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The Native Irish Honey Bee

Genetic Resource Grant Aid Scheme

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine both participates in and coordinates measures to conserve genetic resources for food and agriculture in Ireland. This includes conservation, promotion and research into, indigenous varieties of plants and native livestock breeds.  A number of organisations, both public and private, representing a large cross section of the Genetic Resources community in Ireland have benefited from funding via the Department's grant aid scheme. See below for details of projects supported in previous years through the Genetic Resources Grant Aid Scheme for the native Irish honeybee. 


Project Title

Organisation Involved


Enhancement and protection of native Irish breeding stock of Apis mellifera mellifera with Varroa tolerance

Native Irish Honey Bee Society


Towards a Management Strategy for Apis mellifera mellifera in Ireland

National University of Ireland, Galway


Preliminary examination of Native Irish Honeybees (Apis mellifera mellifera) using Mitochondrial DNA analysis for the establishment of conservation areas for the protection of the species

Native Irish Honey Bee Society


Promotion of and education in the conservation of the native Irish Honey Bee (Apis mellifera mellifera)

Native Irish Honey Bee Society


Identification, evaluation and conservation of native honeybee (Irish Strains of Dark European Honeybee)

Co. Offaly Bee Breeding Group


Conservation, Study and Improvement of Dark European Honeybee

Galtee Bee Breeding Group

Research on The Native Irish Honey Bee

Information published by the Beekeeping Research Centre at Clonroache , Co. Wexford in An Beachaire in 1978 and highlighted in The Four Seasons (summer 2018), available here, indicates the use of ‘Irish bred black bees’.

Research published in 2018 concludes:  A significant pure population of the dark European honey bee (Apis mellifera mellifera) remains in Ireland.

The Native Irish Honey Bee Society

The Native Irish Honey Bee Society has been established to promote its conservation throughout the island of Ireland. The society also hopes to raise public awareness of this honey bee and its importance in Ireland. It also acts in an advisory capacity to groups and individuals who wish to promote the native honey bee.