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John Dew’s Views – the Best Bee

[…]respite from imported bees during the war years, but after the war importation became possible again. Italians, Caucasians, the American Starline and Midnite hybrids, Buckfast hybrids and even Anatolians found enthusiasts for a time. In my experience in Yorkshire they were all found to be inferior to our local bees. Whilst some of the imports survived and produced honey in […]

Honey bee origins, evolution & diversity – Ashleigh Milner

[…]and semi-desert then kept the two groups separate during intervening warm periods. Thus melliferaand cerana, although originating from a common stock, evolved into distinct species. The ultimate western boundary of the cerana territory was in Afghanistan some 600 km to the East of the nearest mellifera colonies in Iran. The cerana territory comprised the Indian Subcontinent south of the great […]
Read more » Honey bee origins, evolution & diversity – Ashleigh Milner

A Native Dark Bee Project

[…]plague called Isle of Wight disease which was considered by many, including bee breeder Brother Adam, to have eradicated the native subspecies of dark European honeybee Apis mellifera mellifera from our Isles. To make up the losses imports of foreign subspecies, which had started in 1859, were increased. Since then regular imports of Apis m. carnica, A.m. ligustica and other […]

The Dark Bee Apis mellifera mellifera in the United Kingdom

[…]natural selection down to the mid 19th century produced a variety of local strains of this bee adapted to the various environments of the country. The period from 1859 to the present day has seen the importation of bees of both A.m.m. and other subspecies from many parts of Europe, including the Netherlands, France, Italy, the Balkans and Cyprus, and […]
Read more » The Dark Bee Apis mellifera mellifera in the United Kingdom

Bucks Berks & Oxon Bee Improvement (BBOBI ) – RG9

[…]beekeepers expertise in queen breeding with the long term goal of bee improvement. Breed a locally adapted dark honey bee While we realise we are unlikely to be able to introduce a near native Apis mellifera mellifera (Amm) in the short to medium term, we wish to breed local adapted dark bees of the best genetic stock and to make […]
Read more » Bucks Berks & Oxon Bee Improvement (BBOBI ) – RG9

Section 1.2 – Aims, Imports & Bee Breeding

[…]is achieved, and the system relies on further imports to maintain quality, albeit, with no local adaptation. They represent a serious biosecurity risk through the possibility of introducing new pests and diseases, or variant strains of the ones already here. The damaging effect that these imports have on our local bee populations is also of concern, reversing any development of […]

BIM 49 – Spring 2017

[…]the game. Joe Crebbin at much the same period, had a bee house beside his plant nurseries at The Braaid. The hives were kept in complete darkness except when he worked the colonies, when the shed door was left open. Herbie Quirk was a member of the Federation committee when he realised in the 1970s that varroa was invading Europe. […]

A Simple Method of Simultaneously Raising Queens and Producing Nuclei

[…]on his own beekeeping enterprise using local strains of native Irish honey bee. Eoghan currently manages over 150 colonies and rears native queens for his own use and that of local beekeepers. (Photographs by Edmond Kirwan and Jim Agnew) First published in An Beachaire (The Irish Beekeeper) The reader may groan and sigh, “not another queen-rearing method,” and I agree […]
Read more » A Simple Method of Simultaneously Raising Queens and Producing Nuclei

Honey bee conservation

In order to compensate the dramatic losses of honeybee colonies that we see globally for many years now, beekeepers try to restore their apiaries by importing colonies or queens in the hopes that those survive better than their previous bees. Such imports increase the level of introgression with local honeybee populations in which genetic variability is geographically highly structured. In […]

Bee Improvement for All” (BIFA) Days

A whole days learning how to improve your bees [column-half-1] 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 poor ones. Bee Improvement should be of interest to all beekeepers and for a number of reasons including temper, quietness on the combs and […]

Bee Improvement and Bee Breeding Groups

[…]to aid the improvement of local bees and to support the objectives of BIBBA to improve and propagate the native and near native honey bees. Benefits of Local GroupsMany beekeepers only have a small number of colonies, so they find it easier to work with others. A group will have beekeepers with different expertise that can be pooled. Even the […]

Colonsay a honey bee haven

[…]hardiness allows them to survive the harsh climate of Scotland’s west coast. Beekeeper Andrew Abrahams has campaigned for the islands to be recognised as a sanctuary for the species. He began keeping bees on Colonsay 35 years ago, but the island has an even longer tradition as a haven for the black bee. Its isolation and lack of an existing […]

East Midlands Bee Improvement Group-NG11

[…]Apis mellifera mellifera (Amm) queens of the best local genetic stock. Then making these queens available to members and ultimately to other beekeepers in the region, who wish to establish this sub species in their own apiaries.   During the Summer of 2020 the Group moved its apiary from Thrumpton to the village of Langar in the Vale of Belvoir, […]

Galtee Bee Breeding Group

[…]start and this we call our Dun Aonghusa system. The elimination of hybrids and other undesirable characteristics such as over-aggressiveness and excessive swarming was our primary objective. We have made extensive use of morphometry to identify hybrids especially in the early stages. We are extremely lucky to have as a member of our group the eminent scientist Dr. Jacob Kahn […]

Bacteria Help Honey Bee Larvae

[…]poor nutrition,sublethal effects of pesticides, and many others. While researchers have been aware for a number of years of a community of bacteria in adult bees that may aid with some of these stresses,Agricultural Research Service researchers have identified the first bacteria that offer a benefit to bee larvae. May 2015 – Contents Share Story Images Molecular biologist Vanessa Corby-Harris […]

Upper Dee Bee Improvement Group

[…]group covers a substantial area stretching from the Dee valley (Glyn Dyfrdwy) between Corwen and Bala and Westwards to Cwm Main on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park. The aim of the group is to achieve a high percentage of quality native or near-native drones in the district so that everyone in the area can let their virgins mate […]

Stiperstones & Long Mynd Area Bee Breeders – SY15

SLABB [Stiperstones & Long Mynd Area Bee Breeders] is based in mid Shropshire/adjacent Welsh Marches. Core activities centre around selective breeding from the best near-native bees and local bees showing native characteristics and behaviours, hence improving thrift, robustness and temperament. Happy to work collaboratively with individuals or other small groups in the area who share our aims. We use grafting […]
Read more » Stiperstones & Long Mynd Area Bee Breeders – SY15

Dark Bee Conservation Group – WF5

West Yorkshire group aiming to promote and improve the local bee whilst preserving the natural honey bee diversity, reduce colony losses and reduce the dependence on therapeutic and chemical treatments. contact Stuart […]

Genetic Origin & Survival

The influence of genetic origin and its interaction with environmental effects on the survival of Apis mellifera L. colonies in […]

Cornwall Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Group – TR1

[…]had attained a “Varroa Kill Factor” in the high 90%s in his Carniolan bees even before varroa arrived in the UK. We have found the Cornish bee, with high A.m.m. genetic content, to be the best at the job and encourage our members to breed from the dark bee and examine them for damage to varroa, decapping and recapping and […]
Read more » Cornwall Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Group – TR1

Margaret Murdin “Bee Genetics Explained” – “Understanding the Queen”

[…]a member of the Ormskirk and Croston Branch of the Lancashire Association. She is a member of BIBBA and keeps bees that are well adapted to the local area. She currently has 20 colonies across 3 apiaries and is interested in the bees themselves rather than the production of honey. Margaret is a Master Beekeeper and holds the National Diploma […]
Read more » Margaret Murdin “Bee Genetics Explained” – “Understanding the Queen”

What is the ‘British Black’ bee?

[…]is a local name for the honey bee sub-species Apis mellifera mellifera (Amm) that is native to the British Isles. There are about 28 different sub-species of the western honey bee, Apis mellifera, originally distributed through Europe, the Near East and Africa. In the British Isles and Northern Europe, from France to the Urals, the native sub-species is commonly known […]
Read more » A Simple Method of Simultaneously Raising Queens and Producing Nuclei

A Simple Method of Simultaneously Raising Queens and Producing Nuclei

[…]on his own beekeeping enterprise using local strains of native Irish honey bee. Eoghan currently manages over 150 colonies and rears native queens for his own use and that of local beekeepers. (Photographs by Edmond Kirwan and Jim Agnew) First published in An Beachaire (The Irish Beekeeper) The reader may groan and sigh, “not another queen-rearing method,” and I agree […]
Read more » A Simple Method of Simultaneously Raising Queens and Producing Nuclei

Improving bees by raising your own queens

[…]is it aimed at? This course is aimed at beekeepers who: - Have several colonies. Are involved in a bee improvement group or are considering starting one. BKA teachers, demonstrators and apiary managers. It will suit those who want to raise good quality queens in batches of 6 or more by using "artificial" methods in controlled conditions. The techniques demonstrated […]

John Dew’s Views – the Best Bee

[…]respite from imported bees during the war years, but after the war importation became possible again. Italians, Caucasians, the American Starline and Midnite hybrids, Buckfast hybrids and even Anatolians found enthusiasts for a time. In my experience in Yorkshire they were all found to be inferior to our local bees. Whilst some of the imports survived and produced honey in […]

Honey bee origins, evolution & diversity – Ashleigh Milner

[…]and semi-desert then kept the two groups separate during intervening warm periods. Thus melliferaand cerana, although originating from a common stock, evolved into distinct species. The ultimate western boundary of the cerana territory was in Afghanistan some 600 km to the East of the nearest mellifera colonies in Iran. The cerana territory comprised the Indian Subcontinent south of the great […]
Read more » Honey bee origins, evolution & diversity – Ashleigh Milner

November 2022 BIBBA Monthly

[…]father until Colm took over the beekeeping operation in his early 20s. With his wife Imelda he manages 60 honey production colonies and supporting nuclei, producing honey, native queens, drones and worker bees. They use only Amm bees for local adaption, ease of management and rapid Spring build-up. Both have full-time jobs, working the bees the weekends and queen rearing […]

NatBIP – May 2020

[…]a document outlining its proposal for a national bee improvement programme. This document is available to be viewed on the BIBBA website. It was written with a view to informing other beekeeping associations of our plans and inviting them to contribute to the finer details of the programme. The aims of the programme are twofold; to improve the quality of […]

BIM 49 – Spring 2017

[…]the game. Joe Crebbin at much the same period, had a bee house beside his plant nurseries at The Braaid. The hives were kept in complete darkness except when he worked the colonies, when the shed door was left open. Herbie Quirk was a member of the Federation committee when he realised in the 1970s that varroa was invading Europe. […]