• 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 ...

  • Blog: Latest on Asian Hornet - 2019 plan drawn up
    on May 18, 2020 at 10:14 am

    Latest on Asian Hornet - AHAT action required Claire Hartry BBKA Trustee Anne Rowberry has attended meetings and had discussions with Nigel Semmence, Contingency Planning & Science Officer, Bee health advice service at the National Bee Unit.  This document is the summary of the protocol that has been agreed. Further information will be posted on the website as it becomes available under Services\Asian Hornet\   Here is the link direct to the web page:   https://www.bbka.org.uk/asian-hornet-action-teams As you will read in the document, the BBKA needs all Area Associations to supply contact details to the office of their Asian Hornet Area Co-Ordinator(s) as soon as possible.  We are in the process of creating a map on the website, similar to the swarm map, to facilitate members of the public being able to contact your co-ordinator. We have also put on the website a document prepared by Nigel Semmence which gives ...

  • Team chosen for International Meeting of Young Beekeepers 2019
    on May 18, 2020 at 10:14 am

    Tuesday 12 March 2019 The team of young beekeepers who will represent the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) at the International Meeting of Young Beekeepers in July has been chosen. This year the event is being held in Banska Bystrica in Slovakia from the 3rd to the 7th of July.  Three 14 year old beekeepers were selected at a special recruitment day, plus a 16 year old reserve beekeeper. They are,  from left to right, Izzy Campbell from Newcastle, reserve, Natalie Phillips from Liverpool, William Akers from Buckinghamshire and Ben Sullivan from Norfolk.  All of them had to pass written and practical exercises either individually or in a group and show that they were competent at handling honeybees.  They were also followed by a team from the Discovery Channel who will be following them to the IMYB and finding out how Beekeeping differs around the world.  William Akers said: "I was amazed to be selected and am keen on working in agriculture and p...

  • Does Bee Behaviour Relate to Inheritance?
    on May 18, 2020 at 10:14 am

    21 March 2019 The University of Plymouth in partnership with B4 (a community interest company: Bringing Back Black Bees) and funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) have started a 4 year PhD study to investigate suggestions from bee-keepers that different sub-species have a suite of different behaviours and characteristics in comparison to other sub-species, and further that these might be highly regional in their nature. The project will measure these differences, and match those with genetic signatures to confirm the lineage of bees showing different traits. It also aims to identify the parts of the genome that might be under rapid change in these sub-species. While some of the trait differences might be well-established in the bee-keeping community, to date published, robust empirical evidence is lacking. The kinds of traits that we’re interested in gathering data on are, for example, drone brood timings, worker brood cycle, and thriftiness. We will inves...