• New BBKA Chair despairs at continuing permitted use of bee poisons
    on January 24, 2022 at 10:35 pm

    Monday 24 January 2022  The Government has granted the exemption that British Sugar had applied for to use the banned pesticide, known as Cruiser SB or Thiamethoxam, because sugar beet farmers are concerned about crop yields due to flea beetle damage.  Stephen Barnes, newly elected Chair of British Beekeepers Association, says with despair and a certain amount of anger, "The Government has not followed the science. Permitting the use of this dangerous neonicotinoid pesticide puts all pollinators at risk."  British Beekeepers Association's members are guardians of over 100,000 bee hives. The honey, an essential pollinator of food crops, is under threat from the use of this chemical which is so dangerous that flowering crops can not be grown in those polluted fields for nearly four years afterwards.  In order to "further safeguard" pollinators strong weed killers are used to ensure that all weeds around the affected fields have to be removed for four years too. T...

  • New BBKA President says decision to allow neonic use on sugarbeet is distressing
    on January 17, 2022 at 1:45 pm

    Monday 17 January 2022 The government has ignored the advice of its scientific advisors and allowed sugar beet farmers to use a banned bee-killing neonicotinoid pesticide in 2022.  British Sugar applied for the exemption to use the banned pesticide, known as Cruiser SB or Thiamethoxam, because they are predicting high levels of virus yellows which is carried by aphids.  The decision by environment secretary, George Eustice, was made despite the Health and Safety Executive and the government’s own expert Committee on Pesticides concluding that the requirements for an emergency authorisation had not been met and that pollution from the Thiamethoxam pesticide would damage river life.  Anne Rowberry, newly elected President of the BBKA said: “This decision shows little concern for our bees and other pollinators. The treatment will not just kill our bees now, but will affect them and the environment for several years to come. In it’s recent Env...

  • New Area Association
    on January 15, 2022 at 3:40 pm

    Saturday 15 January  We have a new Area Association in the BBKA voted for at the Annual Delegate Meeting which took place today (15 Jan). Laddingford is a hamlet near Yalding in Kent and their beekeepers will now be members of the Laddingford Beekeepers Association.  They had tried for three years to get their new status having previously been a branch of Thanet BKA.  It takes our total for Associations to 74. -ends- 

  • Asian Hornet nest found at Ascot
    on November 9, 2021 at 12:05 pm

    12 October 2021 NBU inspectors have been able to track Asian Hornets back to a nest in Ascot and destroy it. Searches continue for any other hornets in the area. The gov.uk pages will be updated soon.  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/asian-hornet-identified-in-ascot -ends- 

  • Asian Hornet nest found in Portsmouth
    on November 3, 2021 at 3:01 pm

    1 Nov 2021  Another Asian hornet nest has been found following the earlier find at Ascot. A member of the public spotted an Asian Hornet on Friday morning in a very built up area of Portsmouth.  Bee Inspectors went out Friday afternoon and as soon as they put traps down several, very hungry, hornets flew down to feed on them. The Inspectors tracked the hornets back to the nest which was about 30cm in diameter. The nest was 20 metres up a tree but they say it could have been spotted very easily because there were no leaves on the trees.  It was damaged by a storm on Friday night but they were able to destroy it and remove the nest on Sunday afternoon.  The nest has now been taken to government laboratories at York for examination.  Bee Inspector, Peter Davies, who led the hunt is encouraging all beekeepers in the Portsmouth Fareham and Gosport areas to put out bait traps for Asian Hornets - the hornets in Portsmouth were very hungry and will fly a long way ...

  • November 2020 Exams Cancelled
    on October 25, 2021 at 8:05 am

    Exam Board Statement "The global outbreak of COVID-19 has meant that we have had to limit socialising and gatherings to help prevent the spread of this disease. Inevitably, this has had a huge impact on the BBKA exam system, that relies on candidates, assessors and invigilators to meet in close proximity or travel some distance away from home.  "Following the feedback from many associations and individuals on the matter, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel the BBKA assessments for the remaining part of 2020. These include Show Judge certificate in October as well as Module exams and Microscopy assessments in November.  "The main concern of the Exam Board is the safety of all candidates, assessors and invigilators. While some associations have indicated that they may be able to facilitate the Module exams, others have advised against it. We want to offer equal opportunities to all members who wish to take BBKA exams. With the current situation, however, we ...

  • First Confirmed UK Sighting of Asian Hornet in 2021
    on October 18, 2021 at 3:18 pm

    8 October 2021  The first confirmed sighting of an Asian Hornet on the UK mainland in 2021 has been made at Ascot in Berkshire. We understand that a beekeeper found it near his hives. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/asian-hornet-identified-in-ascot -Ends- 

  • First Asian Hornet of 2020
    on September 30, 2021 at 12:51 pm

    10 Sept 2020 The first Asian Hornet of 2020 has been confirmed in Gosport in Hampshire. Beekeepers and members of the public were today asked to remain vigilant. The National Bee Unit has confirmed the sighting of Asian Hornets on a bunch of grapes in an area near Gosport. Live tracking of the hornets is underway and they hope to find the nest soon. The Asian hornet is smaller than our native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than our native wasps and hornets. However, they do pose a risk to honey bees.  This is the first confirmed UK sighting since October 2019, when two related nests were detected and destroyed near Christchurch, Dorset. DNA tests on those nests and two others found in 2019 have shown that the queens all came from France.  Defra’s Chief Plant and Bee Health Officer Nicola Spence said: "By ensuring we are alerted to possible sightings as early as possible, we can take swift and effective action to stamp out the threat posed by...

  • New Observation Hive in Middlesbrough
    on September 30, 2021 at 12:32 pm

    9th August 2021 Cleveland Beekeepers Association (CBKA) has set up a new observation hive in the Discovery Centre at Newham Grange Farm in Middlesbrough. The bees are already hard at work giving visitors an up close insight into the lives of these fascinating creatures.  Three of the Association's expert beekeepers will be on site every Friday at 2pm to inspect the hive and chat to visitors.  The hive was previously situated in the Children's Room at the Dorman Museum from the 1960s before being donated to a CBKA member.  Ian Peacock, Chair of the CBKA, said: "We often use mobile observation hives at show to engage people and encourage them to be more bee aware.  "It's great that it's now found a permanent home at Newham Grange and will continue to fascinate and delight new visitors and bring back happy memories for a great many people who will remember it down the years." Middlesbrough Deputy Mayor, Councillor Mieka Smiles said: "It's so important right ...

  • Winners of Photo Competition Announced
    on September 8, 2021 at 12:23 pm

    Friday 27 November 2020 The Winner of the 2020 BBKA Photo Competition has been announced as Paul Davison of Newcastle for his wonderful picture of a wasp feeding. Entrants were asked to provide any photo of a hornet (European or Asian) or of a wasp or any device invented to trap them alive.  Mr Davison will get a £100 Thorne's voucher to spend on bee equipment.  The runner-up was James Mellor, from St Leonards-on-Sea, who captured a sharp shot of a native European Hornet in the grass.  Congratulations to them both!  You can support our work to combat Asian Hornets Save the Bees  -ends-