Changes to Subscriptions

Changes to Subscriptions The committee plan to introduce the following changes:
  • The Ordinary membership fee will increase to £25 from 1st April 2020
  • Ordinary members paying by Direct Debit (or  Standing Order) will pay a reduced rate of £20
  • For Republic of Ireland members, the reduced fee of £20 will be available if paid by PayPal or bank transfer, until Direct Debit subscriptions become available
  • The Overseas fee will remain at £25, reduced to £20 if no postal magazine required, until Direct Debit becomes available
  • The additional fee for an extra (family) member at the same address will remain at £10
  • The fee for a junior member will remain at £10
Reasons for the change The membership fee was last increased in 2008, from £15 to £20.  We would need to increase it to nearly £27 to have the same buying power today. Back in 2012 a committee report concluded that with the current membership fee of £20, BIBBA was not financially viable.  Since then we have built up reserves, principally as a result of over-performance on events run by Roger Patterson, but also by cutting costs. Holding the committee meetings by telephone conference has saved considerable travel expenses; claiming giftaid has also helped.  These reserves will enable us to progress with a number of projects in future years. Membership has risen consistently for the last five years to an all-time high of 550.  The membership database and subscription processing are currently managed at zero cost using google groups.  The workload however is reaching the point at which a commercial solution may be required.  The cost of these varies considerably but by taking subscription by direct debit (or the older standing orders) the management is streamlined, with a significant saving in time for the membership secretary.  The committee
University of Plymouth Project

University of Plymouth Project

The University of Plymouth in partnership with B4 (a community interest company: Bringing Back Black Bees) and funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) have started a 4 year PhD project to investigate suggestions from bee-keepers that different sub-species have a suite of different behaviours and characteristics in comparison to other sub-species, and further that these might be highly regional in their nature. The project will measure these differences, and match those with genetic signatures to confirm the lineage of bees showing different traits. It also aims to identify the parts of the genome that might be under rapid change in these sub-species. While some of the trait differences might be well-established in the bee-keeping community, to date published, robust empirical evidence is lacking. The kinds of traits that we’re interested in gathering data on are, for example, drone brood timings, worker brood cycle, and thriftiness. We will investigate these traits using a bee keeping survey. The survey has been designed in collaboration with bee-keepers and tries to get as much detail as possible whilst at the same time being practical and feasible for bee-keepers to complete. It will require you to measure and record specific parameters throughout the season, some of which you would be completed as part of your usual routine. We need as many people to fill in the survey as possible and the project relies on the bee keeping community for its success. The survey is open to all bee keepers regardless of the sub-species you keep. This is your opportunity to be part of scientific research on honey bees. There will be regular updates and feedback on the project as it unfolds. If you are interested in taking part in the survey please email your name to in addition to the email address

What does BIBBA Offer?


  • Encouragement to form breeding groups to improve and propagate native and near native queens.
  • Help for beekeepers to improve their bees so they suit their environment, are productive, healthy and gentle to handle.
  • Encouragement to raise queens from local stock.
  • Provision of relevant information and methods.
  • Demonstrations and workshops on practical subjects, such as colony assessment and queen rearing.


  • Publications and guidance on all aspects of bee improvement and queen rearing.
  • Support to beekeepers in areas with a high level of native bees.
  • Courses on bee improvement and raising queens, using both natural methods the bees present us with that will suit the ordinary beekeeper, and more advanced methods for those who need more queens.