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.

Latest NIHBS News

Native Honey Bee Alive and Buzzing

“Do you know that we have our own native honey bee here in Ireland? There was once the popularised misconception in the early to mid …

Read More →

Viruses and Queen Failure – Micheál C. Mac Giolla Coda (summer 2009)

I must assume that one of the main reasons for my colony losses must be queen failure, and the reason for this is another six-marker. …

Read More →

Annual COLOSS survey

This annual COLOSS Survey is a key task in the National Apiculture Programme and is part of an international survey on monitoring winter colony losses …

Read More →

Bee import plan could have a sting in the tail

They say a plan by English businessman Patrick Murfet to next month use Northern Ireland as a staging post in his bid to import up …

Read More →

Statement Against Importing Bees into Ireland

Statement Against Importing Bees into Ireland, from The Native Irish Honey Bee Society (NIHBS), supported by IBA, FIBKA, UBKA & INIB, All the major bee …

Read More →

Statement regarding potential honeybee imports into Ireland

The Statement below from NIHBS is also supported by IBA, UBKA and INIB. These organisations cover a substantial number of beekeepers in Ireland. IBA – …

Read More →


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