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Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Association

The inaugural meeting of the Village Bee Breeders Association (VBBA) was held at Leadenham, Lincolnshire, with a small number (6) of beekeepers on Saturday July 27th 1963. There have been a couple of name changes since then, firstly to British Isles Bee Breeders Association (BIBBA), then to the current Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Association, but using the same acronym. The current purpose is exactly the same as it was in 1963 - ".....for the conservation, restoration, study, selection and improvement of the native and near-native honey bees of Britain and Ireland."

Over the years, there have been many changes to beekeeping and life in general, but BIBBA has always stayed loyal to the intentions of the founders. Words and terms such as "sustainable" and "locally adapted" have become fashionable since, but having known some of the founders, they were pioneers of these concepts, and I don't think they would be uncomfortable with their use today. If you read back through old VBBA/BIBBA literature there is very little different from what BIBBA means today.

BIBBA is a registered charity that educates all levels of beekeepers in several ways, including publications, webinars, courses, videos, etc, all with sound information on bee improvement, queen rearing, breeding and general beekeeping. There are no salaried staff, all work being performed by volunteers.

BIBBA has traditionally encouraged beekeepers to keep locally adapted bees, which, by the nature of our local conditions will be variable. In areas where there is a high density and purity of Amm bees, beekeepers are discouraged from importing exotic types from outside, otherwise it mongrelises the local gene pool, yet in areas where there are no pure Amm bees, beekeepers are encouraged to improve their local stocks by only raising queens from the best stocks and not using recently imported queens.

Dave Cushman was a BIBBA trustee and enthusiastically supported our native bees. I have been a BIBBA trustee for many years, where I have been the lead trustee on Education and Training. In 2021 I was honoured to have been elected President.

The buttons on the left link to a small number of bee improvement pages and the BIBBA website.

Roger Patterson.

Page created 08/12/2014

Page updated 27/11/2022