BIBBA's Short And Long Term Objectives
What is BIBBA for?
Improving BIBBA's effectiveness
For BIBBA to be effective, both the organization and its members must be clear what it is
trying to achieve. Doing the right things is far more important than doing a lot of things.
We need a sharp focus. Therefore all BIBBA's activities should be regularly reviewed to
ensure that each one continues to make a positive contribution to the achievement of
the ultimate objective.
The Central Committee has set down a statement of BIBBA's long term objective. This statement
is still consistent with the original objective of our predecessor, the Village Bee Breeders'
Association, which was set up 43 years ago. But it attempts to bring our objective into
sharper focus in today's circumstances.
Of course, having a clear objective is not enough. We need to agree about what we are going
to do to achieve it. Again, to this end the Central Committee has decided on a strategy to
cover intended activities in the 5 year period from 2007 until 2011. Within each sub-heading
of the strategy, we will develop detailed plans to focus accurately our efforts.
The following is a shortened version of both BIBBA's objective and its 5-year strategy.
Publishing it is intended to ensure that there is no ambiguity about our purpose and that
all members and prospective members are aware of both the ultimate goal and the means that
we intend to use to move towards it.
BIBBA's Long Term Objective
The long-term objective of BIBBA is to conserve, improve and (where absent) reintroduce the
Native or Near Native bee in order to restore it as the bee of choice for at least 10% of
beekeepers in United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.
We define the Native bee as the honeybee that has evolved within Britain and Ireland and that
belongs to the sub-species Apis mellifera mellifera. In Near Native bees we accept a maximum
level of 10% genetic introgression from other sub-species, provided they conform to our
morphometric standards and we will work towards a maximum of 5% introgression in future.
We note that there is potential conflict between conservation on the one hand and improvement
on the other. Conservation implies the maintenance of as much genetic variation as possible so
that the Native or Near Native bee can remain as adaptable in future as it has shown itself to
be capable of in the past. Improvement, or selective breeding, unambiguously means reducing
genetic variation. Therefore BIBBA will manage these two activities so as to conserve as many
unrelated populations as possible while using them to avoid inbreeding in improved strains.
Strategy of BIBBA in the period 2007 - 2011
Our strategy is to identify existing populations of Native or Near Native bees and coordinate
Groups (the BIBBA Groups) of beekeepers in both conservation of these populations, and breeding
and propagating selected stock derived from them. Through education, support and coordination
we will increasingly ensure that good quality livestock is made available from the Groups to
beekeepers who want it.
BIBBA will remain a not-for-profit charity that will attempt to break even in any period of 3 consecutive years.
We will work towards our long-term objective in a series of 5-year plans. Each 5 year plan will
highlight the key results required from the plan. Progress towards achieving these results
will be reviewed annually.
In the first 5-year plan we intend to carry out the following actions:
Define and maintain standards and protocols that ensure the bees are fully representative
of the sub-species and that all our activities are carried out at a high level of proficiency.
Identify as many as possible of those populations of Native or Near Native bees in the UK and RoI.
Identify and encourage Groups of beekeepers that espouse BIBBA's objective; educate, support
and coordinate those Groups that commit to conservation and/or breeding according to BIBBA's
protocols and standards- i.e. the BIBBA Groups. In particular, ensure that the BIBBA standards
of queen rearing are effectively disseminated, understood and practised.
Devise a conservation/breeding programme to:
maintain the genetic make-up of those populations of Native or Near Native bees that have
the potential to be kept relatively pure.
improve the value of Native or Near Native bees, together with a propagation programme to
make the selected genetic material increasingly available to all beekeepers that seek it.
Through the BIBBA Groups, maintain the quality of Native or Near Native mated queens.
Promote, amongst beekeepers generally, the merits of Native or Near Native bees.
Develop the market for Native or Near Native bees in the UK and RoI.
Promote BIBBA so as to increase our membership.
Find sponsorship to support our programme.
Agree what plans need to be drawn up and then create an organisation that can deliver
each element of the strategy in an efficient manner.
During the year 2011, review our progress and make a new 5-year plan for the period
to 2012 to 2016.