NIHBS, and many of its members, receive requests for the supply of Apis mellifera mellifera queens from individuals, commercial organisations, conservation groups, and researchers in mainland Europe. This is understandable as Ireland has one of the purest remaining populations of Amm.
Unfortunately, NIHBS is not currently in a position to facilitate these requests for the following reasons:-
- NIHBS has a longstanding policy against the importation of bees and queens from other jurisdictions
- We cannot encourage exports, as doing so would create the same threats to the local bee population in those other jurisdictions, as our own bees face from imports
- Instead, we encourage others, who share our aims, to source Amm as locally as possible, obtaining the benefits of local adaptation and reducing the risk of introducing novel pests and pathogens
- NIHBS is a member organisation and as such is not in a position to supply queens directly
- The position with regard to beekeeping in the Republic of Ireland makes it extremely difficult to obtain the bee health certificates, required for exports, in a timely fashion
- In Northern Ireland Brexit has made matters much more problematic.
NIHBS may review its position in the future if it becomes feasible to create links with like-minded organisations through the academic bee science and research community, but we cannot promote the export of queens to individuals or commercial organisations outside the island of Ireland, for use other than in the field of research.
Thank you for your understanding in this matter.
The Native Irish Honey Bee Society, September 2023