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

[…]about every step at this stage but I will list out some learning points about getting yourself organised. Figure out how to create another 1-6 colonies for when a suitable larvae, queen cell, virgin queen or mated queen becomes available. Have a few things prepared so that when you get the call or email, it’s not a mad dash. As […]
Read more » Queens: Collaboration and how to make it easy on yourself and your bees – by Karl Colyer

BIBBA Monthly – December 2020

[…]only will “ordinary” beekeepers watch the webinars, but also those involved in teaching and organising beekeeping at all levels. We have publicised widely, but in case the message hasn’t reached everywhere, please inform all beekeepers and your BKA about this webinar programme. It has been designed to help beekeepers understand their bees better and keep bees that are best suited […]

Mailing List test

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again. Your subscription has been successful. Receive Regular mailings Subscribe to our email list and stay receive a programme of educational emails. Enter your email address to subscribe Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g I agree to receive your emails and accept the data privacy statement. You may unsubscribe […]

Using a Smoker

Lighting the smoker and keeping it lit seems to be a major problem to many beekeepers. This is something I have never been able to understand, because it has nothing to do with learning beekeeping, it has more to do with school science lessons and common sense. How many beekeepers do you see who fill the firebox up with fuel, […]

National Bee Improvement Programme (NatBIP)

[…]England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. This is an initiative organised by the Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders’ Association (BIBBA), with the twin aims of reducing the number of imports of honey bees into Britain, Ireland and associated islands,* and of improving the quality of our honey bees. This Programme aims to provide a […]

BIBBA Opposes the Importation of Honey Bees and Queens

[…]can be found here) As an EU country, Italy has the same stringent import/export regulations as the UK, which include clean health certificates from country of origin and consignment inspections, which are assessed according to risk. Imports from Italy to the UK continued as free trade until the Brexit transition period ended on 31st December 2020 and the new regulations […]
Read more » BIBBA Opposes the Importation of Honey Bees and Queens

Recommended YouTube Videos

There are a lot of beekeeping videos online. Some are excellent, with factual and sound information featuring good, knowledgeable and experienced beekeepers. Unfortunately there are many of dubious accuracy, giving poor advice that may be inappropriate for our conditions. As there is no vetting procedure to display educational material online, what is the inexperienced beekeeper to believe? BIBBA strongly believes […]

NatBIP News No4

[…]worldwide, on two sub-species, the Italian and the Carniolan. Beekeepers have tended to forget about the other numerous sub-species that have evolved over millennia to suit differing conditions. This genetic diversity within our bees allows us to select for the qualities that we wish to see in our bees. The article in BBKA News claims to support ‘locally adapted bees’, […]

East Midlands 1998

East Midlands Group - What Did We Learn in 1998? The East Midlands BIBBA group during the Autumn and Winter meetings look back over the past season and assess their activities in bee breeding. This identifies the areas where it is necessary to make changes, but it also shows us if the changes we made as a result of the […]

Scillonian Bee Project

RICK STEIN IN CORNWALL with Nick Bentham Green and Jilly Halliday For those followers of the BBC 2 programme Rick Stein in Cornwall our former Chairman Nick Bentham Green​ and Isles of Scilly beekeeper Jilly Halliday featured in the recently aired Episode 7 of Series 2. One of Rick Stein​'s research team contacted ​Jilly and Nick as they wanted to […]

March 2022 BIBBA Monthly

[…]still run a viable business without introducing genetic instability into our bee stocks within the UK either through the use of imports, or by breeding within the UK that uses strains of bee other that can reinforce introgression. BIBBA is therefore launching an initiative for commercial and professional beekeepers using our flagship National Bee Improvement Programme (NatBIP) which gives a […]

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Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again. Your subscription has been successful. Sign Up for Info on BIBBA We will keep you updated on what is happening. Enter your email address to subscribe Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g Enter your FIRSTNAME Enter your LASTNAME Enter your mobile number +93 AF +358 AX +355 AL […]

NatBIP News No8

[…]writes: Buckley’s Bees are looking for additional part-time beekeepers, throughout the UK, to work with our ever-growing business and enthusiastic team – people who are passionate about these fantastic creatures and the good they do in the world. In addition to genuinely making a positive environmental impact, we can provide a good additional income stream – doing what you love… […]

BOBBI Spring 2022 Newsletter

by Duncan Heather & Brian Green I would be surprised if I wasn’t the only one to be pleases to see the back of the 2021 beekeeping season.  For me personally, it was the worst season I’ve had in 15 years of beekeeping.  Cold weather then, near continuous rain, well into May, meant the queen rearing was off to a […]

June 2022 BIBBA Monthly

[…]sustainable beekeeping. This is an ambitious ‘to do’ list, especially for a 100% voluntary organisation. It will take time and it will not be easy. However, we can win the argument and so achieve the necessary change in UK beekeeping. However, it will take determination and commitment from all of us, both Trustees and Members. Selwyn Runnett Developing Sustainability in […]

Bee improvement for all day- Lanarkshire

£10 a head; tea and coffee provided, bring your own packed lunch Contact details Susan Fotheringham Bank details for BACS payments (preferred): Lloyds Bank Sort code: 30-98-97 Account number: 30350560 Directions: CLYDESMILL M74 southbound CLYDESMILL M74 […]


[…]Meeting. Appoint from among their number members to represent the Association on bodies and organizations to which the Association is affiliated or otherwise and determine the terms of reference of such persons. Appoint as non-voting members representatives from national beekeeping organizations. Appoint as deemed necessary from among their number posts of responsibility and make such other appointments from among their […]

Find, Mark & Clip the Queen

Finding queens in Spring, and marking and clipping them whenever necessary, has become an integral part of my seasonal beekeeping programme. This was not always the case, and for many years I tried to manage my bees without clipping or marking queens, until eventually I plucked up enough courage to have a go, and like many other beekeeping operations, which […]

Roger Patterson

President Events and Education Roger Patterson is a practical beekeeper who has kept bees since 1963. This was directly after the harsh 1962/3 winter, after which, a large number of bees and queens were imported. He quickly realised these imports were not well suited to our climate and conditions. A chance meeting with Beowulf Cooper resulted in him joining VBBA […]

“Bee Improvement for All” (BIFA) Days

[…]own queens from local stock and not rely on imports. “Bee Improvement for all” courses are organised by BIBBA on a nationwide basis, sometimes in conjunction with local BKAs or bee breeding groups. They are all day events, but the timings will depend on local arrangements. The very successful BIFA days were started during the winter of 2013/14, with 11 […]

BIFA feedback

[…]Dave Barrett, came to me and said, “I think we should do this BIBBA One Day Course – I’ll organise it all.” “Great idea”, I said. So Dave booked the date with BIBBA, he booked a suitable hall, he got our Education Officer to put all the details on our on-line booking system. Then he proceeded to spread the word, […]

Jutland Visit

[…]not only for Denmark but for around the world. In the afternoon we visited the home farm of Jorgen Tjener Mikkelnson where we saw a barn in the farm being converted to a honey house. He had prepared 6000 brood comb, the woodwork being produced in Lithuania and the foundation being done by his lady friend who is also from […]

Native Honey Bees

[…]bees where they have become extinct. Much work is done by dedicated beekeepers and there are many organisations where help and encouragement can be had. In some there is an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience that is freely given to others. In some cases the introduced bee of choice does not always suit the climate, resulting in dissatisfaction and […]

Terry Hitchman

Terry lives in South Warwickshire in a village near Stratford-upon-Avon. He is a self employed builder with a farming background and his hobbies are beekeeping, farming and horses. Terry has 35 years experience in beekeeping and has been a member of BIBBA for approximately 20 years. He purchased his first Apis mellifera mellifera virgin queen at the East Midlands bee […]

Colonsay a honey bee haven

[…]threat to bees kept in apiaries today is the deadly Varroa mite, which was first discovered in the UK in 1992 and has led to the virtual elimination of feral bee colonies in many areas. Colonsay was chosen as a reserve because its bees are free from the disease and are genetically pure. The Scottish Government granted the order after […]

Galtee Bee Breeding Group

[…]among our members. We enjoy the full support and co-operation of the two main beekeeping umbrella organisations in Ireland: i.e. the Federation of Irish Beekeepers’ Associations in the Republic of Ireland and the Ulster Beekeepers’ Association in Northern Ireland. The Galtee/Vee valley is about 25 x 10 km and is situated between the mountain ranges of the Galtees and the […]

Colony Assessment Criteria

Simple criteria we can all set for our bees Despite what you may hear or read, it is fairly easy to change some of the characteristics of your bees. This can be done by assessing colonies against a set of criteria that you want in your bees, using queen cells from colonies displaying those criteria and culling those that don’t. […]

Steve Rose Queen Rearing

This is a queen rearing method to persuade non-prolific and non-swarmy bees to raise queen cells on a regular basis through the season. (updated July 2015) Summary: Put queen excluder(s) and 2 half-width brood boxes over a standard colony when the first supers would normally be fitted. Wait for bees to start putting nectar in the half boxes and mature […]

Leek and Moorlands – ST9

  Leek and Moorlands Beekeepers have been raising queens for over 30 years and welcome beekeepers of all levels of experience. Plans In 2018 we used the Miller method for cell raising, and grafed larvae and also used the Jenter  system..  We used Apidea mini-nucs for mating.  We also trained 4 members in instrumental insemination. Further Info You can see full […]

Controlled Mating and Hygienic Behaviour

The effect of one generation of controlled mating on the expression of hygienic behaviour in honey bees Gianluigi Bigio*1,3, Hasan Al Toufailia1 , William O H Hughes2 , Francis L W Ratnieks1 Honey bee mating cannot be directly controlled in the same way as in many agriculturally important animals. Instrumental insemination is, however, possible and can be used as an […]

Biodiversity and Local Partnerships

[…]of preserving native honey bee stocks (Apis mellifera mellifera) as these are best adapted to UK climatic conditions, instead of relying on continued importation of foreign subspecies. Unrestricted importation of alien queens and bees carries the associated risk of bringing in new pests and diseases (like Small Hive Beetle) and doesn’t capitalise on the UK’s genetic resource of Amm bee […]

Tony Maggs “Bee Farming with Native/Near Native Bees”

[…]of beekeeping, I started my own business in Derby called “The Honey Pot” ( where I sold my honey and became a Thorne’s agent, supplying beekeeping equipment to the local beekeepers. My colonies slowly built up to the present number of about 40 plus. After 25 years, I recently moved to the Trent Business Centre, Long Eaton, which is closer […]
Read more » Tony Maggs “Bee Farming with Native/Near Native Bees”

Randy Oliver – Bees in California – Colony Buildup and Decline – Understanding Varroa – Breeding the Ideal Bee for Your Area

Randy Oliver owns and operates a small commercial beekeeping enterprise in the foothills of Grass Valley in Northern California. He and his two sons manage about 1000 colonies for migratory pollination, and produce queens, nucs, and honey. He has over 40 years of practical beekeeping experience, plus holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biological Sciences. Randy researches, analyzes, and digests […]
Read more » Randy Oliver – Bees in California – Colony Buildup and Decline – Understanding Varroa – Breeding the Ideal Bee for Your Area

Group Presentation & Discussion “Bee improvement and bee breeding groups – some experiences and ideas”

[…]closely with other bee improvement groups in Cornwall and is now looking at setting up mirror organisations in both Devon and Somerset. Manx Bee Improvement Group (MBIG). Johnny Kipps. The MBIG was formed as a sub-committee of the IoM Beekeepers Federation in early 2015 after a BIBBA “BIFA” day, led by Roger Patterson. The MBIG have begun to breed from […]
Read more » Group Presentation & Discussion “Bee improvement and bee breeding groups – some experiences and ideas”

Work with Bangor University

[…]hybridization, as the honeybee has the highest recombination rate measured for any multicellular organism (Beye et al. 2006 DOI: 10.1101/gr.5680406). This study will determine the extent to which beekeepers’ analysis of wing-morphometry accurately identifies native bee genotypes through a comparison of geometric morphometric wing-analyses with detailed sub-regional determination of racial traits based on mitochondrial and nuclear (microsatellite/SNP) markers (Muñoz et […]

BIM 47 – Autumn 2016

From the President – Jo Widdicombe Now we have to look at the next 12 months and what we are going to do. I believe we should be aiming for 3 magazines per year, one every four months. 53 AGM Notice the AGM will take place at Harper Adams University TF10 8NB on Sunday 9th April 2017 From the Chair […]

Family Member

[column-half-1] If more than one person at the same address wishes to be a BIBBA member: The first person at any address will pay the full BIBBA membership of £20 but any additional persons living at the same address can join as family members for the reduced rate of £10. If two people are paying together at the same time […]


Order of the Day 09.30       Coffee & biscuits. 10.00       Welcome from President. 10.15   Lecture.   ‘Every little helps – excellent progress being made in  Cornwall’: Nicholas Bentham-Green. 11.15         Break. 11.30        Annual General Meeting. Open Forum – an opportunity for members to discuss issues of common interest and ask questions. BIBBA Accounts- to AGM 2017 Standing Orders present Budget 2017 BIBBA_Trustee_s_Report_2017 […]

BIFA – Colchester

[…]Colchester, Essex, CO7 0RE Telephone 01206 302466 or 01206 302005 e-mail .uk No receipt will be issued. Attendances may be accepted on the day, but only if the venue hasn’t reached capacity. A fee of £15/head will apply to all. If telephone or email bookings are made and full payment has not been received by 7 days in advance (unless […]

BIFA – Sunniside, Newcastle upon Tyne

Course fees: Including refreshments but not lunch. Please bring your own. Adult £10.00 Under 18 £7.00 Please make cheques payable to Tyneside Beekeepers . and send to:- Peter Searle, Eighton Banks Farm, Galloping Green Road, Eighton Banks, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, NE9 7XA e-mail No receipt will be issued. Attendances may be accepted on the day, but only if […]

BIM 48 – Winter 2016/17

From the President – Jo Widdicombe We have to start by ‘thinking local’ with our bees and if enough of us do that then we can, in fact, eventually change the national picture. 53 AGM Notice at Harper Adams University on Sunday 9th April 2017 Miniature tracking device – Paul Cross Development of a miniature, battery-less tracking device for honey […]

Event Info

COVID-19No events will be published until the current Teaching Events There are three types of BIBBA event to help and encourage beekeepers to raise their own queens from locally adapted colonies, rather than to use imported queens that may not suit their environment, or run the risk of importing pests and diseases. BIBBA Open Days Bee Improvement For All (BIFA) […]

BIM 43 – Spring 2014

[…]when we first select which queen cell to keep. Book Review – Philip Denwood Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture, by Ross Conrad. Patron Saints – Brian Dennis Question: Who is the patron saint of beekeepers? Answer: The usual answer is St Ambrose, However, he is not the only saint to have responsibility for our craft. Conference Speakers List […]