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How I select my ‘Breeder Queens’

[…]queens. I do this by looking at the current condition of the colony as well as looking at the record of past performance. An inspection, usually in April, will provide a lot of useful information. As soon as the crown board is removed an idea of the temper of the colony can be gauged. If the colony is not disturbed […]

NatBIP News No2

[…]as it is ‘locally adapted’. The Record Card You, or a beekeeper near you, may already have a record card for recording the qualities of the bees. If not, by all means design your own system, or look at what is offered in Section 4.1 of the NatBIP GUIDE at This can be used as it is, or modified, […]

Bucks Berks & Oxon Bee Improvement (BBOBI ) – RG9

[…]therefore proposed to give away marked virgin queens during 2019 to anyone prepared to monitor and record their progress over 2 years and to record their results on a group app called Hivelog. Any beekeepers with queens demonstrating good temperament would be asked to add a frame of drone comb in year two and may also be asked to provide […]
Read more » Bucks Berks & Oxon Bee Improvement (BBOBI ) – RG9

NatBIP – May 2020

[…]modified, updated and added to in the light of experience gained. It will cover such things as the record card and record-keeping, selecting breeder queens, queen rearing techniques, working in groups/Group Handbook, dominating an area with the selected strain/establishing a strain, selection of local stock/refining the native strain, and availability and distribution of surplus queens from other beekeepers. In the […]

Conserving black bees

[…]In 1945, Eva Crane, Direc­tor of the International Bee Research Association in the U.K., recorded in her diary a visit to Colonsay and Oronsay and her interest in find­ing Black Bees on the islands, which were resistant to acarine mites (Acara­pis woodi).3 It is clear that there were many “survivor stocks” from the aca­rine epidemic that had swept across the […]

Queens: Collaboration and how to make it easy on yourself and your bees – by Karl Colyer

[…]been a mixture of collaboration, communication, generous sharing from others and keeping a simple record for each queen coming into my care. I was gutted at the beginning of this year contemplating the lack of options with my bees. Now I’m really excited about next year. In the meantime, I’m building more nuc […]
Read more » Queens: Collaboration and how to make it easy on yourself and your bees – by Karl Colyer

Section 1.2 – Aims, Imports & Bee Breeding

[…]Problem with Imports Imports of bees have been growing, year on year, and, although currently at record levels, at best, only produce a short-term respite, in terms of quality. In the long-term no consistent improvement in the quality of our bees is achieved, and the system relies on further imports to maintain quality, albeit, with no local adaptation. They represent […]

Section 2.1 – How NatBIP will work

[…]An assessment of qualities can be made every time we inspect a colony during the active season and recorded on the Record Card. Whether we are working on bee improvement as an individual, or as a group, we must decide which qualities are important to us. The fewer the qualities we wish to select, the easier it is to make […]

Section 3.1 – The Selection of Local Stock

[…]to build up a picture of the qualities of each queen. Beekeepers are often quite used to keeping records for the general management of their colonies but perhaps less used to record-keeping for assessing the qualities of their bees. There is no single correct way to do this task and beekeepers may wish to devise their own system. The system […]

Section 8.1 – Dominating an Area with the Selected Strain

[…]to establish our selected strain. We have been monitoring our colonies and keeping accurate records to enable us to see at a glance our progress (see using NatBIP record card). We can then select and cull the queens that we consider don’t display the chosen traits and replace them with ones that do. We then have our colonies headed by […]
Read more » Section 8.1 – Dominating an Area with the Selected Strain

NatBIP News No1

[…]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 […]

NatBIP News No3

[…]personal preferences, or indeed, you can design your own, or use someone else’s design. A ‘record of performance’ is quite different to a ‘management record card’ (although the NatBIP card can be used for both purposes) and specifically provides information on which queens are worth rearing offspring from. I have already started assessing my colonies for the characteristics that I […]

NatBIP News No4

[…]well under way, we can continue to monitor the qualities of our queens using our own system of record-keeping or download the record card from the NatBIP GUIDE on the BIBBA website (search As we assess the qualities of our colonies at each inspection, we quickly build up a picture of which colony or colonies are worth rearing offspring […]

East Midlands 1998

[…]made up, as referred to in the previous paragraph, and this worked very well. Record keeping We knew our record keeping needed improving, and during last winter a comprehensive computer record sheet was designed. However in practice it proved too complicated in the field, but useful to study indoors. We changed late on in the season to a simple hard-backed […]