Bee Improvement & Bee Breeders Association

BIBBA is dedicated to sustainable beekeeping through bee breeding and education. We are affiliated with our good friends in the UK at

While the British BIBBA main mission is to restore the Apis Mellifera Mellifera (the legendary Black Bee of the Isles) through selective breeding, our focus is slightly different.  We are forever grateful for the warm reception and insights of working with their team. We agree on most things Apis, but we do not have a restoration project, such as the black bee. Rather, we have a survival problem. Our complex bee industry, our vast array of environments, and our maxed-out production of queens have depleted the overall genetics of available choices for entry-level people..We can only address the issues facing the Hudson Valley of New York, as it where we do our work and maintain our hives.  The principles of bee improvement have never been more needed, and we strive to share this sustainable methodology of successful management through selection and nutrition. We are the kid brother to the larger and more advanced British BIBBA. Hudson Valley Bee Improvement.  HVHIVES club which meets the third Monday of each month at the Olive Free Public Library in West Shokan, is an excellent club run by Rob Overton.




May 9th and 10th Queen Rearing Intensive is sold out.

Sign up for other classes here






We salute those of you who have heard an inner calling to participate and take on the stewardship of this magnificent creation. Beginning beekeepers have a challenge ahead of them, and in these challenging times for our environment, bees too, are challenged. Beginners are advised to read our statement on purchasing bees here. You are not alone but your preliminary decisions can have undesirable consequences. We recommend buying local bees from local beekeepers through our club, or from people who have a track record and have been inspected.



We believe much of Bee Improvement is done through educating beginners and the general public. Understanding the biology and nature of the bees will help you establish the best for your management strategy. We salute our friends practicing classic beekeeping and those who are taking a treatment-free path. From our perspective, we believe resiliency is the best hope for the future of beekeeping. Building resilient bees requires mastery of breeding, nutrition, and the environment. We encourage you to educate yourself and prove things out.  Check out for most answers. Thanks to RP for managing that incredible site. We are all about the bees. They come first in everything we do. We hope to spread this attitude fearlessly through the valley. When you make beekeeping fun because you educated yourself and became self-sufficient, you make the world a much better place as well as making your bees happy.


Our research in management, nutrition, hive styles, Bee breeding, and beecology, are cutting edge. As we experiment, discover, and prove better ways to manage the apiary we will share our findings, with others who are like-minded. We do field testing for products we believe in, as well as testing of stock lines for interfacing with our survivor lineages. We don’t lose many bees. The average in NYS is 45% mortality. We had taken our lumps as well. For 9 years running, we are at less than 10%, with one year at 16%. That’s way more than we like, but it’s clearly better than the rest. Self-sufficiency is the key, we don’t have to have any doings with the outside world, and our bees are better for it.


NYS has three inspectors and they are overworked and underpaid. They are involved with migratory beekeepers and those who sell bees. Since we do not have a local inspector, from time to time, someone might need a hand, and we make ourselves available. Keeping bees is a privilege. We hope to make our area as healthy as possible. Ignorance of the more severe diseases is inexcusable and a public hazard. We have some great links to videos on that subject matter. We are hoping to train some of our excellent local beekeepers in becoming inspectors very soon. Folks the Planet needs volunteers not just survivors. Step up and help others.


Tom and Rob will have both available for 2022 and will start taking orders soon.


Young Beehavers are strongly encouraged to spend a day in our apiaries taking the boot camp classes. A full day in the apiary working with a professional apiculturist. An invaluable experience, hands-on, and eye-opening  You will be far more confident and knowledgable after the class.


      this is what bee improvement looks like