Strategy Statement

BIBBA supports and promotes the sustainable conservation, restoration, study, selection, and improvement of honey bees that are native to the British Isles and Ireland (often referred to as the European Dark Bee or Apis mellifera mellifera).

It supports:

  • The restoration, study, selection and improvement of both the native honey bee (Apis mellifera mellifera) and the near-native honey bee;
  • Breeding and queen rearing programmes to support native and near-native bees;
  • Voluntary Conservation Areas for native bees;
  • Sustainable beekeeping management practices, including disease resilience;
  • Breeding and rearing of locally adapted bees as a stepping-stone towards the restoration of native and near-native bees; and
  • Scientific research on issues relevant to native and near-native bees.

For all beekeepers and the general public, it does this by:

  • Providing information on all aspects of native, near-native and locally adapted bees;
  • Designing and delivering education and training programmes for beekeepers of different experience levels;
  • Developing and supporting initiatives to increase the availability 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 practices that work against native, near-native and locally adapted honey bees,
  • Working with other beekeeping organisations, conservation organisations, and others (including commercial organisations) both within both the British Isles and Ireland and internationally;
  • Opposing the importation of queens and package bees from outside the British Isles and Ireland.

For its Members, it does this by:

  • Providing practical and technical advice on native, near-native, locally adapted bees, and sustainable beekeeping;
  • Specialist education and training courses;
  • Holding events, including seminars and conferences;
  • National and Regional Networks. These will develop contacts between Members, provide information and resources, hold events, support Local Groups, and liaise and assist local Beekeeping Associations:
    • National networks in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland will provide information, resources and events relevant to each national area. They will also work in partnership with other organisations with similar aims to BIBBA.
    • Regional Networks in England (based on a County area or groups of County areas) will also provide information, resources and events relevant to each area. They will also work in partnership with other organisations with similar aims to BIBBA; and
  • Establishing and developing Local Groups of BIBBA Members and Supporters who are looking to breed bees and rear queens and/or want local opportunities for training and support;
  • Establish a Mentoring Scheme for Members who would like support on issues and activities relating to native or near-native bees and sustainable beekeeping management practices; and
  • Establishing specialist Groups of Members who have particular interests in relation to native or near-native bees.


Adopted by the Committee of Trustees – 23rd August 2021