IBRA was founded in the aftermath of the Second World War, when there was a strong demand for information about bees and beekeeping that was not being met. Scientific information was difficult to search for and difficult to obtain. IBRA met this demand by publishing abstracts, journals and books. It also created a specialist library, collected a large archive of beekeeping artefacts and ran conferences. IBRA was invaluable and ahead of its time in making information easily available.