Native Irish Honey Bee Society – Apis mellifera mellifera

Native Irish Honey Bee Society
Apis mellifera mellifera

Native Irish Honey Bee Society

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“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

Belfast queen rearing group

Belfast queen rearing group meets again this Monday evening at 7.00pm at the Minnowburn apiary. There will be a demonstration of how to set up …

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Dromore queen rearing group – some photos

Dromore queen rearing group is meeting every Saturday morning at Tullyhenan apiary near Banbridge. The first meeting of the season was held yesterday, Saturday 8th …

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Nosema Workshop Galway

Advance Science, the producers of HiveAliveTM, in partnership with the National University of Ireland Galway, is organising an evening workshop entitled “Nosema Workshop: Identifying your …

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Dromore Beekeepers Queen rearing day

Dromore beekeepers held a successful queen rearing and grafting demonstration on 1st June. The Dromore Association apiary works with native bee stock. William Blakeley and …

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Preparing for winter – Micheal C. Mac Giolla Coda (winter 2008)

Muna mbíonn sí tirim, is fliuch is fearr í If it is not dry, it is better wet Wintry Weather As I write this message …

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An Unusual October Observation – Eoghan Mac Giolla Coda (winter 2008)

On October 14th, I was scheduled to remove Bayvarol strips from one of my apiaries.  The day was reasonably mild for the time of year …

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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.

Join NIHBS Today