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

Dromore Association visit to Galtee BBG Queen Rearing Workshop June 16th

Two poor beekeeping years ending with the longest winter most beekeepers can remember and the subsequent heavy losses of honeybee colonies is not a happy …

Read More →

Wild Honey Bee Mating Keeps Genetic Diversity Alive In The Colony

Just as it had been seen in the closed studies, genetically diverse colonies are stronger, healthier, and more likely to survive through the working season. …

Read More →

Radio Kerry interview Ruary Rudd – severe winter losses locally

link to broadcast

Read More →

Starting beekeeping – Patricia Finlay-Hanratty (spring 2009)

Inspired by my grandfather as it was passed on through my maternal genes; arm twisted by my sister, as that is what she generally does …

Read More →

Irish bees, Irish honey, slow food – Aoife Nic Giolla Coda (spring 2009)

I am not in the habit of writing articles, but when the editor asked me to write about Irish bees and Irish honey from a …

Read More →

Beekeeping 1928 – 1968 – Joan and John Aherne, An Beachaire, (march 1968)

Forty Years Ago Today we look back on more than 40 years among the bees. Indeed we must ask ourselves has beekeeping, which is really …

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