Queen Rearing and Bee Improvement Courses

BIBBA are committed to helping beekeepers to improve their bees and those of the surrounding area, by raising queens from their better colonies and culling the poorer ones.

Bee Improvement should be of interest to all beekeepers and for a number of reasons including temper, quietness on the combs and suitability to the locality.

The queen is an important factor in the characteristics of a colony, so colony 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.

This course is organised to help and encourage beekeepers of all abilities to improve their bees, using simple techniques without the need for specialist equipment.

Amongst the topics covered will be:

  • Setting the criteria you want in your bees.
  • How to assess your own and other people’s colonies.
  • Recording your assessments using simple methods.
  • Rearing queens from local bees to avoid relying on buying them.
  • Deciding which colonies to use queen cells from and which queens to cull.
  • Using natural queen cells the bees build.
  • Producing “Artificial” queen cells for those who want more queens.
  • Changing queens in colonies.
  • Making up mating nuclei.
  • Getting queens mated.
  • Working with other beekeepers and the local BKA.

These courses are NOT for beginners; you must be competent at handling bees (at a minimum to the equivalence of BBKA basic examination standard)

This course will help beekeepers to rear their own queens from local stock and not rely on imports.

NOTE: these are ONE day practical courses repeated eight times; you should only book for one event.

10am to 5pm with a break for lunch; note lunch is NOT provided at all events, check the ticket and bring your own packed lunch and drinks if necessary

We are looking for apiaries where we can run more courses.

If you would consider letting us use your apiary, or your association apiary, please contact

We offer financial compensation for any disruption caused