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[…]what the bees are naturally doing over the course of their year, and he took the mystique out of rearing the queens you want – for the characteristics that suit you. He showed that it is possible – actually better – to use our own queens, raised locally, rather than buying in queens that we don’t really know much about. […]

Caging Virgin Queens

[…]plastic), attendant workers (present or absent) and food type (sugar candy, honey, or both). Ten queens were tested in each of the 12 combinations. Queens were reared using standard beekeeping methods (Doolittle/grafting) and emerged from their cells into vials held in an incubator at 34C. All 12 combinations gave high survival (90 or 100%) for three days but only one […]

BIM 46 – Winter 2015

[…]for the dark bee The BIBBA Course – Mike du Feu We looked at the various equipment available for rearing queens… Dark Bee breeding project – Margie Ramsay The project started in 2010 at a coastal apiary in Wester Ross with grafting of known A.m.m. brood from remote stocks of dark bees… From the Archives – R Smailes Reflections on […]

A Native Dark Bee Project

[…]to give satisfactory mating success by drone flooding using drone comb in selected hives. Grafted queen cell A.m.m. queen produced by grafting. Year 3. 2012 A suitably remote site for mating of grafted A.m.m. virgins was needed, and Eoghain MacLean; Director of the Scottish Natural Heritage Reserve at Kinlochewe gave permission to site a mating apiary on the mountain nature […]

Steve Rose Queen Rearing

[…]so that the queen pheromones have normal access to the box again. Download pdf of full article:Queen Rearing Method – Steve Rose July […]


[…]  About Micheál C. Mac Giolla Coda Beekeeping for 50 years. Queen rearing for 20 years. FIBKA certified lecturer for 20 years. Honey Judge for 20 years. Holder of National Diploma in Science (Apiculture). Founder member of Galtee Bee Breeding Group. Past President of BIBBA and FIBKA. Preferred choice of subject: Conservation and Improvement of native bees including all […]

Methods for Rearing and Selection of Queens

[…]and practical beekeeping purposes. The basic conditions and different management techniques for queen rearing are described, including recommendations for suitable technical equipment. As the success of breeding programmes strongly depends on the selective mating of queens, a subchapter is dedicated to the management and quality control of mating stations. Recommendations for the handling and quality control of queens complete the […]

Genetic Identification and Introgression Analysis

Beekeeping activities, especially queen trading, have shaped the distribution of honey bee (Apis mellifera) subspecies in Europe, and have resulted in extensive introductions of two eastern European C-lineage subspecies (A. m. ligustica and A. m. carnica) into the native range of the M-lineage A. m. mellifera subspecies in Western Europe. As a consequence, replacement and gene flow between native and […]
Read more » Genetic Identification and Introgression Analysis

Nick Mawby

[…]for 30 years; this group became the association teaching apiary but is now refocusing again on queen rearing.He is chairman and webmaster of North Staffs Beekeepers Association. When not beekeeping, Nick will take off in his campervan. For any comments regarding membership or the website contact Nick […]

Contact Us

If you have a query, check to see if the answer is in the FAQs. If not, please contact the appropriate person from the list below:   Chair Selwyn Runnett email Membership Nick Mawby email Website Nick Mawby email Secretary Richard Senior email Treasurer Alla Neal email Publicity & Marketing email Groups Brian Holdcroft email Scientific & Technical Selwyn Runnett […]

Some history of the East Midlands group

[…]A digital thermometer on the lid giving the temperature reading. Record keeping is a vital part of queen rearing and distribution of queens. Not least among the problems in this, is in actually getting information on the queens afterwards. Notes on introduction, colony behaviour and performance with the new queens are the basics of what are required to allow meaningful […]

Colony Assessment Criteria

[…]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. Clearly these criteria need to be something that is achievable, not something that isn’t. What beekeepers need to remember is they usually only have influence over half the parentage […]

Queen Rearing Timetable

[…]file was written by Angus Stokes and Albert Knight and provides an interactive way to prepare timetables for using the Jenter or Cupkit Cellplug Box. With a bit of tweaking it can be used for other methods of cell raising. Download Excel spreadsheet of Tom’s Table: […]

Galtee Bee Breeding Group

[…]activities throughout the year such as outdoor demonstrations on colony evaluation and recording, queen rearing workshops, and a winter discussion and study group. There is an Annual General Meeting and we produce a quarterly newsletter known as “The Four Seasons – Ceithre Ráithe na Bliana”. Micheál Mac Giolla Coda Chairman, Galtee Bee Breeding Group Past President of BIBBA Please note: […]

East Midlands Bee Improvement Group-NG11

[…]the new site. The out-apiary is there for the future if we need it.   Key to our bee breeding and queen rearing plan is mapping the linage of each queen, assessing quality according to our own standards, then selecting drone colonies from specific lines and breeding from our best queens each year. We are able to steadily increase the […]

Downloads Old

[…]files are used by individual beekeepers and groups to help them with their bee improvement and queen rearing activities. BIBBA gives permission to freely copy any or all of these files for personal use and also pass the files to others interested in breeding honey bees. BIBBA only asks in return that the source of these files be acknowledged.  DrawWing By […]

What is Apis mellifera mellifera?

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 other […]

Terry Hitchman

[…]member of BIBBA for approximately 20 years. He purchased his first Apis mellifera mellifera virgin queen at the East Midlands bee breeding group’s Locko Park open day in 1992 and now has 25 colonies of native or near native bees. He has been a member of the Stratford-upon-Avon Beekeepers’ Association committee for 19 years, Chairman for 10 years and, together […]

Laesoe 2004

[…]into Carniolan and Italian colonies is difficult. Workers of these two latter races often build queencells even when an introduced A. m. mellifera queen is laying, and will remove her eggs from the cells. Nils Drivdal from Norway sketched out his view of the long-term history of bees in Northern Europe. The forests in which honey hunting and log hive […]

Jutland Visit

[…]being shown the house were entertained with wine. On Sunday, after a long journey, we visited the Queen rearing establishment of Poul Eric Soresen. He first showed us his beeswax business where he takes in other beekeepers frames and extracts the wax for which he charges. All the frames are cleaned with caustic soda and then spray washed and kept […]

Bee Improvement and Bee Breeding Groups

[…]local group can pool expertise of different disciplines… honey bee management, record keeping, queen rearing, equipment making, administration, etc. More beekeepers means there are more colonies to select material from and to provide good quality drones, as well as maximising the number of colonies under management, evaluation and study.Groups can liaise with one another and with scientific institutions if they wish. […]

“Bee Improvement for All” (BIFA) Days

[…]assessment and queen selection need more attention than many beekeepers give them. This does mean rearing queens, but the bees give us many opportunities during the summer to raise new queens with little effort needed by us. “Bee Improvement for all” is a one day course that is designed to help beekeepers use these opportunities to improve their bees, as […]

Roger Patterson

[…]purposes. Roger concentrates on teaching the practical aspects of beekeeping that includes queen rearing and bee improvement. He is a prolific lecturer, demonstrator and writer, being author of books, booklets and a regular contributor to the bee press. Roger now owns and maintains Dave Cushman’s website, that is widely recognised as one of the world’s most comprehensive beekeeping websites. He is the […]

BIM 44 – Summer 2014

[…]Release – Norman Carreck A BIPCo visit – Jo Widdicombe Pesticide Debate – Norman Benson Queen raising for the Amateur – Alan Brown In Memory of Janet Hinchley – David Allen Sampling and Predicting – Brian Dennis Bee v Pigeon – Jeremy Clay Genuine Imported Queens – Will Messenger Conference Venue BIBBA members can download a pdf copy of the […]

BIM 43 – Spring 2014

[…]a major problem in bee breeding is the difficulty of ensuring pure matings for their selected queens. If this problem can be solved, much more rapid progress will be possible in improving the native bee by selection. Ownership of a Swarm – Brian Dennis Your bees don’t swarm, but … In a talk on Bees and the Law, the speaker […]

BIM 42 – Winter 2013

[…]– John E Dews Breeding for Improvement: No honey bee colony is exactly like another, brood rearing, inclination to swarm, foraging, vigour, or susceptibility to disease, differ from colony to colony. Bee Improvement for all Days – Roger Patterson Much of modern beekeeping teaching seems to be based on standard “bee facts” and the management of non–native bees. Genuine Imported […]

BIM 41 – Spring 2013

News from North Wales – Steve Rose We currently have eight small queen rearing groups situated in Denbighshire, Flintshire, Wrexham and just over the border in West Shropshire. AGM Proposal 2012 – Will Messenger A proposal to modify the aims of BIBBA – no, not another one! The Native Bee – Dorian Pritchard The Native Bee shows its mettle: 2012 […]

BIM 39 – Autumn 2012

[…]Messenger Providing Breeding Material – Albert Knight Meet the Members – Eddie O’Sullivan Queen Rearing workshop – Mike Thornley Scottish Bee Breeding – Mike Thornley Experiments with Morphometry – Iain Harley SICAMM Conference – Steve Rose BIBBA members can download a pdf copy of the full magazine for personal […]

BIM 38 – Spring 2012

[…]Mike Saunders Scottish Centenary Conference Sedbergh Breeding Group – Andrew Royce North Wales Queen Rearing – Steve Rose BIBBA Scottish Conference BIBBA members can download a pdf copy of the full magazine for personal […]

BIM 36 – Summer 2011

[…]Hazelhurst The way forward – Will Messenger Inbreeding part 2 – Dorian Pritchard Simple Queen Rearing – Dinah Sweet The Native Bee – Pam Hunter Dave Cushman – Roger Patterson John Dews Obituary – various Book Review – Philip Denwood The Rose Hive Method: Challenging Conventional Beekeeping, by Tim Rowe. BIBBA Trustees BIBBA members can download a pdf copy of […]

BIM 35 – Winter 2010-11

[…]Roger Patterson Inbreeding part 1 – Dorian Pritchard Thoughts on Morphology – Roger Patterson Queen rearing for one – Albert Knight Conference law – Dorian Pritchard Trustees Report 2010 – Dinah Sweet Financial Statements – 2010 BIBBA members can download a pdf copy of the full magazine for personal […]

BIM 34 – Spring 2010

[…]David Allen Beekeeping notes – Willie Robson Small scale queen rearing – John Dews Expansion & queen rearing – Chris Broad Queen rearing on a small scale – Tom Robinson JZBZ frame bar – Roger Patterson Inbreeding – Tom Robinson Pesticides and colony losses – Eric Mussen Isle of Man workshop – Doris Fischler A note on MorphPlot – Peter […]

BIM 33 – Winter 2010

[…]BIBBA record card – Philip Denwood Groups – Terry Clare A model agreement – Terry Clare Queen rearing group – Roger Patterson Warnholz Mini BiVo nuc – Dave Cushman The Harding Mini Nuc – John Harding Bee improvement – Roger Patterson Entombment follow-up – Dave Cushman BBKA Forum – Roger Patterson Morphometry Course – Dinah Sweet BIBBA members can download […]

John Harding Queen Rearing

[…]a beekeeper rather than a keeper of bees. Everybody has their own system of beekeeping and queen rearing that suits them, often without much thought for what’s best for the honeybee, or the possibility of causing unnecessary stress to the colony. The main purpose of any system I produce is its versatility and to have an additional use so you […]

BIM 32 – Autumn 2009

[…]his beekeeping, the Welsh language and in the countless friendships he made, we will miss him. Queens entombed in wax – Norman Walsh I found the queen to be dead in the introduction cage and every hole in the cage packed with darkish beeswax Reply to Robin Dean’s article on the Black Bee – Jo Widdicombe Perhaps a lot of […]

BIM 31 – Spring 2009

The Harding queen raising system. John Harding A tribute to Gordon Hartshorn. Tom Rowlands Beekeeping in Northumberland. Dorian Pritchard Three fertile queens in one colony. Roger Patterson Brother Adam and the dark bee. Dorian Pritchard Breeding Group news. Jo Widdicombe The Bee Improvement Programme for Cornwall. Jo Widdicombe Survey of native bees. Roger Patterson Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects. […]

BIM 30 – Winter 2008

[…]day. Wally Thrale Bee improvement and conservation in Southern England. Terry Clare Galtee Group queen rearing workshop. Jim Ryan Bee improvement and conservation in County Louth. Medway and North Kent Bee Breeding Group (MedBees). Terry […]