trustees’ Report to AGM 2016 BIBBA Accounts to AGM […]

NatBIP News No3

[…]Going further than the basic inspection to ‘road test’ some of the things I have learned via all those webinars over the winter!  I pray that some of the amazing online training I’ve been glued to all winter has sunk in! With this beekeeping skill in mind, Roger Patterson recently ran a webinar entitled ‘Observation – interpret what you see’ […]