Native Irish Honey Bee Society – Apis mellifera mellifera

Native Irish Honey Bee Society
Apis mellifera mellifera


The Native Irish Honey Bee

The Native Irish Honey Bee, Apis mellifera mellifera book

We are very proud of the launch of our latest publication, the brainchild of a few but the product of many — in the spirit of the “Meitheal,” i.e., the ancient Irish system of working for and with each other. As in olden days, the Meitheal is alive and well here. It is the way of the bees: as the bees work collectively, so did we. Sincere thanks to all of the volunteer beekeepers and scientists who contributed to this creation. 

“The Native Irish Honey Bee, Apis mellifera mellifera” focuses 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.




The book is informative and practical, and is divided into 5 sections:

  1. The Native Irish Honey Beeis described in great detail, for example the first chapter defines Apis mellifera mellifera and includes scientific investigation and analysis.
  1. Conservation is what we are all about, and the need has never been greater. This section covers those aspects of our work.
  1. Bee Improvement & Queen Rearing is one of the practical ways we work with the native honey bee.
  1. Four Corners features personal histories and experiences from North, South, East and West.
  1. The Past, Present & The Future looks back at where we were, where we are now and where we might be in the future.


Chapters include:

FOREWORD by Professor Thomas Seeley


  • “What is the Native Irish Honey Bee?” by Tom Hayden
  • “Honey Bee Genetics” by Helen Mooney
  • “Morphometry: A Tool for the Conservation of Honeybee Diversity” by Emma Williams
  • “A significant pure population of the dark European honey bee (Apis mellifera mellifera) remains in Ireland by Jack Hassett, et al.
  • “The right bees for the job” by Tom Hayden



  • “Conservation of the Irish Native Honey Bee” by Bernadette Ferguson & Tom Hayden
  • “Rewilding the Irish Honey Bee” by Micheál C. Mac Giolla Coda
  • “Wild Apis mellifera mellifera in Ireland” by Grace McCormack
  • “Bees and the Environment” by Willie O’Byrne



  • “The Queen and the Drone” by Aoife Nic Giolla Coda
  • “Setting up a queen rearing group” by Jonathan Getty
  • “How to improve your local bees” by Michael Maunsell
  • “Queen Rearing” by Tom Prendergast
  • “Queen Rearing using a cell box” by Colm ÓNéill
  • “Jenter Kit & Cloake Board System” by Jane Sellers
  • “Apideas” by Jane Sellers
  • “How Do I Know if my Hive is Queenless?” by Jonathan Getty
  • “Queen Introduction” by Jane Sellers
  • “Nucs” by Irene Power



  • “Connaught: Native Black Bees of the West” by Gerard Coyne and Mayo BKA: NIHBS Summer Workshop 2019″ by Mary Keenan
  • “Leinster: Leinster Queen Breeding Groups” by Loretta Neary
  • “Munster: The Galtee Bee Breeding Group and The Dún Aonghasa System” by Micheál Mac Giolla Coda
  • “Ulster” by Jonathan Getty



  • “The Way it Was: Bees in Ireland” by Jim Ryan
  • “Eoghan’s Way: Honey Production in the Native Irish Honey Bee” by Eoghan Mac Giolla Coda
  • “Redmond’s Way: Preparing for the Season Ahead” by Redmond Williams
  • “Tanguy’s Way: Ten Commandments for Rewilding Apis mellifera mellifera with a Warré Hive” by Tanguy de Toulgoët
  • “The Way of the Future: Bees and Climate Change” by Mary Montaut


The book is 300+ pages long, has a softcover and weighs approx. 680g.

The price is €25 or €20 for NIHBS members.

Additional information

Weight 0.68 kg


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Rewatch the NIHBS Book Launch Below

Please see Professor Tom Seeley’s books listed below:-

  1. Seeley, T.D.  1985.  Honeybee Ecology.  Princeton University Press.
  2. Seeley, T.D.  1995.  The Wisdom of the Hive.  Harvard University Press.
  3. Seeley, T.D.  2010.  Honeybee Democracy.  Princeton University Press.
  4. Seeley, T.D.  2016.  Following the Wild Bees.  Princeton University Press.
  5. Seeley, T.D.  2019.  The Lives of Bees.  Princeton University Press.

The best way to buy them is via Amazon but they are also available from Princeton University Press and Harvard University Press. Sometimes used copies are available online for less than a new one.