The National Bee Improvement Programme
The new season is fast approaching and so to allow beekeepers to prepare for participating in NatBIP we have added the NatBIP Record Card and instruction sheet. This will also be available in the NatBIP GUIDE on the BIBBA website.
The card can be printed out on A4 paper, one for each colony. It is convenient to punch holes and store in a ring binder for use in the apiary, at each inspection.
Some use it as a management record as well as for recording the qualities and performance of each colony, whilst others may prefer to also use a more detailed management card as well as this one.
The card is designed to be modified to suit the needs of individuals or groups as different approaches are inevitable. The particular qualities of the bees will vary in importance for different beekeepers and some may wish to alter the card for this reason.
The important thing is that it is quick and easy to use and that it produces useful information that shows the variation between colonies. When working in groups it is also important that different individuals can assess colonies to roughly the same standards.
As with a lot of things in beekeeping, the best way to get proficient at using the card is to put it into practice. It will soon become second nature to make accurate assessments at each inspection.
The purpose of the card is to show which queens are the ones to produce offspring from and, perhaps just as important, which queens should be replaced when the opportunity arises. Assessment of colonies using a record card is the first step on the path to bee improvement.
The NatBIP Logo
The NatBIP project, although organised by BIBBA, will have its own logo. This is because its appeal is expected to reach well beyond the BIBBA membership. Also, although bees do not recognise national boundaries, we want beekeepers to be able to relate to NatBIP as their own and so variations for the different countries involved will be available. More news on this, soon.
We welcome the views and queries of NatBIP participants. Ideas and developments that can help others will come from the membership and in this way the Programme can evolve and develop in the years ahead. Contact