The use of imported queens may provide temporary relief to issues of quality in our bees but have not provided stability within the population as a whole.
December 2022 Jo Widdicombe The National Bee Improvement Programme (NatBIP) aims to reset the widely accepted approach to bee improvement which, for many, consists in buying in new queens to improve the quality of their bees. Unfortunately, bringing in queens of exotic sub-species at best only produces a temporary improvement…
November 2022 Jo Widdicombe What qualities do we want in our bees and how do we assess them? Whether we are working alone to improve our bees, or working with others, in groups, we need to decide what qualities are important for us to have in our bees. This may…
When it comes to bee improvement, I believe the suggested approach offered by BIBBA’s NatBIP programme is worth careful consideration.
In the long-term we want to see a bee population that is locally adapted and truly sustainable, that is, for example, one that is not reliant on regular chemical treatments to control varroa.
If you are wondering why you have not been receiving NatBIP News over the Winter, don’t worry, you have not missed anything – we have had a break….
We are now taking forward our flagship National Bee Improvement Programme (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.
It is said that the duty of a gardener (and indeed, a farmer) is to leave the soil in better heart than it was found. As for beekeepers, the same could be said about our bees. It is good to leave better quality bees what than we started with. This could mean more ‘hardy’, ‘pest and disease resistant’, ‘good-tempered’ and ‘productive’ bees, or whatever characteristics we value.
This month Jo gives us his musings on long-term bee improvement as well as answering the question, are queen larvae selected by the beekeeper as good as those selected by the bees? Ashbrow school report their successes in queen rearing- if 10year olds can do it, can’t you?
A project on the Scilly Isles
Questions and Answers