• Veterinary Medicines Warning
    on August 11, 2020 at 11:57 am

    Tuesday, 11th August 2020 The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) is warning beekeepers to use veterinary medicines safely, effectively and legally. In practice this means you must follow the instructions in the package leaflet unless directed otherwise by your vet.  The VMD says it has received a number of specific enquires about the use of amitraz-based products for the treatment of varroosis in the UK. Varroa treatments  There are 2 authorised amitraz-based products in the UK - Apitraz and Apivar. The VMD wants to remind beekeepers that Neither of these should be used during a honey flow or when honey supers are on the hive.  You should only use UK-authorised veterinary medicinal products to treat varroosis in honeybees, unless an appropriate authorised medicine is not available and a veterinary surgeon has prescribed a different product under the prescribing cascade.  A list of all UK-authorised products is available on the VMD's product informa...

  • November Exams Cancelled
    on July 20, 2020 at 11:55 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 ...

  • Bees Needs Week
    on July 13, 2020 at 9:42 am

    Bees Needs Week 2020 13-19 July  The BBKA will be sharing our favourite beekeeping moments on our social media: sharing our members photos of their beekeeping under lockdown and our most popular stories from the last 12 months. Follow us on social media  What is Bees Needs Week? Bees' Needs Week is an annual event coordinated by Defra, working alongside charities, businesses, conservation groups and academic institutions to raise awareness of bees and other pollinators, This year due to Covid19 it'll be an  online event by sharing stories and videos through social media. So there won’t be a pop-up shop in Carnaby this year given the restrictions. Raising awareness of bees and other pollinators Bees’ and other pollinators aee vital for  growing lots of our favourite foods and for plants to flourish in our fields and gardens     There are 5 simple actions everyone can take for pollin...

  • Winter Survival Survey shows Higher Losses winter 2019
    on July 1, 2020 at 11:14 am

    1 July 2020 The latest survey from the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) shows higher losses of 17.3% of colonies compared to last year when losses were 9%. But the losses are under the average measured across all the surveys we have carried out so far which is 18.2%.  Thank you to everyone who took part in the survey. We had around 2,600 replies online which is 10% of our membership.  The highest survival rate was in the South West ( 10.2% losses) and the worst was the South East ( 21.7% losses).  You can find more information in the latest edition of BBKA News which is available in the Members Area of the website: https://bbkanews.com/issues The survey, and results of all the questions, will be placed on our website later.  -ends- 

  • Queen Rearing Courses are a Hit
    on June 8, 2020 at 9:30 am

    7th June 2020 The BBKA introduced Queen Rearing Courses last year to encourage people to breed their own queens. Now surveys have shown high satisfaction with the knowledge they gained. All photos by Rachel Hills The reason for doing this is to encourage beekeepers to buy bees that are  locally adapted to their area, which are successful and avoid the risk of bringing diseases into the country and into their apiaries. The most recent example of this is Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus (CBPV) which has appeared in many areas of the country and is associated with the importation of bees.  Funding was granted by Defra and late last summer 5 two-day courses with 10 beekeepers were run at four locations. Each course was taught by two Master Beekeepers, the lead tutor was Sean Stephenson. The 62 beekeepers were shown the two simple and successful methods of getting a new queen - grafting and the Miller Method, although other methods were also briefly discussed.  Eac...

  • Unconfirmed sighting of Asian Hornet on UK Mainland
    on June 7, 2020 at 11:08 am

    Wednesday 3rd June, 2020 A small nest of hornets in an outbuilding in Monmouthshire has been destroyed but Defra have not confirmed that it was an Asian Hornet nest. Beekeepers in the area are keeping an eye out for Asian Hornets.  This is the picture of the nest and hornet emerging before it was destroyed.  All beekeepers are asked to be vigilant for hornets and keep looking for nests in sheds and trees on their walks outside.  -ends- 

  • Asian Hornet nest in Fowey found & destroyed
    on May 18, 2020 at 10:15 am

    September 7 2018 An Asian Hornet nest has been found in Fowey in Cornwall and destroyed by bee inspectors. It was on Friday 31st August a beekeeper in the Fowey area found 2 Asian Hornets in a trap he'd set up near his beehives. They were positively identified by the Non Native Species Secretariat and a surveillance zone was set up on Tuesday (Sept 4). Killing traps and feeding traps with meat and sweet baits were deployed and there was a lot of  hornet activity around them. By timing their visits back to the bait, inspectors from the National Bee Unit were able to track them back to their nest.  The latest nest found on Jersey ( above )  The nest was detected on Thursday (Sept 6) and destroyed in the evening, when the hornets would have returned to the nest, by using CO2 gas to carry an active ingredient called bendiocarb. The nest was removed this morning at 0700.  It is described as a small nest, about the size of a child's football, and was situated about...

  • Use Honey first for a cough, new guidelines say
    on May 18, 2020 at 10:15 am

    New guidelines for doctors from the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) say they should tell patients to use honey first when they have a cough. This is based on 3 studies that showed honey reduces symptoms by 2 points on a 7 point scale. Honey and over-the-counter medicines should be the first line of treatment for most people with coughs, new guidelines recommend.  Antibiotic resistance This is intended to help tackle the problem of antibiotic resistance. Overusing antibiotics is making infections harder to treat, by creating drug-resistant superbugs.  A hot drink of milk and honey is a very effective remedy for a sore throat.  And honey can be combined also with lemon and ginger for coughs and a sore throat.   Patients are advised to use honey and over-the-counter medicines containing pelargonium, guaifenesin or dextromethorphan and wait for symptoms to improve, before going to a GP.  Most coughs are caused by viruses, which cannot be trea...

  • Defra Minister praises beekeepers for raising alarm about Asian Hornets
    on May 18, 2020 at 10:15 am

    11 October 2018  Parliamentary Under Secretary of State responsible for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity, Lord Gardiner, has written to BBKA President Margaret Murdin to thank the BBKA for raising awareness about Asian Hornets. 6 nests have been destroyed since 2016 and most were identified by vigilant beekeepers. The letter also says Lord Gardiner is 'very encouraged' that some of our "most concerned members have initiated Asian Hornet Action Teams to help beekeepers take samples/photographs of hornets to enable the National Bee Unit (NBU) to act swiftly to deal with this pest." The Minister points out that October is when any nests are reaching maturity and sending out foundress Queens to raise the next generation of hornets. This increase in activity as the leaves are falling off the trees should make their nests more prominent.  Lord Gardiner says thanks for your continued vigilance and please pass on any sightings as quickly as possible to the NBU.  -ends- ...

  • 2018 Honey Harvest is third bigger than last years
    on May 18, 2020 at 10:15 am

    22 October 2018 The annual honey survey by the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) shows honeybees survived the difficult climate this year and produced a crop of honey a third bigger than last years. The results show that the honey crop was, on average, just over 30lbs of honey per hive, or just under 14 kilos  across England and Wales. It was a difficult year in climactic terms with a very cold snap nicknamed the Beast from the East halting the honey gathering in Spring and then a long drought in many parts of the country which meant plants with shallow roots stopped producing nectar.  While regions which traditionally have the biggest crop of honey, the East and South East, saw increases to 41 and 36lbs of honey per hive respectively, Welsh beekeepers reported an exceptionally improved crop, with over double the amount of honey compared to last year at 31.4lbs per hive, thanks largely to the long, warm summer. Calwyn Glastonbury, a beekeeper in the Usk Valley who ...