National Bee Improvement Programme (NatBIP)

BIBBA is launching NatBIP to encourage all beekeepers to produce hardy, docile and productive bees suited to their local environment.

For over 100 years there have been significant importations of honey bees and queens into the U.K. The reasons have varied from the “Isle of Wight Disease” and hard winters, such as 1962/63, to management reasons to suit beekeepers.

There is increasing concern by beekeepers, both new and experienced, to continual importations, which is backed by scientific evidence. These concerns include, but are not limited to:-

  • Bee health. Possible introduction of pests, diseases and pathogens.
  • Unsuitability to the locality. Possibly contributing to increased colony losses.
  • Drones interbreeding with existing queens. Weakening the quality of local stock.

A series of FREE webinars have been planned in a logical progression to explain NatBIP, experience of importations, scientific evidence, teaching beekeepers and how beekeeping associations can help improve our population of bees for the benefit of everyone.

The provisional programme of webinars for NatBIP, all Tuesdays at 7.30pm is:-

  1. 22nd Sept       “The National Bee Improvement Programme – Outline”         Jo Widdicombe
  2. 29th Sept        “More details of the NatBIP and Participation”                        Jo Widdicombe
  3. 6th Oct            “Global pandemics, bee imports and native bees”                  Norman Carreck
  4. 13th Oct          “My 50 years experiences of imported bees affecting local stock”  Peter Jenkins
  5. 20th Oct          “Resilient Honeybees”                                                                 Grace McCormack
  6. 27th Oct          “Where we are, how we got here and how we can move on…….”  Roger Patterson
  7. 3rd Nov           “Some Fresh Ideas for Teaching and Learning”                        Roger Patterson
  8. 10th Nov         “Bees and queens for everyone”                                                 Roger Patterson
  9. 17th Nov         “Answering Your Questions”                                                       All Speakers

NatBIP provides us with the first ever chance to choose to be self-sufficient with our beekeeping, reducing the need for increasing importations that many beekeepers feel are harming our own honey bees.  It is hoped that as many beekeepers, groups and associations as possible will attend these webinars. Please publicise widely, as this important programme is appropriate to beekeepers, teachers and BKA officials.

For more details, please see the BIBBA  website.