BBKA News Feed

  1.                                         Did you know that the British Army is providing much-needed homes for several species of bees, some of which are Britain's most endangered native species?  This week as part of Bees Needs Week, an annual event coordinated by the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), we highlight some of the work being done across the Defence estate by Army and civilian personnel to create bee-friendly environments to help ensure the pollinators are protected for the future. Bee nests or hotels as they are often referred to, can be found on sites across the Defence Estate including Donnington, Bicester, West Moors, Gosport and Abbey Wood with more planned. Made of different sized hollow tubes, a bee hotel is a great way to help solitary bees, including Red Mason bees, by providing much needed shelter. A bee will live there...
  2.   The following members of staff are based at the Stoneleigh Office.     Leigh Sidaway General Manager also General Secretary gen.manager@bbka.org.uk   Sarah Snelson Deputy Manager and Examinations Officer also Correspondence Course Manager sarah.snelson@bbka.org.uk   Liz Leddy Officer Administrator  liz.leddy@bbka.org.uk Erica Challis Website & Fundraising Administrator erica.challis@bbka.org.uk   Sarah Laidler Management Accountant sarah.laidler@bbka.org.uk Michelle Walsh Finance Administrator & Membership Secretary michelle.walsh@bbka.org.uk Debbie Lee Accounts Assistant and Purchase Ledge Clerk debbie.lee@bbka.org.uk       Diane Roberts Press Officer diane.roberts@bbka.org.uk 07841 625797   Please contact our Press...
  3. The 2021 National Honey Show takes place at Sandown Park Racecourse, Esher, Surrey, KT10 9AJ  on 21st - 23rd October. This year there are a number of new junior classes including some photo, essay and artwork classes. A full schedule of classes can be found using the following link:- https://www.honeyshow.co.uk/files/2021/Full-Schedule-of-Classes-Guidance-Rules.pdf The junior classes start on page 29 of this document and all the new classes are marked with a black triangle.
  4. Bees Needs Week:    12th - 18th July 2021 The BBKA will be sharing our favourite beekeeping moments on our social media: sharing our members photos of their beekeeping and our most popular stories from the last 12 months. Follow us on social media. These are the five simple actions you can take to help pollinators and make sure their populations are sustained: Grow more flowers, shrubs and trees Let your garden grow wild Cut your grass less often Don’t disturb insect nest and hibernation spots Think carefully about whether to use pesticides Our patron, Jimmy Doherty, sent this message in support of Bees Needs Week: YouTube Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61X1Hpr4S-c ARMY HAS A NEW HIVE OF ACTIVITY Did you know that the British Army is providing much-needed homes for several species of bees, some of which are Britain's most endangered native species? This week as part of Bees Needs Week, an annual event coordinated by the Department of Environm...
  5. The Veterinary Medicine Directorate’s (VMD) have become aware of a number of unauthorised veterinary medicines/treatments being advertised and sold for a variety of honey bee issues including:- Varroa, Nosema disease (nosemosis) and Tracheal mites (acarapisosis). We advise members to always use authorised products and also to submit a complaint if they see unauthorised veterinary medicine or products being advertised: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/report-an-animal-product-being-marketed-as-a-medicine   There is a list of all the current UK authorised products for bees on the VMD’s product database. Click search at the bottom of the page, select ‘Bees’ in ‘Species’ and then click ‘Run Search’. More detailed guidance on both how to report suspected illegal activity and how the VMD will deal with these reports can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/report-illegal-animal-medicines
  6. Article by Tim Lovett, BBKA Past President, published in the June edition of BBKA News. Professor Ian Gibson PhD, 1938–2021 The MP who served beekeeping so well By Tim Lovett, BBKA Past President Ian Gibson passed away on Friday 9 April 2021 after a short illness. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the BBKA in 2010 in recognition of his seminal active support and encouragement to the BBKA in a period of great importance for bees and beekeeping. Indeed, he played no small role in putting beekeeping front and centre at Westminster and the country at large, and as a result, was hugely helpful in engaging with the public in getting key messages over to them. The corporate memory of the BBKA may have a number of lacunae, so it is worth revisiting Ian’s involvement and contribution. Ian Gibson graduated and obtained his PhD at Edinburgh University. A geneticist, he did post-doctoral research at Universities of Indiana and Washington before returning to the UK as a lect...
  7. What bee is this? In summer we get many calls and questions from people with bees in their buildings, outbuildings and bird boxes. Often these turn out to be bumblebees. Step 1 - Identification As well as honeybees there are around 24 species of bumblebee and over 240 species of solitary bee in the UK. To find out what type of bees you have please see the pictures below. Honeybees There can be variation in the colour of the main body or abdomen of honeybees, from honey coloured Italian bees to very dark native Black honeybees but all will form a distinctive cluster when they have settled as a swarm. Honeybees have large hairy eyes, a furry chest or thorax and distinctive bent antennae.  d  This is a swarm of honeybees gathered on a wall. There are more pictures of swarms here honeybee swarms If you are sure they are honeybees then again follow the link at the bottom of the the BBKA website swarm page  . This allows you to type in your postcode and...
  8. In summer we get many calls and questions from people with bees in their houses, outbuildings and gardens.   There are over 250 types of bees in the UK but there is only one european honey bee (Apis mellifera).  As well as honey bees there are around 24 species of bumblebee and over 240 species of solitary bee in the UK.  Please see below to help identify what type of bee you have and who to approach for help and information.   If you have honey bees in the structure of your property If you feel you need to have the bees destroyed please contact a local reputable pest control company.  Bees are endangered but they are not protected.  Click here for the link to the Health & Safety Executive guide to Honey bees and biocides:  Our volunteers beekeepers can only assist in cases of swarms OF HONEY BEES. See our page of photos of honeybee swarms To Jump straight to the Swarm map click here To support the work of the BBKA please DONATE ...
  9. Bee Diseases Insurance click through Long Service Certificate - downloadable application form  Swarm Collectors Protocol BBKA Calendar of Events & Important Dates 2021 Risk assessment for Schools visit with observation hive Risk assessment for a training apiary Asian hornet team documents AHT Online Assessment - flowchart  Asian hornet teams Summary reports of BBKA Trustee Meetings can be found on the Meetings & Reports page of BBKA EC and Office section.
  10. Recording of Asian hornet conference 2021 YouTube Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmxGxklkVWo Timings for talks 8:50 Steve Martin Biology of the Asian (yellow legged) hornet 1:24:27 Nigel Semmence 2:06:16 Eric's video during lunch 2:43:56 Dr Sandra Rojas-Nossa The Atlantic Positive project and some of the research and experience from Galicia 3:43:26 Dr Peter Kennedy Current & ongoing University of Exeter Asian Hornet research 4:42:57 Dr Eric Darrouzet Research on Asian Hornets in Institut de Recherche sur la Biologie de l'Insecte (IRBI) France 5:38:10 Questions
  11. Order Form for Leaflets Allotment Beekeeping (L015) Cost: £0.07 each    Size: A4 3 Fold    Edition: February 2012  ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Bees, Neighbours & Siting an Apiary (L011) Cost: £0.12 each    Size: DL 4 Fold    Edition: June 2012  ______________________________________________________________________________________________ BFTB Arable Beginners Bugology / Friends in the Fields / Mosey in the Margins Leaflets       Cost: Please download for free from the Back from the Brink website: https://naturebftb.co.uk/the-projects/colour-in-the-margins/  Size: A4    Edition: November 2020  ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Collecting a Swarm (L004) Cost: Please download for free    Size: A4 3 Fold ...
  12. BBKA Hive Keeping Record Sheet 
  13. For those of arranging a Honey Show and needing a Judge here is the link to the list of BBKA Show Judges
  14. Beekeeping Organisations National Diploma in Beekeeping (NDB) Welsh, Scottish and Ulster BBKA equivalents (WBKA, SBKA, UBKA) Bee Farmers' Association (BFA) In Europe Confederation of National Beekeeping Associations (CONBA) The Central Association of Beekeepers (CABK) Government groups Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) National Bee Unit (NBU) Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) Regional Bee Inspectors (RBIs) Seasonal Bee Inspectors (SBI) BeeBase - an initiative by NBU Bee Health Advisory Forum - minutes available from previous meetings The Chemicals Regulation Division (CRD) Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS) - pesticide poisoning The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) The Institute of Arable Crop Research (IACR) at Rothamsted Other groups Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders' Association (BIBBA) International Bee Research Association (IBRA) British Honey Importers and Packers A...
  15. In response to member queries about making and selling wax wraps and lip balms we have collated some useful information Additional insurance will be needed for manufacturing and selling of cosmetic products and wax wraps. We recommend you do your own research on the insurances available for these products and ensure that you comply with all legal requirements.  Trading standards may also have information on the legal aspects too. BBKA News articles are available to members on the BBKA News Archive site Articles by By Dr Sara J Robb,  Making and Selling Cosmetics: Beeswax Lip Balm September 2019 BBKA News  Making and Selling Cosmetics: Emulsions January 2020 BBKA News  Making and Selling Cosmetics: Body Butter Bars October 2019 BBKA News  Making and Selling Cosmetics: Beeswax and Honey Soap December 2019 BBKA News  Articles by Andy Bullen, Health and Safety Manager and Safety Assessor, ADSL Ltd Selling Hive Product Cosmetics...
  16. Enhance your association activities and extend your educational programme by booking a speaker. Tips for looking after your speakers:  Make contact with potential speakers well in advance, many are booked up to a year ahead. Send your speaker a reminder a week or so before, with clear directions and map on how to find the venue. Check your speaker's equipment needs. If your speaker is travelling a long distance, be prepared to provide accommodation/ dinner costs. Provide a parking space as close to the venue as possible. Don't forget to send a note of thanks. Speakers' Directory
  17. As our petition to Stop the Importation of Honeybees into GB from the EU via Northern Ireland has passed 10,000 the point at which the government has to give a response Defra have responded and you can see that below. We need to get to 100,000 signatures to get the petition debated in Parliament. "We recognise the serious threat posed by small hive beetle. EU areas affected by this pest are not permitted to export to the UK. Strict controls apply to imports into the UK from other areas" "The Government recognises that some beekeepers are concerned about the new trading arrangements and the risks of exotic pests entering Great Britain, in particular small hive beetle. Small hive beetle would present a serious threat to our honey bees if it were to arrive in the UK. This invasive pest has only been detected in one part of Europe, namely southern Italy, and exports of bees from the affected region into either Great Britain or Northern Ireland are not permitted. Imports o...
  18. Asian Hornet Week 2021 6-10 September We are asking everyone to be vigilant in looking out for this alien species, the Asian Hornet, Vespa velutina. This hornet could decimate our pollinators including our honey bees, it is important to have everyone actively looking for it. Follow the BBKA on social media and share the Asian hornet week posts to help raise awareness Twitter Facebook Instagram  Autumn is the time for trapping as wasps and hornets lose their sources of floral nectar and find hives full of honey very attractive. We are asking beekeepers to put an hour aside every day to watch for hornets hawking their hives during Asian Hornet Week.  Asian hornet press release We have also prepared a press release you can send to local radio stations and newspapers: asianhornetweek2021pr.pdf   A brilliant article from APHA Science blog by Peter Davies.  The threat of the Asian hornet The blog covers the background, the threat they pose...
  19. Reporting Varroa Amendments to the Bee Diseases and Pests Control (England) Order 2006, the Bees Diseases and Pest Control (Scotland) Order 2007 and the Bee Diseases and Pests Control (Wales) Order 2006 come into force on the 21st of April 2021 requiring all beekeepers and/or officials in GB to report the presence of Varroa in any of the hives that they manage. This amendment will allow Great Britain to comply with the Animal Health Law which is necessary for future working relationships with the European Union. To make this simple, a tick box will be introduced to BeeBase, the voluntary register for beekeepers managed by the National Bee Unit. This will be the easiest way to report Varroa but an alternative mechanism will be provided for those who do not wish to register on the BeeBase system. Details of this alternative system will be provided after 21st April. If Scottish Beekeepers wish to, they can report varroa by contacting the Scottish Bee Health Insp...
  20. The problem is that at least one beekeeping business has said that they want to import bees to the UK through Northern Ireland. The bees they are sourcing come from southern Italy where a serious invasive species and parasite of bees, the Small Hive Beetle is established. The inspections on bees are extremely limited and we are fearful that a small, clubbed antenna, beetle will be able to evade their scrutiny and be imported to the mainland.  Please Sign the parliamentary petition to stop this!  CLICK HERE This is the larvae of small hive beetle within a hive. Please Sign the parliamentary petition to stop this!  CLICK HERE >>>https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/577603 And please support the work we do -ends- 
  21. Help the British Beekeepers’ Association raise essential funds for research into the threats which honeybees face.  Please give generously. Current Research Projects  These are some of the exciting projects we are currently supporting. Dr Barbara Smith, University of Coventry  Dr Smith is planning to evaluate the effect of particulate matter (pollution) on honey bee colonies by placing sensors in apiaries which will monitor the presence of particles of 10 microns and smaller ones of 2.5 microns.  She is looking to recruit beekeepers in the Midlands to take part in this study and to provide samples of bees and hive products. To take part in this project register on this page https://www.thrivinghive.co.uk/take-part or Email Dr Barbara Smith for more information. Professor Juliet Osborne and Dr Peter Kennedy.  University of Exeter  This group have a large project working on various aspects of the Asian Hornet some of whic...
  22. Book now for Advanced Husbandry Assessment training courses 2021 Click here to book
  23. Help the bees by encouraging people to not cut their lawns whilst important early spring forage is flowering If you want to help promote this then please download and share any of these images. Some associations have written to their local press and got coverage of the importance of early flowers for food for bees. Follow us on social media https://twitter.com/britishbee https://www.facebook.com/TheBritishBeekeepersAssociation https://www.instagram.com/britishbeekeepers/ There are 5 simple actions everyone can take to help pollinators: Grow more flowers, shrubs and trees Let your garden grow wild Cut your grass less often Don’t disturb insect nest and hibernation spots Think carefully about whether to use pesticides Here's a press release you can download and send to local media:  saynotothemow!.docx PDF version
  24. Keynote Address BBKA Spring Convention 2021: Tipping Points and Perceptions It is an understatement to say that humankind faces many challenges many of which are of its own creation. Honey bees and humans have had a long relationship and species of the genus Apis, and many other bee species have contributed greatly to human civilisation around the world. The British Isles are no exception to this. Our reliance on pollinators and the particular contribution made by the honey bees should be front and centre in our society’s planning for the future. This short presentation considers several topics and introduces the question as to whether we have reached a series of tipping points in our beekeeping and whether our current practices and perceptions really are fit for purpose and in the best interests of our honey bee. Dr David Aston is a Master Beekeeper having kept bees continuously for 40 years in the East Riding Of Yorkshire. He holds the National Diploma in Beekeeping, has b...
  25. This year the BBKA Spring Convention will be a virtual event starting Thurs 15 April at 19.30 running through to Sun 18 April. It costs just £10 for access to the whole event including more than 20 lectures, presentations and live Q&As as well as some more social sessions.  There is free-to-view content including a virtual trade show – the Market Place - where viewers can access information and offers from more than 40 specialist beekeeping equipment and clothing suppliers and other traders as well as not-for-profit organisations. In addition to the science and practical beekeeping sessions during the day there are some more light-hearted events in the evenings to enjoy including Locked Down with Bill Turnbull, input from our Patron Jimmy Doherty and a Bees-A-Buzzing quiz session.  Registration is £12 from Friday - Click here to register Click here to download the full programme Complimentary registration for BBKA Junior and School members is ava...
  26. The National Bee Centre was opened by HRH Duke of Edinburgh on 5th July 2000 The then President of the BBKA, Michael Badger, and members of Her Majesty's Government were present when the Duke unveiled a commemorative plaque.  He had earlier met representatives of beekeeping associations outside the new headquarters.  -ends- 
  27. Friday 9 April 2021 Defra and the Welsh Government are asking beekeepers and bee farmers to do a survey about training that can help them implement effective biosecurity and maintain good standards of husbandry.  How can training and information sources for beekeepers and bee farmers be improved? Have your say by taking a survey.   Defra and the Welsh Government want to ensure that beekeepers and bee farmers have access to training and information that can help them implement effective biosecurity and maintain good standards of husbandry, so as to minimise pest and disease risks and improve the sustainability of honeybee populations.    A short questionnaire is available for current beekeepers, people who have recently stopped keeping bees as well as bee farmers to give their views and opinions on the type, accessibility and range of training and information available and...
  28. Friday 9 April 2021 The BBKA is issuing a warning to beekeepers to check their bees for starvation and European Foulbrood during this cold snap.  Emergency feeding may be needed. It would be advisable to check the food levels by opening the hive and making a very quick observation of their store levels. It is also important to check that hives have small entrances as Foulbrood is about in some areas and small colonies or those suffering disease may not be able to defend themselves from infected intruders if they have a large opening to defend.  Strong colonies may try to rob weaker ones and thus contract the infections. It is probably not possible to inspect the colonies as it is still too cold, but the best defence is to ensure they all have food. You can make a careful inspection of their brood to check for infections when it is warm enough.  Key points to remember are: • The colony may still have stores available which are at the other end of the brood cha...
  29. BBKA Spring Convention 2021 Programme Download here Donate to support BBKA Research
  30. Help BBKA raise funds for our new schools learning Apiary which will be a live resource for learning about the environment and pollinators YouTube Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVWzifzgfRE Filmed by fridaysky : www.fridaysky.co.uk   Our offices in Stoneleigh provide the perfect location for our new visitor centre as we are in the heart of England and can welcome visitors from all over the UK. Children will come with their school classes and learn about bees and mini-beasts and food security and have a live bee display with one of our beekeepers. Lots of children get ‘bitten by the bug’ this way and with their interest in beekeeping awakened, will return to it in later years. It’s imperative we train a new generation too as the average age of a beekeeper in the UK is 65. What your donations have paid for The paths around the area have been laid out and the base of the cabin has been installed. The building is expected to go up shortly.&nbs...
  31. 24 March 2021 Beekeeping Associations,  from all around the UK,  are in agreement that the importation of bees from overseas is totally against best practices for the protection of our environment. The problem is that at least one beekeeping business has said that they want to import bees to the UK through Northern Ireland. The bees they are sourcing come from southern Italy where a serious invasive species and parasite of bees, the Small Hive Beetle is established. The inspections on bees are extremely limited and we are fearful that a small, clubbed antenna, beetle will be able to evade their scrutiny and be imported to the mainland.  We have started a parliamentary petition and we are asking you all to please sign it:   Petition: Stop the importation of honey bees into GB from the EU via Northern Ireland   Photo: Crown Copyright  In 2015, the Annual Delegates Meeting of the British Beekeepers Association,  which represents more than 25...
  32. Winter Loss Survey 2021  Please use the following link to access the BBKA Winter Survival Survey https://forms.gle/D49RppfNYdqkpDpE9 The survey period is from 1st October 2020 until 1st April 2021. Don’t complete the survey form before the 1st April but please do return it before the 30th April.
  33. Please use the following link to access the BBKA Winter Survival Survey https://forms.gle/D49RppfNYdqkpDpE9 The survey period is from 1st October 2020 until 1st April 2021. Don’t complete the survey form before the 1st April but please do return it before the 30th April.
  34. BBKA Beacon Schools Mission Statement BBKA Beacon School status is awarded to those schools who demonstrate sustained best practice in beekeeping and apiculture acting as Centres of Excellence in the provision of on-site school apiaries and bee clubs.  Beacon schools will educate their pupils about the enjoyment and appreciation of beekeeping and increase awareness in young people of the importance of bees and other pollinating insects in the environment, plus sharing their knowledge not only with other schools but also with their local communities.  The aim is to establish a pool of schools with the required knowledge, experience and set up to provide support to others and to demonstrate the wide-ranging benefits to children keeping bees can bring. Beacon Schools should: Show sustained commitment to beekeeping with an on-site apiary registered on BeeBase Follow an established curriculum related to beekeeping Provide a beekeeping resource centre for other schools Be...
  35. Help and support Bear Cool Honey Company as we support the British Beekeepers Association raising funds for research into the threats our beautiful honeybees face. Every year the British Beekeepers Association selects scientific projects from a wide range of subjects that benefit bees and beekeeping. These might include bee behaviour, bee husbandry, pollination, forage or the environment. Funds donated provide vital support to run these projects and we are happy to support the BBKA as one of our chosen charities. We already donate a percentage of funds from sales of our cards and our Adopt A Beehive Scheme and want to thank you for your support. These donations will now be added to our fundraising page so you can see the good work you are doing. Linda, Maddison & the Bear Cool Bees 🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝❤️
  36. All candidates for the online module exams should now have received emails with login details and software links and instructions to set up the Inspera Exam Portal ready for the Module exams. The email contains the following information:- We recommend you print this message and instructions or at least make a note of your login details. Download PC Instructions here  Download Mac Instructions here These are your login details that you will need to test the software and carry out the formal submission test on the weekend of March 20/21st. “login details will be shown on your email here”  (You will be sent different login details for your actual exam(s) on 24th April – if you are taking more than one module there will be different login details for each module in April but only one set is needed now) This is a two stage process:   Stage 1 – Up to 19th March download and test Inspera Exam Portal software. T...
  37. See press release from University below:  -ends-
  38. Sunday 7 Mar 2021 Beekeeping Associations from around the UK are warning that import arrangements since Brexit are causing an imminent and serious risk that the exotic bee pest the Small Hive Beetle (SHB) could be introduced to the British Isles. They have put together a briefing note for the UK government and devolved administrations. It has been signed by the following organisations:  British Beekeepers Association  Welsh Beekeepers Association  Ulster Beekeepers Association  Scottish Beekeepers Association  Bee Diseases Insurance Ltd  Science Advisor Norman Carreck The notes says:  "There is clear evidence that the proposed transfer of bees from Northern Ireland to Great Britain is not part of a legitimate trade, but rather is a way to get around the law that prevents bees being imported into Great Britain. As such it is a breach of the law. "Ultimately this will need to be tested in court, but in the meantime, bees that are going to be sourc...
  39. Environmental Science and BEES Bees have been around for about 27 million years. They can be very good at protecting themselves against predators using their sting. They can however be killed with chemicals which farmers sometimes use to keep their crops pest and disease free. This topic first covers the basic principles of sexual reproduction in plants. It stresses the importance of thorough pollination for good fruit production. It explains why bees are so very important as  pollinators of many of our crops, and touches on the threats to our bee population. Children at Key Stage 1 should be able to pick up the idea that bees move pollen around and that this helps fruit to form but at Key Stage 2 they will be able to appreciate the mechanism properly In the first instance the ovaries are the most important part. Flowers with developing ovaries are very useful to show the seeds forming (using magnifying glasses). Apple, cherry, strawberry, peas, beans, oil seed rape and wallflo...
  40. Science and BEES This topic encourages children to look more closely at these small living creatures, revealing an exciting world to explore. Because the bee has been so well researched and documented it provides a really good example of a fascinating life system. Children can use a hand lens or microscope to look at the anatomy of the bee and other common insects. Honeybees are cleverly adapted to live through the winter whilst bumble bees and solitary bees hibernate. Honeybees have antennae for touch when they are in the dark hive, a long tongue to reach nectar inside flowers and pollen sacs on their legs to transport the pollen back to the hive. It is a good opportunity to get out into the School grounds and survey the flowers available to bees in the area. The children can observe bees foraging and make and test simple hypotheses. Learning topics Looking at minibeasts            Looking at minibeasts drawings           ...
  41. The Beekeeper A beekeeper (or apiarist) keeps bees in order to collect their honey and other products that the hive produces (including beeswax, propolis, flower pollen, bee pollen, and royal jelly), to pollinate crops, or to produce bees for sale to other beekeepers. A location where bees are kept is called an apiary. Bees are in danger of disappearing from our environment. The honey bee is under attack from a large wasp species not native to the UK called the Asian hornet. Varroa mites which are parasites that live on the body of the bees established themselves in the UK in the 1990s. Most wild honey bee colonies have died out as a result of Varroa mite. Pesticide use on farmers fields and in urban gardens and habitat loss in general are also a major concern. The beekeepers job is to understand and protect their colony from all of these different dangers and take care of their bees to put them under the least stress possible. Every beekeeper should know the life cycle of their hon...
  42. Wednesday 3 March  A forecast from the Rothamstead Research Group says virus yellows in the sugarbeet crop will be very low this year and neonic seed treatment will NOT be used with first flights of aphids likely to be six weeks later than last year.  The BBKA is pleased to hear this but will campaign against use of the neonics in years 2022 and 2023 which is allowed under the licence granted by Defra.  The British Beet Research Organisation (BBRO) says the weather was the reason.  "With February temperatures fluctuating from very cold to unseasonably warm conditions, especially during the last three weeks of the month, this has meant the independent virus yellows forecast has been uncertain with regards to the 9% trigger threshold for the use of Cruiser SB on seed. The 1st of March forecast predicts that 8.37 % of the national sugar beet area will be affected by virus yellows by the end of August 2021."  This graph from Rothamsted Research shows the histor...
  43. Throughout the spring and summer, an herb garden has probably been the area of a garden most consistently humming with bees and other insects. Even if you don’t have a lot of space, you can still grow a wide range of herbs by building a “herb spiral”. The technique was illustrated nicely on a leaflet we picked up at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth 20 years ago.                   Step 1 You’ll need an area about 2m in diameter in which you can create a series of different habitats to suit a wide range of herbs. Step 2 Mark your spiral on the ground and then build your rising spiral from stone, bricks or wooden stakes, climbing to a peak in the centre. Step 3 Fill it in with soil or compost as you go, and then you’re ready to plant. The dry, sunny top will be ideal for oil-rich herbs such as rosemary, thyme and sage; the more sheltered, northern side will be better suited to fleshier-le...
  44. Firstly, all associations planning beekeeping training need to carry out a Covid-19 risk assessment. This needs to be assessed using current Covid Guidelines for your area. These may vary from time to time and region by region. It is your responsibility to ensure you comply with these guidelines and to keep up to date with them. The progression through the 'Road Map' needs to take into account the numbers of people allowed to meet and any 'hands face space' guidelines in force. Do not forget to count all trainers in the total numbers of people. https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/working-safely/risk-assessment.htm What to include in your COVID-19 risk assessment (PDF)- Portable Document Format. You must: identify what work activity or situations might cause transmission of the virus think about who could be at risk decide how likely it is that someone could be exposed act to remove the activity or situation, or if this isn’t possible, control the risk The HSE p...
  45. In light of the recent importation row BBKA would like to reiterate our statement on imported bees. You are reminded of the BBKA’s position of discouraging the importation of queen bees and packages from outside the UK. Prospective purchasers should satisfy themselves both of the origin of bees offered for sale and the regulations on bee importations pertinent to their location.
  46. Imported Bees  You are reminded of the BBKA’s position of discouraging the importation of queen bees and packages from outside the UK. Prospective purchasers should satisfy themselves both of the origin of bees offered for sale and the regulations on bee importations pertinent to their location. February 8 2021  Defra has published a blog setting out the law on importing bees post Brexit:  There has been a significant amount of press interest in, with some eye-catching headlines suggesting that 15m bees could be burnt under new Brexit import rules, with the story picked up in the Telegraph, Guardian, Times, Independent and Mail. So what’s happened? Since the end of the Transition Period, it has no longer been possible to import colonies or packages of bees directly into Great Britain from the EU. It’s still possible to import queen bees, and in 2020 we imported over 21,000 to GB. Anyone looking to import b...
  47. Research Grant Title:               Prey Spectrum of Asian Hornets Research Grant Period:           September 2020 to December 2022 Grantee:                                     University of Exeter Prof J.L. Osborne, Prof C.R. Tyler, Dr P.J. Kennedy, Dr J. Poidatz 1st quarter Report The Asian hornet (Vespa velutina nigrothorax) is an invasive non-native predator, of bees and others insects, that is rapidly spreading across parts of Europe since its accidental introduction into south-west France in or before 2004.  In France, beekeepers estimate they have lost 5-80% of honeybee colonies (average 30%) in areas where Asian hornets have become well established.&...
  48. Following the ADM resolution regarding the derogation of a neonicotinoid product, the BBKA has Written to the Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs Written to the Prime Minister Provided information to all Associations so their members can:- o Write to their MP, with guidance on points that can be made o Find supporting petitions and sign them if they wish. BBKA has been made aware that there is a consultation which closes on 26th February 2021 for use in the Draft National Plan, this consultation is titled Sustainable use of Pesticides. The link is below. https://consult.defra.gov.uk/pesticides-future-strategy/sustainable-use-of-pesticides-national-action- plan/consultation/intro/ This is a public consultation, and everyone can contribute. BBKA trustees have devised answers to the questions which members can use, if they wish and they are attached in the document below (numbered as per the consultation website).  A PDF of the questions to which the ans...