BIBBA Bee Improvement and Breeding Groups

Local Groups

BIBBA encourages the formation of local queen rearing groups to aid the improvement of local bees and to support the objectives of BIBBA to improve and propagate the native and near native honey bees.

Benefits of Local Groups
Many beekeepers only have a small number of colonies, so they find it easier to work with others. A group will have beekeepers with different expertise that can be pooled. Even the newest beekeepers can have a useful role until they gain knowledge and experience.A local group can pool expertise of different disciplines… honey bee management, record keeping, queen rearing, equipment making, administration, etc. More beekeepers means there are more colonies to select material from and to provide good quality drones, as well as maximising the number of colonies under management, evaluation and study.Groups can liaise with one another and with scientific institutions if they wish. They can distribute genetic material beyond their own confines to wider circles of beekeepers, thereby improving bees overall.

Forming a bee improvement and breeding group
There are several things you need to consider including:-

  • Do you need a constitution, so members know what is expected?
  • What assessment criteria do you want in your bees?
  • How are you going to operate?
  • Do you need funding?
  • Can you combine with a local BKA?

You may already have the expertise, but if not, then BIBBA can offer help and tuition, perhaps from other groups or experienced individuals. We ask only that one person in a group is a member of BIBBA, although we hope more will join over time.

Where to now?
View the entries below; if there is a group near you then get in touch, otherwise contact the groups secretary


BIBBA East Midlands Bee Improvement Group-NG11

BIBBA East Midlands Bee Improvement Group-NG11

The East Midlands group has been meeting at the Thrumpton Apiary on the Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire border for almost four decades. Its members continue to work together to improve local near native bees and welcome others committed to this aim ...

BIPCo Bee Improvement Programme for Cornwall-PL17

beekeepers who wish to conserve the Cornish Dark Honey Bee ...

Mount Edgcumbe Cornish Bee Group – PL10

England's first Black Bee Reserve was opened in 2017 at Mount Edgcumbe on the Rame Peninsula. The group focuses on education, conservation of Amm and ways to improve local stock ...
Blackdown Hills Black Bee Conservation Project - EX15

Blackdown Hills Black Bee Conservation Project – EX15

Black Bee conservation project based on the Blackdown hills on the Devon/Somerset border in the South-West of England. Promoting the keeping and breeding of Apis melifera melifera ...

Cheshire Honeybee Improvement Partnership (CHIP)- CW9

Formed in 2016 by a group of Cheshire-based BIBBA members to help form local queen rearing groups to aid the improvement of local bees and support the objectives of BIBBA ...
Abberton Reservoir - Essex

Abberton Reservoir – Essex

Native bee breeding group based at Abberton Reservoir ...
Leek and Moorlands - ST9

Leek and Moorlands – ST9

Leek and Moorlands Beekeepers have been raising queens for over 30 years and welcome beekeepers of all levels of experience ...


For contact information on the following groups, please email moc.a1545150200bbib@1545150200spuor1545150200g1545150200

Wight Bees – PO35

Bee Improvement on the Isle of Wight ...

Hazelbeach-SA73

contact M Mends ...

B4 Project – Cornwall

The B4 Project is a Community Interest Company representing a group of beekeepers whose aim is to protect the UK’s native honey bee, Apis mellifera mellifera ...

Stratford-upon-Avon BIG – CV37

Group formed in 2006, our aim is to continue our efforts to improve the Amm characteristics of the local bee population in the District for the benefit of the Association ...

South Devon Bee Improvers Group

SDBIG Area covered: Devon, south of Exeter and including the eastern side of Dartmoor and Plymouth ...

Godolphin-Cornwall

We have been queen rearing and improving stocks of local bees since 2015, based in the medieval garden and a small more private are on Godolphin Hill, ...

Wheal Primrose

In addition to raising queens with native appearance and characteristics the group are looking to select queens with calm temper and Varroa resistance ...

Kings Orchard – East Cornwall

Based in East Cornwall a small group with the emphasis of breeding pedigree lines of Cornish Native dark bees ...

Lancashire Black Bee Project

We currently run 12 breeding apiaries across Lancashire with a further two in North Wales ...

Wight Bee Improvement Group

Queen Rearing will only be carried out using IOW mongrel stock, members will be encouraged to keep records of all their own stock, using only those considered to be worthy ...

Exeter Bee Breeding Group

contact Cathy *protected email* ...

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 ...

West Devon Bee Improvement Group

Mainly in the Tavistock and West Devon/Plymouth contact area ...

Shebbear Black Bee Conservation Project – EX22

Reintroduction of black bee colonies into the Shebbear area and encouraging existing bee keepers to switch to black bees ...

Sheffield Rivelin Bee Breeding Group – S6

Working towards selective breeding of local bees. contact Phil Khorassandjian ...

Galtee Bee Breeding Group

The Galtee Bee Breeding Group was formed in the year 1991 with the object of conservation, study and improvement of the native strains of dark European Honeybee Apis mellifera mellifera ...

Cornwall Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Group – TR27

Assessment of colonies for the degree of varroa tolerance via grooming, removal and damage. Selection of the best for drone and queen production ...

The Marches Group – SY10

We operate on a small scale in the Tanat Valley, rearing and improving our stocks of native Apis Mellifera Mellifera contact Steven Jones *protected email* ...

Lune Queens and Bees-LA1

New group formed in North Lancashire Selective breeding and bee improvement for the local area based on AMM ...

Upper Maelor-LL11

Our group operates on the high ground above Wrexham ...

Upper Dee Bee Improvement Group

This group covers a substantial area stretching from the Dee valley (Glyn Dyfrdwy) between Corwen and Bala and Westwards to Cwm Main on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park ...

Stiperstones & Long Mynd Area Bee Breeders – SY15

SLABB [Stiperstones & Long Mynd Area Bee Breeders] is based in mid Shropshire/adjacent Welsh Marches. Core activities centre around selective breeding from the best near-native bees and local bees ...

Dark Bee Conservation Group – WF5

West Yorkshire group aiming to promote and improve the local bee whilst preserving the natural honey bee diversity, reduce colony losses and reduce the dependence on therapeutic and chemical treatments ...

Denbigh Vale of Clwyd – LL16

Denbigh, Ruthin and outlying areas. Queen rearing, selective breeding and bee improvement. contact Steve Cawthray *protected email* ...

Clwydian Range – CH7

Part of the North East Wales group contact Geoff Critchley *protected email* ...

information on starting a group is available here; there is also information in BIM 33