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Lune Valley New Breeding Apiary

[…]spurred on by the ban on the importation of all but queens, we set about building a breeding apiary. With most of our members being new or relatively new to beekeeping, our initial intention is to focus on producing splits. We may move on to queen rearing at a later stage. As the season comes to a close, we have […]

Find, Mark & Clip the Queen

[…]supersedure strains. To me, this fact alone is sufficient reason to ensure that every queen in the apiary is clipped as early as possible in her first full season and before the swarming impulse occurs in the apiary. Micheál Mac Giolla […]

John Harding Queen Rearing

[…]early stage. I think the Hopkins method of cell raising will work well, but I will have to make a special crown board to accommodate the frame. In addition to the above the benefits I see in this system are:- It can easily be made from scrap material at minimal cost by anyone with basic woodworking skills and simple tools. It […]

BIM 49 – Spring 2017

[…]bees. This can be as early in the year as possible with the proviso that drones are present in the apiary. Find the queen and transfer her to a nucleus hive with a comb of sealed brood flanked by two frames of food & pollen [and the adhering bees]. If the nuc is to remain in the apiary, shake in […]

Mount Edgcumbe Cornish Bee Group – PL10

[…]Park on the Rame Peninsula, South East Cornwall. Funding obtained via the B4 Project enabled an apiary to be established on a unique site – the remains of 18th century hot houses. As a CIO we have a responsibility for educating the public about the importance of pollinators, with a special focus on local Cornish honey bees. We are gradually […]

Bees for Sale

BIBBA are encouraging their members to raise extra queens and nucs to sell in order that we can dissuade beekeepers from buying imported queens. We presently do not have the ability to inspect or vouch for such queens and nucs and simply require the seller to give an assurance that they are raised from local stock and are not imports, […]

Conserving black bees

[…]outset, to maintain that diversity, I have culled the worst, rather than bred from the best. Each apiary is considered in isolation; 3-5-year-old “breeder queens” replace themselves, and also one or two of the worst one-year-old stocks. In contrast to large-scale, carefully monitored and highly selective breeding programmes, im­provements by this method can only be small and incremental. However, over […]

Section 5.1 – Queen Rearing Methods

[…]and select a frame with very young larvae suitable for grafting. This may be in a different apiary so we may graft on the spot and transport the grafted larvae, wrapped in a damp towel, to the Tearing colony, or take to Rearing colony and graft there. To graft, our preference is to use a Chinese grafting tool which makes […]

Sandringham Report 2021

[…]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 bees objective, Approval was given for it to start and for BIBBA to provide funding. These are Eric’s reflections on the first year of the Project: Eric Marshall writes: Little did I think when […]

August 2022 BIBBA Monthly

[…]and project leader, Eric Marshall and his team Chris, Joanne, John and Marion on the Sandringham Special Apiary stand. The team had two observation hives for members of the public to view; one with a dark, daughter queen, born and mated on the Sandringham Estate, the other containing a yellowy-orange queen from imported lineage. This allowed the public to really […]

NatBIP News No9

[…]can participate in NatBIP? One of the mating nucs at the Special Apiary Project at Sandringham. NatBIP is appropriate for all beekeepers from the very small-scale to large-scale commercial beekeepers. Everyone can contribute and make a difference. We accept that everyone’s starting position is different, but we start with the bees in our area. The principal rule is that we […]


[…]in its first 5 years had mono-strained a vast area with A. m. mellifera starting from one mating apiary belonging to Micheál Mac Giolla Coda. To see these bees being manipulated without veils or gloves, and to realise this has been done in such a short time, speaks volumes for the work of these beekeepers and the policies that BIBBA […]


[…]less than 21 days notice in the case of Annual General Meetings and 14 days notice in the case of Special General Meetings, specifying the place and the hour of the meeting and in the case of special business the purpose of such business shall be given in the manner hereinafter mentioned. The accidental omission to give notice of a […]

Roger Patterson

[…]VBBA (now BIBBA) in 1965. At one stage he ran 130 colonies, now reduced to around 25. He is the Apiary Manager at his local BKA, where he manages between 30-50 colonies for teaching purposes. Roger concentrates on teaching the practical aspects of beekeeping that includes queen rearing and bee improvement. He is a prolific lecturer, demonstrator and writer, being author […]

Laesoe 2004

[…]Greenland since his previous talk in 2000. Three private apiaries have now been established and an apiary for experiments and education. Beekeeping is now self-sustaining and a viable source of additional income for the local sheep farmers. From Ireland, Micheál Mac Giolla Coda reported on the activities of the Galtee Bee Breeding Group. Dr. Jacob Kahn discussed his work on […]

Native Honey Bees

[…]they were all thriving colonies. These bees were very much tougher than anything I was used to, especially as they may have had at least 3 months solid without a chance to fly. Pollen. We are told that bees put pollen in the combs above the brood, but below the liquid stores. This is because non-Amm do and that is […]

What is Apis mellifera mellifera?

What is Apis mellifera mellifera? Apis mellifera mellifera, 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 […]

Local bees better than imports

[…]of the international honey bee research association COLOSS. The results are published today in a Special Issue of the Journal of Apicultural Research. A total of 621 colonies of 16 different genetic origins were set up in 21 apiaries in 11 different European countries managed by 15 research partners. Each location housed the local strain of bee together with two […]

Honey bee origins, evolution & diversity – Ashleigh Milner

[…]will be wiped out by varroa and the argument that they would act as centres of infection for apiary colonies need scarcely be considered as they would never exist in sufficient numbers to threaten apiary stocks – unless of course a resistant strain evolved in the wild, in which case they might transmit through the drones resistance to the apiary […]
Read more » Honey bee origins, evolution & diversity – Ashleigh Milner

A Native Dark Bee Project

[…]years internal car temperature was found to be adequate over the 4 hour drive back to the home apiary. However temperature/humidity may have to be more carefully controlled under different transportation conditions. On arrival at the home apiary brood sections were taken from their boxes and pinned between the brood frames of queenless starter nucs. The next day (20th July) […]

East Midlands Bee Improvement Group-NG11

[…]and virgin queens there for mating, we are taking a break from the time-consuming use of the out-apiary, so we can concentrate on establishing the Group and the colonies on the new site. The out-apiary is there for the future if we need it.   Key to our bee breeding and queen rearing plan is mapping the linage of each […]

Galtee Bee Breeding Group

[…]very effective over the years. Each year selected breeder queens are brought back to the breeding apiary. These are used for the production of queens and drones in the following year. we use instrumental insemination to produce various combinations from selected queens and drones each year and these are distributed to group members who keep records for testing and evaluation. […]

Improving bees by raising your own queens

[…]control is. You must expect a few of your new queens to be no better than those they replace, especially early on, but hopefully a reasonable proportion will be. We believe that beekeeping should be fun, not a chore. We don't give attendees loads of information that is based on narrow thinking and is difficult to absorb, but tried and […]

Nick Mawby

[…]a queen rearing group in Leek, Staffs for 30 years; this group became the association teaching apiary but is now refocusing again on queen rearing.He is chairman and webmaster of North Staffs Beekeepers Association. When not beekeeping, Nick will take off in his campervan. For any comments regarding membership or the website contact Nick […]


[…]He has always been heavily involved with his local and county BKA’s and manages his local BKA apiary, where there are usually a large number of colonies for instruction as well as a queen rearing section. He has been a demonstrator since the early 1970s and believes beekeeping should be fun. For business reasons Roger had a break of about 15 […]

Ardnamurchan Jan 2016

[…]project to the next stage with: more colonies headed by Colonsay queens a well-equipment mating apiary rearing and sale of the project’s first Amm queens, locally and in other areas of Scotland. However, 2015’s was a notoriously poor Summer in the North-west Highlands with few rain-free days from May to August and little sunshine. Queen rearing was therefore difficult as […]

Clive de Bruyn “BIBBA in the Isle of Man 40+ years ago”

[…]and describing the groups work in making and assembling mini-nukes and setting up a mating apiary on the Calf of Man. I will also reveal the groups experiences with the DC area above the Port St. Mary Golf course. The drone comets that formed to chase our queen sent aloft, tethered to a couple of helium balloons, remains one of […]
Read more » Clive de Bruyn “BIBBA in the Isle of Man 40+ years ago”

BBOBI Group – March April 2019 Newsletter

[…]we have planned: Swarm control !!! 🙂 More evening social meetings Apiary visits in BBOBI area to encourage others to have a go at rearing queens Mount Edgcumbe return visit to catch up on their black AMM rearing project and reserve in their newly improved apiary. Submission of honey to  Dr Anna Oliver at CEH in Wallingford. Completion of COLOSS […]

Roger Patterson “The Patterson Unit”

[…]craft, being a demonstrator at his local BKA since the early 1970s and manager of their teaching apiary. He had a full term as BBKA Trustee, is currently a BIBBA Trustee and Vice President of Bee Diseases Insurance Ltd (BDI). He has experience of dealing with a fairly large number of colonies, in addition to running 130 of his own […]

Jeroen Vorstman “Queen Rearing Simplified”

[…]on standard equipment and standard frames, so no need for small mating hives, mini frames and specialized equipment. Therefore it’s easy to adopt to every apiary without extra costs and just a little extra effort and it gives you the best change to get the best queens. The method is integrated in the normal beekeeping practice and integrates with swarm […]
Read more » Jeroen Vorstman “Queen Rearing Simplified”

Huw Evans “Electronic monitoring as a tool for better beekeeping and queen breeding”

[…]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 in qualifying strong lines due to apiary effect. Hive weight can be seen as a direct measure of a colony’s metabolism or energy requirements, which in turn shows how energy […]
Read more » Huw Evans “Electronic monitoring as a tool for better beekeeping and queen breeding”

Jim Pearson “Myths, Legends and Lies”

[…]of native and near native bees, he manages around 30 colonies with his brother Geoff, one apiary being in the foothills of the Pennines 800 ft above sea level. Jim is a Master Beekeeper who is an assessor for BBKA Basic, General Husbandry and Microscopy assessments. Lecture Title: “Myths, Legends and Lies” The title best describes the content of this […]

Steve Rose “My Approach to Bee Selection”

[…]for his local association. In recent years he has hosted BIBBA bee improvement courses at his home apiary. Lecture Title: “My Approach to Bee Selection” This presentation discusses the need for selective breeding and the advantages of the native honey bee Apis mellifera mellifera for the British climate, especially for more marginal districts. Desirable traits and selection procedures used locally […]

The health and status of the feral honeybee population of the UK

[…]stocks at a higher level of A. m. mellifera than the background average from FERAs Random Apiary Survey samples. Methods to improve the success of breeding efforts and move the selection focus away from indices based wing morphometry are discussed. full thesis […]
Read more » The health and status of the feral honeybee population of the UK

Paul Cross “Development of a miniature vibration energy harvester for battery-less tracking of honey bees”

Paul keeps 15 colonies on Anglesey and runs the Bangor University apiary which is used for teaching and research purposes. He is involved in supervising a diverse range of bee-related research projects, including the evaluation of bee-keeping as a poverty alleviating tool in Uganda and Tanzania, discrimination of honey bee races in North Wales (in conjunction with Steve Rose of […]
Read more » Paul Cross “Development of a miniature vibration energy harvester for battery-less tracking of honey bees”

Some history of the East Midlands group

[…]our mating site, losses being about 40%. Of the 20 queens we used to re-queen stocks in the group apiary, we lost 3 on introduction. The work involved has been considerable, for us it is a round trip of 100 miles to the site, and 150 if we have to go to the group apiary first. With visits at least […]

Keith Pierce “Apideas: Their operation and maintenance”

[…]together with disease resistance, docility, productivity, colour and more. My home and main mating apiary is just on the outskirts of Dublin city, with the bees foraging over the extensive area of the Phoenix Park and the Liffey Valley, including the gardens of suburban Castleknock. My queens are naturally open mated, but I have been flooding the vicinity of my […]
Read more » Keith Pierce “Apideas: Their operation and maintenance”

Nick Bentham-Green “Bee Improvement in Cornwall, Achievements and Aspirations”

[…]queens. Nick chaired the Tavistock Branch of the Devon BKA for a few years and was also the Branch apiary manager. In 2009, whilst still in Devon, he joined BipCo (Bee Improvement Programme for Cornwall), which was under the Chairmanship of Jo Widdicombe. At this time Nick became very interested in bee improvement, realising that he had in fact been […]
Read more » Nick Bentham-Green “Bee Improvement in Cornwall, Achievements and Aspirations”

Irene Power “Beekeeping and a Full Time Job”

[…]and management methods to suit. You often get one opportunity to complete tasks in the apiary, as you may not be available tomorrow or 2/3/5 days time that some manipulations demand. I will also talk about how I have brought my passion into my work environment and created a link between my hobby & my full time job in a […]
Read more » Irene Power “Beekeeping and a Full Time Job”

BIM 46 – Winter 2015

[…]queens… Dark Bee breeding project – Margie Ramsay The project started in 2010 at a coastal apiary in Wester Ross with grafting of known A.m.m. brood from remote stocks of dark bees… From the Archives – R Smailes Reflections on Following. . . IBRA Press Release – Norman Carreck ….and Membership Information BIBBA members can download a pdf copy of […]

Abberton Native Bee Group/ Essex 4 Bees – CO2

[…]questions but was met with enthusiastic support. Colchester BKA had been looking for a teaching apiary 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 […]
Read more » Abberton Native Bee Group/ Essex 4 Bees – CO2

2 Day Bee Improvement Course: Suffolk

[…]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 lunch and refreshments Contact Kevin Thorn, , 07557 418418, 75 Head Lane, Great Cornard, […]

Black Bee Reserve

[…]Black Bee Reserve.The spacious public viewing room allows close observation of the bees in the apiary, while educating the 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 […]

East Midlands further notes

[…]Finding a new site, establishing a new relationship with the landowner and designing the new apiary layout were interesting challenges. Whilst we will no longer have the genetic drone flooding of Thrumpton environs, at the new site we have permission to place independent groups of drone colonies in several locations of our choice over a considerable acreage of land. There […]

SICAMM Conference 2018

[…]college in Finland, occupies an attractive campus and has among other things a teaching apiary and its own honey processing facilities. There is on-site accommodation, also the possibility of a hotel in Forssa or log cabin at a nearby lake. Possible excursions may include local apiaries, an apiary in the President’s palace garden, and the above-mentioned honey processing plant. Further […]