• BBKA Chair Anne Rowberry says Thanks for Successful Asian Hornet Week
    on September 24, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    Monday 24 Sept 2020 BBKA Chair, Anne Rowberry, says thanks for a successful Asian Hornet Week in which we have seen the first Asian Hornet nest of 2020 located and destroyed:  "As we come to the end of a very successful BBKA Asian Hornet Week I hope you have enjoyed reading and viewing all the resources that have been available on the BBKA website and our social media channels.  "I would like to thank our Patron, Jimmy Docherty, for supporting us and the NBU for sharing the launch of their new video and Rebecca Clarkson for liaising, sharing links with the NBU and helping to compile the programme.  "We are also grateful to the researchers who contributed their photos, videos and experience. Peter Kennedy for the information about his recent research trip to Jersey to test the small, new radio tags and Prof Xesus Feas for sharing his work from Spain. Xesus started out week with an excellent video and continued to share short clips and photos. Thank you to Katy and...

  • First Asian Hornet of 2020
    on September 24, 2020 at 3:13 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...

  • 2020 BBKA Honey Survey is LIVE!
    on September 24, 2020 at 10:08 am

    Friday 25 Sept 2020  The 2020 BBKA Honey Survey is ready for your answers. Just click the link: https://wh1.snapsurveys.com/s.asp?k=160092551774 It's a quick survey to do that gives us an idea of the areas that favoured our honeybees in the past season. You can give your answer for the quantity of honey you have harvested in lbs or kgs.  We also get an idea of how many of you are expanding your apiaries and trying to take small colonies through the winter.  -ends- 

  • Honey research after the Notre Dame cathedral fire
    on September 23, 2020 at 11:47 am

    Lead rain after the Notre Dame cathedral fire, and how honey bee colonies map this contamination By J. van der Steen PhD - AlveusAB Consultancy, The Netherlands - The international INSIGNIA group Honey bee colonies are well equipped as bio samplers of contaminants in the environment, and how beekeepers can cooperate optimally with scientists to map this contamination is currently being studied at the European Union level in the Insignia citizen science project. Regularly, new studies are published about how honey bees and hive products can be applied to detect environmental contaminants. This is a very promising development. Apiculture is a world-wide activity and with adequate tools and the help of apiculturist citizen science, a world-wide network can be built to search for contaminants. An interesting study was published recently in July 2020. Kate Smith and co-workers published the article Honey maps the Pb fallout from the 2019 fire at Notre Dame cathedral, Paris: a geochemic...

  • Gosport Asian Hornet Nest Located & Destroyed
    on September 17, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    Monday 14 September 2020  The Gosport Asian Hornets were the first confirmed in 2020 and their nest has been located and destroyed. The hornets were first reported flying around a bunch of grapes in an area north of Gosport in Hampshire. Bee inspectors set up monitoring traps and tracked the hornets to an apple tree.  The nest has now been dealt with by the Animal and Plant Health Agency ( APHA) National Wildlife Management Centre.  Inspectors are monitoring for any other Asian Hornets.  -ends- 

  • Winter Survival Survey shows Higher Losses winter 2019
    on September 10, 2020 at 2:42 pm

    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- 

  • Veterinary Medicines Warning
    on September 8, 2020 at 2:26 pm

    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 August 28, 2020 at 12:59 pm

    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...

  • 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...