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Section 5.1 – Queen Rearing Methods

[…]adequately. Rearing from poor weak colonies without adequate feeding will result in inferior queens. Queens can possibly be reared from mid-April to mid-September in many areas, with probably May and June being the best times, as long as adequate food is provided. A queen rearing colony should be provided fed unless the weather is fine and an abundance of nectar […]

Section 4.14 – NatBIP 1 Record Card Instructions

[…]Association Queen or Colony Origin: Source or origin of Queen and/or Colony Name or No. of Strain: Queen Name or No.: Name/no. if breeder Queen Mark/Age: Letter for year colour. Circled if marked Queen description: Colour, stripes, clipped? Apiary Name: Name or location of apiary Hive No.: Number or ID of hive Hive Type: Type of hive + Brood box […]
Read more » Section 4.14 – NatBIP 1 Record Card Instructions

Section 3.1 – The Selection of Local Stock

[…]of ‘inbreeding’ and maintaining genetic diversity. To allow us to select the most desirable queens to rear a new generation of queens from, and to replace, or remove from the area, undesirable queens, we need to use a system of record-keeping that allows us, over time, to build up a picture of the qualities of each queen. Beekeepers are often […]

Section 2.1 – How NatBIP will work

[…]of our colonies. Producing the next generation From our completed record cards, we can choose the queen or queens to rear further queens from. Some will want to rear numerous queens from a few selected queens, others may prefer just one or two offspring from numerous queens, perhaps up to half of available stocks. It is important not to narrow […]

Section 1.3 – Participation

[…]– Publication with articles from BIBBA Monthly Publications and guidance on bee improvement and queen rearing Support for local Bee Improvement Groups Lectures, demonstrations, workshops on all aspects of bee improvement Support us in developing a hardy, docile and productive bee. 2. Sign up as a Supporter of the National Bee Improvement Programme (NatBIP). (Free) Supporters of the scheme are […]

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 […]

BIBBA Monthly – December 2020

[…]check to see if a queen is present, but removes all the queen cells, so they are hopelessly queenless. A queen has emerged but not returned from her mating flight. Until a few years ago, a queenless colony gave a distinctive noise, known as the “queenless roar” and often behaved in an agitated manner, which were reliable signs for a […]


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

[…]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 soon as the above equipment is used, figure out where the next frames, box etc. is coming from. Your […]
Read more » Queens: Collaboration and how to make it easy on yourself and your bees – by Karl Colyer

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

[…]value. If successful, those colonies can be requeened next year with better locally produced queens. If the queens were introduced to small nucs, there would be very few drones produced. If requeened early in the spring, then there will also be few drones, especially if the colonies are kept small. The whole exercise should not greatly affect Karl’s local population […]
Read more » Queens – an example of collaboration between beekeepers, by Roger Patterson

Cupkit, Fakes and Annoyance

[…]is a plastic box with holes in that are blocked off by cups.  This replicates a comb, so when a queen is imprisoned in the box by a queen excluder, she lays eggs in the cups.  When done, she is released back into the colony.  The eggs develop into larvae, that are transferred in the cups into a holder when […]

Conserving black bees

[…]to improve the native strain consider­ably.”2 A local farmer, Niall McNeill, was trained in queen rearing. Queens and nucs were sent regularly to the mainland. 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 […]

Webinar – Season Three

The recordings for all our Season Three Webinars are on our Youtube Channel. Below is the play list (use the button that says 1/9 in the top right corner of the video […]

Webinars – Season Two

Tuesday 18th August 7:30pm – Roger Patterson – “Dead Bees Don’t Buzz – Surviving the Winter “ Presentation:  “Dead Bees Don’t Buzz – Surviving the Winter “ View Recording – Roger Patterson – “Dead Bees Don’t Buzz – Surviving the Winter “ Tuesday 25th August 7:30pm – Lynfa Davies – “The Mystery of Mating” Presentation:  “The Mystery of Mating”. View […]

NatBIP – May 2020

[…]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 meantime, the Programme is being piloted at various apiaries around […]

Membership Application

What does BIBBA Offer? Read our Privacy Policy and Constitution here Want to Join? Click Here Existing Member? Click […]

BBOBI Group – April 2020 Newsletter

[…]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 the social gatherings at a local pub, this started in April and unless we can meet via a Zoom session, […]

Bucks Berks & Oxon Bee Improvement (BBOBI ) – RG9

[…]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 to buy British and support their fellow beekeepers by buying locally adapted British hybrids. We want to discourage the use of the so called ‘Buckfast bee’ whose name has become synonymous […]
Read more » Bucks Berks & Oxon Bee Improvement (BBOBI ) – RG9

I Want Bees

Which is the Best Bee? What is Apis mellifera mellifera? Apis mellifera mellifera, Linnaeus 1758 is a subspecies and northern geographical race of Apis mellifera, the western honeybee. It may be subdivided into many local ecotypes. Its various vernacular names include:“Dark European Honeybee” (English),“L’abeille noire” (French),“Die dunkle Biene” (German) and“Det mörka Nordiska Biet” (Swedish) Apis mellifera mellifera is distinguished from […]

A Proposal for a National Honey Bee Improvement Programme

[…]committee concluded that some of the reasons that beekeepers have for imports were as follows:• Queens are readily available• Queens can be produced more cheaply than in UK• Queens are available earlier in the season• Queens are regarded as of better quality than those available in the UK It should be noted that not all imports are checked for biosecurity […]
Read more » A Proposal for a National Honey Bee Improvement Programme

Bee Improvement Strategies – Kevin Thorn

[…]from the outside frame or in your best colonies two frames – one in from either end. Introducing Queens Simple queen introduction – rather than picking a queen off the frame and putting her in a cage, with or without attendants, it is far simpler to use the newspaper method to combine a queenless colony with a nucleus with a […]

Bee Improvement Strategies – Kevin Thorn -part two

[…](Swarm cell or emergency cell)? To name a few. 3) What set up of starter colony will you have? Queenless, Queen Right or temporarily queenless then queen right e.g a Cloake board (there are several variations of each of these). 4) Will you use finisher colonies and/or an incubator to increase capacity – not needed except to produce a lot […]
Read more » Bee Improvement Strategies – Kevin Thorn -part two

Lester Wickham

[…]a trio of tykes. Lester appreciated what Beowulf was proposing and he and a friend started a queen rearing project in the heights above Holme Firth, long before Compo, Cleggy and Norah 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, […]

Bees for Sale

[…]not imports, and that the seller supports the objectives of BIBBA. Learn to Create Your Own Bees & Queens: NatBIP Guide Roger’s “Free Bees and Queens for Everyone” roadshow. Two Frame Nucs Contact a Local BIBBA Group: We have a number of Bee Improvement Groups around the UK. Often these groups have surplus bees and queens. Click here to find […]

BIBBA Monthly – September 2019

Queen Rearing – my preferred method by Jo Widdicombe Setting Up a Breeding Conservation Group BIBBA members can download a pdf copy of the full magazine for personal […]