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East Midlands further notes

[…]include other beekeepers with the intention to establish a local near native Amm strain ‘queen mating zone’ as described in the BIBBA proposal. The winter months will be spent now sorting and repairing stored gear, and getting equipment ready for the new season. We do wish to continue to be associated with National BIBBA and the NatBIP […]

Kings Orchard – East Cornwall

[…]group with the emphasis of breeding pedigree lines of Cornish Native dark bees utilising isolated mating apiaries and Instrumental Insemination. Working closely with the other bee improvement groups in the South West. contact Dave Ledger […]

Course Feedback

[…]queen introduction, the selection and grafting of larvae and queen cell raising and queen mating using mini-nucs. The presentation of the course gave attendees plenty of opportunity for discussion and practice and, without exception, everyone benefitted from the course both in terms of a deeper understanding of the subject and of confidence to practise the skills acquired. Considerable thanks are […]

Lilac Cottage – TA11

Lilac Cottage British Black Bees aim to work with the B4 project to establish breeding stock, and a mating area in North Somerset contact Jon Penton 07712 […]

Albert Knight

[…]1981, following a beekeeping tour of Germany, he was involved in the establishment of an isolated mating site at Spurn Point.   At this time, he was the driving force behind a surge of publications and, eventually, the publication of Bee Improvement magazine.   It was Albert who suggested the British Isles Bee Breeders Association be changed to Bee Improvement and Bee […]

Bees for Sale

[…]imported queens. We presently do not have the ability to inspect or vouch for such queens and nucs and simply require the seller to give an assurance that they are raised from local stock and are not imports, and that the seller supports the objectives of BIBBA. Learn to Create Your Own: NatBIP Guide Roger’s “Free Bees and Queens for […]

Sustainability – Bees and Queens for Everyone using low-cost, simple methods

[…]queen rearing. Simple queen rearing methods. Simple and efficient ways to produce nuclei. Suggested methods for BKAs to supply bees and queens to members/beginners. Methods for small and larger quantities.  Benefits of teaching apiaries. Producing bees and queens in teaching apiaries.  Queen rearing as a collective exercise. Producing bees and queens, yet still getting a good honey crop.  Including queen […]
Read more » Sustainability – Bees and Queens for Everyone using low-cost, simple methods

Sustainable Bees & Queens

[…]queen rearing. Simple queen rearing methods. Simple and efficient ways to produce nuclei. Suggested methods for BKAs to supply bees and queens to members/beginners. Methods for small and larger quantities. Benefits of teaching apiaries. Queen rearing facility in teaching apiaries. Queen rearing as a collective exercise. Producing bees and queens, yet still getting a good honey crop. Including queen rearing […]

Sustainable Bees & Queens : Midlands

[…]queen rearing. Simple queen rearing methods. Simple and efficient ways to produce nuclei. Suggested methods for BKAs to supply bees and queens to members/beginners. Methods for small and larger quantities. Benefits of teaching apiaries. Queen rearing facility in teaching apiaries. Queen rearing as a collective exercise. Producing bees and queens, yet still getting a good honey crop. Including queen rearing […]

Sustainable Bees & Queens : East Anglia

[…]queen rearing. Simple queen rearing methods. Simple and efficient ways to produce nuclei. Suggested methods for BKAs to supply bees and queens to members/beginners. Methods for small and larger quantities. Benefits of teaching apiaries. Queen rearing facility in teaching apiaries. Queen rearing as a collective exercise. Producing bees and queens, yet still getting a good honey crop. Including queen rearing […]

Sustainable Bees & Queens – South West

[…]queen rearing. Simple queen rearing methods. Simple and efficient ways to produce nuclei. Suggested methods for BKAs to supply bees and queens to members/beginners. Methods for small and larger quantities. Benefits of teaching apiaries. Queen rearing facility in teaching apiaries. Queen rearing as a collective exercise. Producing bees and queens, yet still getting a good honey crop. Including queen rearing […]

Sustainable Bees & Queens – South East

[…]queen rearing. Simple queen rearing methods. Simple and efficient ways to produce nuclei. Suggested methods for BKAs to supply bees and queens to members/beginners. Methods for small and larger quantities. Benefits of teaching apiaries. Queen rearing facility in teaching apiaries. Queen rearing as a collective exercise. Producing bees and queens, yet still getting a good honey crop. Including queen rearing […]

How I select my ‘Breeder Queens’

[…]are trying to mate your queens. The books say a 10km radius (6 miles) is necessary to get reliable matings but I find that a smaller area works possibly due to apiary vicinity mating and cool temperature flying of the native sub-species. * usually wide light bands, or tomenta, on the abdomen, and white/grey (as opposed to yellow/brown) hairs on […]

Strategy

[…]of native and near-native bees through queen breeding and rearing, and the production of ‘nucs’, including Bee Improvement Programmes in the British Isles and Ireland; Supporting and developing queen-rearing operations and local/regional mating stations for the use of beekeepers in the relevant area; Supporting local Beekeeping Associations who are interested in supporting native and near-native bees; Campaigning to change beekeeping […]

NatBIP News No2

[…]to the NatBIP project. This could have big advantages, particularly when it comes to the mating of newly reared queens. If you are interested in joining or developing a group to work together, get in contact with our Groups Secretary Brian Holdcroft – he can be reached on – and will aim to answer the questions you might have. […]

Lester Wickham

[…]Batty entered our lives. The strong winds over the Pennines proved too much for successful queen mating so they retrenched into the Holme Valley and went for honey, whilst ridding their colonies of bad tempered bees. In his 60’s, Lester had major Heart Bypass surgery, which made him refuse to physically hurry along. He was happy to walk behind Tom […]

Bucks Berks & Oxon Bee Improvement (BBOBI ) – RG9

[…]for poor queens. They have a significant impact on the longevity of queens, because of poor mating and infertility.  This is thought to be caused by poor nutrition and chemical miticides. We encourage beekeepers to value and nurture their drones with the same care they would their queens. Encourage the use of British hybrid queens We want to encourage people […]
Read more » Bucks Berks & Oxon Bee Improvement (BBOBI ) – RG9

Nick Bentham-Green

[…]time beekeeper. He now runs about 30 colonies, and helps with the management of a number of BipCo mating apiaries. He is also Chairman of BipCo and one of the Directors of B4, (Bring Back Black Bees), which is a community interest company looking at conserving the remnant populations of Amm in […]

BBOBI Group – April 2020 Newsletter

[…]Queens can’t be delivered in early May this year, however there is no reason why we can’t try mating them and offering mated queens or even nucs to you in late June. We have been researching and making queen banks in the hope we can hold our best queens a little longer this year. Another success from last year was […]

NatBIP – May 2020

[…]and thus be directly related to the original breeder queens. The aim will be to develop queen mating zones, in which ‘good’ drones produced in the area can dominate and mate with our newly produced queens. Over time the effects of hybridization of our bees can be reduced and we can develop local strains based on the native bee. Why […]

News for Non-Members – June 2020

[…]research see what you can do with a nuc box learn about some BIBBA webinars the full article on nucs is available to BIBBA members at […]

Webinars – Season Two

[…]August 7:30pm – Lynfa Davies – “The Mystery of Mating” Presentation:  “The Mystery of Mating”. View Recording – Lynfa Davies – “The Mystery of Mating” Tuesday 1st September 7:30pm – Roger Patterson – “Challenge what you are told……….” View Recording – Roger Patterson – “Challenge what you are told……….” Tuesday 8th September 7:30pm – Peter Jenkins – “The KISS Approach” […]

Queens – an example of collaboration between beekeepers, by Roger Patterson

[…]colonies and 12 nucs survived the winter. During the summer the full colonies stayed the same, but nucs increased to 32, all for queen mating. I use natural queen cells when available, but for artificial cells I have bars of 10 larvae, either punched or grafted, all raised in queenless colonies to reduce travel. This was not intended to distribute […]
Read more » Queens – an example of collaboration between beekeepers, by Roger Patterson

Conserving black bees

[…]and also from grafting and dedicated cell raisers are mated from some 100 Apidea mini mat­ing nucs. Careful record keeping of mated queens ensures queen lines are maintained. Colonsay offers the ideal isolation for an island mating station. However, the Hebridean islands are not the place to risk a pension on a queen rearing business! Swarm inspections start around mid-June […]

Richard Senior

[…]his love of bees with his love for teaching.  Richard started his beekeeping journey with a nuc of bees in 2006 after a 6-week local association beginners’ course and over the years has gradually expanded to 50 colonies. Proud to be the current chairman of Barnsley Beekeepers Association, Richard is a strong believer in locally produced bees and queens (in small […]

BIBBA Monthly – December 2020

[…]bees” 30.       Jonathan Getty           “Raising queens and the use of mini nucs” April 6.         Roger Patterson          “Bee Improvement in a Group – Some Ideas” 13.       John Chambers           "Four incompatible approaches to bee improvement" 20.       Tony Jefferson            “Never Waste a Queen Cell” 27.       Eoghan MacGiollacoda  “Bee Farming with native/near bees” May 4.         […]

Webinars – Summary

Recordings of the majority of webinars are available on our YouTube Channel Don’t forget to sign up here, for free, to learn more about our future programme. This is a listing of the Spring 2021 programme, with links to the […]

Colony Increase – The Roger Patterson Method

[…]everything very pragmatically and makes no drama of the process, or needing piles of kit. A few nuc boxes and a strong colony is all that’s really required.Rogers hints and tips as you read through make perfect sense. This is a great addition to any Beekeepers reading, and can hopefully prevent needless imports of colonies when we can do this, […]
Read more » Colony Increase – The Roger Patterson Method

Section 1.2 – Aims, Imports & Bee Breeding

[…]both the male and female lines. This is achieved through instrumental insemination or isolated mating apiaries. Good results can be achieved in this way and beekeepers can buy the resulting queens and rear further generations of queens from them. Unfortunately, the quality achieved by breeding cannot be maintained in the wider environment. It is not considered a sustainable system as […]

Section 3.1 – The Selection of Local Stock

[…]generations can be dealt with in various ways. It could be re-queened or moved out of the ‘mating area’ for use as a honey producer or built up on a double brood box for splitting into nucs. It then becomes a useful resource for making more […]

Section 4.14 – NatBIP 1 Record Card Instructions

[…]of standard. *To assess this score, the strength going into winter may need to be assessed. A nuc will probably be weaker in spring than full-size colony. Main Table Some columns can be assessed at each inspection, but others need only be used when appropriate. 2021: Date of inspection Insp. by: Inspected by – useful if working in a group […]
Read more » Section 4.14 – NatBIP 1 Record Card Instructions

Section 5.1 – Queen Rearing Methods

[…]could be placed in an incubator, with water for humidity, at 34.5°C. or transferred, one each to nucs, mininucs or mini+nucs. Queen Rearing Method without grafting (or finding the queen) This queen rearing method does not require the queen to be found or larvae to be grafted. If the bees do not raise any queen cells nothing is lost, the […]

Section 8.1 – Dominating an Area with the Selected Strain

[…]establishing our selected strain in an area because irrespective of her open mating with its mixed mating possibilities the drones she produces will carry only her mother’s genes. This is because drones have only half of the chromosomes which come from their mother’s side. So, if we can produce enough drones from our daughter queens eventually we increase the possibility […]
Read more » Section 8.1 – Dominating an Area with the Selected Strain

BIBBA Opposes the Importation of Honey Bees and Queens

[…]into Italy despite these EU regulations. The largest number of imports of package bees and/or nucs brought into the UK since 2014 until leaving the EU in 2020 each year were from Italy. (National Bee Unit stats here). Continual importation is likely to harm the efforts of beekeepers who are seeking to select bees for natural resilience to varroa. Locally […]
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 No3

[…]If there are several cells and the colony is a reasonable size, it could be split into 2 or more nucs and queen cells cut out and added to nucs, as necessary. Improving the temperament in one’s bees is often ignored but it should be the first quality to be tackled. In less than 4 weeks a new queen should […]

NatBIP News No5

[…]Distribute sealed cells (that is 1 week + 3 days after grafting) to incubator, or queenless nucs/mininucs. NB: Sealed cells can be removed to incubator, earlier but young pupae in queen cells are quite delicate and should be handled carefully. Day 15-17       Queen cells will hatch. If in incubator, feed with honey:water mix 1:1 and distribute asap Queens will start […]

NatBIP News No6

[…]whole improvement process, perhaps saving years of effort. Honey bees, however, with the multiple mating of queens will tend to outcross with drones from the area and much effort will be required to select and maintain the strain. Both approaches, or a combination of the two, will, I believe, tend towards the same end result, which will be a near-native […]

Why do the bees rear so many drones?

[…]to their mother queen), and those drones being numerous, the chances of one or more of them mating with any queen that happened by a congregation would therefore be increased, thus passing those ‘many-drones’ genes on to the next generation. That new generation would then produce many drones again and those, having the advantage of numbers, would once again dominate […]