In 2022, a group of members from KBKA took part in the NIHBS (Native Irish Honey Bee Society) Queen Rearing Group Scheme. To order to protect the Native Irish Honeybee in Ireland, NIHBS initiated it’s queen rearing scheme to ensure beekeepers develop their skills in queen rearing. Grafting from pure native Irish queens ensures that the future survival of the Native Irish Honeybee (AMM) species is sustained from good genetic material and can flourish on Europe’s most westerly island.

NIHBS delivered an 8 week course via Zoom on Queen Rearing, and also provided the equipment needed to kick off the group activities for the club. Most importantly, they provided a nuc with an AMM queen bred to have the best qualities of the Native Irish Honey Bee. After the online course, the KBKA group met at the club apiary and practiced their new found skills during May, June and July. Many mistakes were made during the practicals, but we had valuable guidance from one of our members, Pat O’Halloran, who is an experienced queen rearer. Queens were bred from the NIHBS mother and distributed around the group, and nucs were made up for the apiary.

Entry criteria for the group:

  • Be a member of KBKA
  • Be a member of NIHBS
  • Members of the group to have their own bees
  • The 8-week NIHBS online course on Queen Rearing which runs from February to March is highly recommended and informative for those coming to queen rearing for the first time
  • Be enthusiastic and willing to participate in the group activities
  • Be available for group activities from April – August in the club apiary in Tralee


  • To foster friendships and encourage a social friendly supportive environment
  • To encourage participation so that you can acquire Queen rearing proficiency
  • To receive tuition from experienced NIHBS mentors who themselves are experienced in the Queen rearing cycle
  • To be part of a queen rearing group that has the correct equipment to carry out the tasks, including good quality genetic AMM queens to breed from.
  • At the end of the year students should have sufficient skills and proficiency to pass on to others and indeed become club mentors themselves.
  • Improvement in the quality of your bees in terms of docility, productivity and disease resistance

If you are interested in joining the queen rearing group for this new year, please contact us on

NIHBS Queen Rearing Group Scheme As of 01/10/21

This document from NIHBS describes in detail  the aims, objectives, operating guidelines and requirements for applicants.
Read More