• Winter Colony Survival Survey 2019/20
    on March 30, 2020 at 10:51 am

    30 March 2020  BBKA Winter Colony Survival Survey 2019/20 The annual survey by the BBKA has been running year-on-year since 2007. It aims to determine its members' honey bee colony survival and to understand the causes of success and failures in overwinter colony survival. The survey time period is from 1 October 2019 to 31 March 2020.   So, as you complete your first inspections of your colonies, please fill it in.   Click here for the latest survey - it will take only a few minutes to complete: https://wh1.snapsurveys.com/s.asp?k=158192743510 -ends-

  • Record low level of winter losses of honeybees
    on March 30, 2020 at 10:48 am

    For the 2019/2020 Winter Survival survey visit this page Friday 28 June 2019  The annual survey carried out by the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA ) to measure winter survival of honeybees shows that losses at 8.5% are at their lowest since the current survey programme was started in 2007/08.  The survey covers the period from 1st October 2018 to 1st April 2019 and was carried out online for the first time. 5581 members completed the survey.  The BBKA enjoys the membership of beekeepers from the whole of the British Isles and the Channel Isles, including England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Isles.  Honeybee losses   The overall winter survival rate was 91.5% or 8.5% losses. In England the rate was 91% survival with 9% losses, in Scotland 79% survival with 21% losses, Wales 94.3% survival with 5.7% losses and in the Channel Isles, Isle of Man and Northern Ireland survival rates were all above 98% so losses of less than...

  • Bee Exams CANCELLED!
    on March 17, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    March 17 2020 The BBKA Exam Board has decided today to cancel the Module Exams and the following statement has been sent to Exam Secretaries:  "Yesterday, there was a new statement that escalated the precautions we need to take to limit the spread of  Coronavirus to a different level. Consequently,  it is with great regret that the Examinations Board has decided they must act within the Government guidelines and cancel the Examinations on March 21st.  "We know how much work the candidates have put into the preparation for these exams,  and the decision has not been made lightly, but we do now wish to put invigilators or candidates at risk for an activity which is not essential.  "The free transfer of fees and applications will extend to March 2021." -ends-

  • First Asian Hornet Conference Held
    on February 12, 2020 at 10:21 am

    Tuesday 11th February 2020  The BBKA’s first Asian hornet conference was held on Saturday 8th February 2020 at Myton school in Warwick.  Anne Rowberry, chair of the BBKA organised the event. It comprised of a series of talks by Asian hornet experts and concluded with a question and answer sessions. The day was well attended by Asian Hornet Action Team members and feedback received was good. Talks were: Professor Steven Martin – Life History and current research Xesus Feas - Asian Hornet research in Spain and Portugal Alistair Christie The Jersey experience in 2019 Peter Kennedy Research in 2020 Belinda Philipson   NBU update on 2019 and policy moving forward update on 2019 and policy moving forward as well as Sandra Gray  Anne Rowberry gave a short talk about Gaining Recognition for your position as an Asian Hornet Co-ordinator and Team members: short certification qualification explained which included a couple of questions to show examples. ...

  • Calendar from National Bee Supplies helps BBKA
    on February 11, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    19 November 2019        A calendar from National Bee Supplies (NBS) is raising money for the BBKA and may be the perfect Christmas gift for someone you love. The photos of bees are from a competition run by NBS earlier in the year and like the amazing one above are incredibly detailed and beautiful.  Sam Arnold from Suttons Seeds (By Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen Seedsmen) who own NBS said:  "We were genuinely blown away by the quality of photographs entered into #nbspoty, which made our job of choosing a winner near-impossible! It was so difficult, in fact, that we have decided to showcase some of the runners-up in our first ever National Bee Supplies Calendar.   "Each and every image we’ve included was worthy of the crown, and we hope that you enjoy admiring the tiny details and breath-taking beauty as they take pride of place in your home! Better yet, we are proud to donate £1 from every calendar sold to the BBKA (Brit...

  • More than 40% of beekeepers say they had a better honey harvest in 2019
    on October 25, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    Friday 25th October The British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) annual survey of how much honey they have harvested from their bees shows the highest yield in 10 years. The average crop was 40.25 pounds of honey. In 2012 they only produced an average of 8 pounds and the previous highest crop was in 2014.  Important factors  Beekeepers report that the most important factors for producing a good crop are abundant forage throughout the beekeeping season, good colony health and the right weather. And this year the small number of colonies ( 2 %) moved to seasonal forage like heather and those colonies sited near wooded areas or forestry did the best.  Most of the 1,039 beekeepers who responded to the survey only had 1 or 2 colonies but next most popular amount was 5-10 colonies.  Best region The highest average yield was in the South East followed by East region. 60% of BBKA members keep their honeybees in a rural/countryside landscape, 29% in suburban ga...

  • Second Asian Hornet nest found & destroyed at Christchurch
    on October 12, 2019 at 10:01 am

    12 October 2019 A second Asian Hornet nest has been found near the first in Christchurch in Dorset. The first nest, high in a tall tree, was destroyed on 4th of October and thanks to continuing surveillance of the area this second nest was found at ground level.  It is thought to be a primary nest. Genetic analysis will be carried out on the nests.  Three nests have been found and destroyed so far this year - two at Christchurch and one at Tamworth in Staffordshire. There have been  confirmed sightings of Asian Hornets at Ashford in Kent and New Milton in Hampshire.  Since 2016, there have been a total of 17 confirmed sightings of the Asian hornet in England and nine nests have been destroyed. The latest finding means that as the leaves fall off the trees we want you to look up for nests previously hidden in foliage and we also need you to watch insects flying at lower levels. It is now clear that we need to be alert for hornets flying low as well.  -ends...

  • Bermondsey Street Bees raises more than £1,000 for Apiary Project
    on October 8, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    7 October 2019 Bermondsey Street Bees, based in London, have raised more than a £1,000 for the BBKA's Apiary & Education Project. The money mostly comes from a honey cocktails event they held with Aberfeldy Whisky. Sarah Wyndham-Lewis from Bermondsey St Bees explained: "In 2018 Dewar's Aberfeldy Global Brand Ambassador, Georgie Bell, approached Bermondsey Street Bees to collaborate on a 5 year long worldwide project supporting honeybees.  "Aberfeldy's original thought was to donate beehive to key bar locations, starting in London, unaware that London already has the densest population of honeybees in Europe and a continuing loss of foraging areas.  "Bermondsey Street Bees discussed this with them and a more powerful concept began to evolve. Aberfeldy would educate bartenders to throw away the squeezy bottle of processed supermarket honey and instead source raw honey from their own localities to put in their drinks. They would thus be directly supporting local ...

  • Asian Hornet nest near Christchurch destroyed
    on October 7, 2019 at 10:30 am

    4 October 2019 An Asian Hornet nest has been found high up in an oak tree near Christchurch in Dorset and has been destroyed. More details on two other sightings in other parts of the country have been given. In Christchurch surveillance is continuing. Elsewhere, Defra says it's continuing to receive reports of sightings from lots of places and is appealing to everyone to be engaged and look for hornets on local forage sites such as ivy. It's this time of year, when leaves are falling, that well-hidden nests suddenly become visible. Please look up when you are out and about and report any nest you see whether active or abandoned by taking a picture and sending it to alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk.  In Staffordshire near Tamworth where a nest was destroyed on 6 September it's been revealed that that one was also at the top of a tree. Surveillance continued after the destruction but there were no indications that a second nest was in the area. There is routine surveillance being c...

  • Fourth Asian Hornet found in Dorset
    on October 3, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    1st October 2019 The Asian Hornet at Highcliffe in Christchurch in Dorset was reported and confirmed today(1 Oct). Experts from the National Bee Unit (NBU) and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) will work quickly to find and destroy any active nests in the area. Dorset Asian Hornet Action Teams have confirmed that they are on their way to help with the search and all local beekeepers registered with Beebase will be asked to go out looking for Asian Hornets at local forage sites.  The hornet in Dorset follows 3 earlier confirmed sightings south west of Ashford in Kent on 9 September 2019 and the Tamworth area of Staffordshire on 2 September 2019, where a nest was subsequently located and destroyed, and an earlier sighting of a single hornet was confirmed at New Milton in Hampshire.  All the hornets were found and reported by members of the public. The member of the public recognised the insect near Christchurch as an Asian Hornet after seeing an ale...