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

Radio Kerry interview Ruary Rudd – severe winter losses locally

link to broadcast

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Case for the Establishment within Ireland of a Reservation Area for the Conservation of the Dark European Honeybee (Apis mellifera mellifera) – Micheál C. Mac Giolla Coda (spring 2009)

1. The dark European honeybee is the original native honeybee of North Western Europe, including the islands of Great Britain and Ireland. 2. This bee …

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All-Ireland Approach to Beekeeping – Micheál C. Mac Giolla Coda – spring 2009

A panel was convened to discuss the possibility of adopting an all-Ireland approach to beekeeping, with particular reference to the formation of a conservation area …

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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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