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?

Setting up a conservation area for our Native Honey Bees is a crucial step towards preserving their population and ensuring their survival for generations to come. We hope you will 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.

  •  NIHBS Conservation Areas are areas of land, gardens or wild spaces where there is an agreement not to place hives, or allow colonies of, non-native honey bees. 
  • NIHBS Conservation Areas are designed to be “safe havens” for our localised native honey bees (Amm). As more of these CA’s are set up, essential “Corridors of Conservation” are being created throughout the island of Ireland. 
  • These corridors will provide safe spaces for local bees and for effective native honey bee queen rearing and help to prevent further hybridisation and disease brought about through the importation of non-native honey bees. 
  • We currently have nearly 140 of these NIHBS Conservation Areas across the whole island.
  •  Any interested Person or Organisation can volunteer to create a NIHBS Conservation Area (CA). You may already keep or look after native Irish honey bees but there is no requirement to actually have honey bees, be a member of a Beekeepers Association, or have an Apiary.
  • You can learn more about the efforts of some of our NIHBS CA’s by reading Bio’s listed on,, Whatwedo/Conservation/Bios 

Drop our Conservation Area Officer an email by clicking the “Find Out More” Button on your right. Tell us a little about the proposed location and layout of the CA, Eircode/Postcode and any other information you think relevant for NIHBS to consider. 

Latest NIHBS News

And Winner Is…..

🌼🐝 We have exciting news to share! 🌼🐝 The results are in for the Native Irish Honey Bee Photographic Competition, and we are thrilled to …

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Louth Beekeepers Assoc. Open Day, Sunday 9th July 2023

Event: Louth Beekeepers Association queen-rearing open day, in conjunction with NIHBS, the Native Irish Honey Bee Society Date & Time: 9th July 2023, 14:00-16:00 (2pm-4pm) Location: …

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Connemara Open Day, Sunday 25th June 2023

Honey Bee Improvement and Queen Rearing Open day (Can you spare a jar of honey to bring on the day) The Native Irish Honey Bee …

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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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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.

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