Native Irish Honey Bee Society – Apis mellifera mellifera

Native Irish Honey Bee Society
Apis mellifera mellifera

Native Irish Honey Bee Society

Available to Purchase Below

“The Native Irish Honey Bee, Apis mellifera melliferafocuses exclusively on the native Irish honey bee, featuring narratives on its evolution, genetics, history and conservation, with practical “How-to” sections on bee improvement, plus real-life stories from commercial beekeepers. Its aims are to increase awareness of and appreciation for the precious resources imbued in the native black honey bee, to encourage beekeepers to choose native Irish honey bees and to discourage the buying and importation of non-native honey bees.

Interested in setting up a NIHBS Conservation Area?

We believe that setting up a conservation area for these precious creatures is a crucial step towards preserving their population and ensuring their survival for generations to come. We invite you to consider joining us in this important mission by learning more about the Native Irish Black Bee and the steps you can take to help protect them.

Contact our Conservation Officer now to discuss how to begin.

Latest NIHBS News

Honey Bee Improvement and Queen Rearing Day Sunday 11th June 2023 

Colm O’Neill’s Honey Bee Improvement and Queen Rearing Day Sunday 11th June 2023 @ 14.00 pm The Native Irish Honey Bee Society Naas Open Day, Sunday …

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 Rally to Restore Nature Wednesday, May 31st

Rally to Restore Nature which will occur outside Dáil Éireann on Kildare Street in Dublin on Wednesday this week May 31st between 12.30-13.30. We hope that …

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Bee Improvement & Queen Rearing workshops for 2023

Confirmed dates for Bee Improvement & Queen Rearing workshops for 2023Sunday 28th May – Tullamore 14.00Sunday 11th June – Naas 14.00Sunday 25th June – Galway (Sean Osborne)Sunday 9th July …

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Tá an t-iarchraoltóir in RTÉ, an t-iriseoir Seán Ó Tuairisg, tar éis bháis.

Tá an t-iarchraoltóir in RTÉ, an t-iriseoir Seán Ó Tuairisg, tar éis bháis. Bhí sé 78 bliain d’aois. B’as an Lochán Beag, Indreabhán, i gCois …

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Photographic Competition

On World Bee Day we will be celebrating all the Pollinators but we have a favourite of our own, ‘Please make sure your photos are …

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NATIVES (2023) – Trailer

Granite Town Film Project brings you NATIVES – an independent documentary which lifts the lid on Scotland’s native honey bee, Apis mellifera mellifera, that is at serious risk of disappearing by being genetically swamped by cross-breeding with the non-native types now found across the country, rather like our native wildcat.

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NIHBS Conference 2023

Join us at the Tullamore Court Hotel on Friday, March 10th and Saturday, March 11th for the Native Irish Honeybee Society Conference. This exciting event will feature presentations and discussions on the latest research, techniques, and challenges facing beekeepers and honeybee conservation in Ireland.

Nominations are needed for The Sam Millar Award open for all members who support NIHBS and the Native Irish Honey Bee

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn from experts in the field, network with fellow beekeepers, and explore the latest products and services available to support the honeybee industry.

Don’t miss out on this important event – purchase your tickets today! Tickets can be purchased online by using the button below. We look forward to seeing you at the conference 2023!

ONLINE Booking for the conference will stop on Thursday night at midnight


The Native Irish Honey Bee Society was established to promote the conservation of Apis mellifera mellifera throughout the island of Ireland. The Society strives to raise public awareness of our native honey bee and its importance, and acts in an advisory capacity to groups and individuals wishing to promote and preserve it.

What Our Native Honey Bee Looks Like

Apis mellifera mellifera (aka European dark bee) can be distinguished from other subspecies by its stocky body, overall dark coloration, plus abundant thoracic and sparse abdominal hair, which is brown. There can be heavy dark pigmentation of the wings. Overall, when viewed from a distance, these bees should appear blackish or rich dark brown.

Bee Improvement

As part of our conservation mission, NIHBS advocates that Irish beekeepers buy native bees. To that end, NIHBS is affiliated with multiple bee breeding groups located around the country. Find out more about them by clicking the button below.

Join NIHBS Today