Bee Improvement and Bee Breeding 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?
  • If you store personal data, are you GDPR compliant?
  • 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 read ‘Start a Group’

The groups listed below are independent of BIBBA but support our aims

Abberton Native Bee Group/ Essex 4 Bees – CO2

Native bee breeding group based at Abberton Reservoir ...

BIG_NY – YO21

Beekeepers with a common goal to promote the cultivation of the best strain of bees for our locality ...

BIPCo Bee Improvement Programme for Cornwall-PL17

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

Bloomington Bees – USA

Beekeepers of Bloomington IN USA ...

Bucks Berks & Oxon Bee Improvement (BBOBI ) – RG9

BBOBI was set up in 2019 as a co-operative in Henley-on-Thames, which borders Bucks Berks and Oxon. Although a large geographical area, the climate and forage are remarkably consistent across the area. As the first BIBBA group in the home counties, we aim to be a springboard for other ...

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 ...

Cornwall Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Group – TR1

Cornwall Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Group working with dark bees and varroa tolerance ...

East Midlands Bee Improvement Group-NG11

The aim of the BIBBA East Midlands Bee Improvement Group is to breed near native Apis mellifera mellifera (Amm) queens of the best local genetic stock.   ...

Exeter Beekeepers – EX1

contact Cathy ...

Hazelbeach Black Bee Breeding Group – SA73

A small group in Pembrokeshire working for the breeding and conservation of a local strain of black bee ...

Lampeter – SA48

Breeding Group of one base near Lampeter ...

Leek and Moorlands – ST9

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

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 ...

South Devon Bee Improvers Group – TQ9

We aim to breed and encourage the keeping of native and near-native bees in SDBIG Area: Devon, south of Exeter and including the eastern side of Dartmoor and Plymouth ...

Stratford-upon-Avon BIG – CV37

to improve the Amm characteristics of the local honeybee population in the District ...

Surrey Hills Queen Rearing – GU1

We operate around the Guildford area in Surrey ...

TBKA Bee Breeding – CT12

Situated on the "Isle of Thanet" in Association with Thanet Beekeepers Association ...

Test Valley Black Bee Project – SO20

A Hampshire based group dedicated to the conservation and reintroduction of the native black bee ...

Wharfdale Valley Bee Improvement Group-3LQ

Operating in the Wharfedale valley we aim to breed a locally adapted bee for the unique weather we have within the area ...

Wisborough Green BKA – RH14

Wisborough Green BKA teaches beekeepers in West Sussex. Near native bees and queens are produced in our extensive teaching apiary as part of the tuition ...

For information on groups, please email

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