• 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... […]

  • First Asian hornet of 2019 found in Hampshire
    on September 26, 2019 at 9:32 am

    3 July 2019 The first Asian Hornet of 2019 on UK mainland has been found in New Milton in Hampshire close to the New Forest. The Department of Environment, Food, & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) issued a press release saying it was spotted by an eagle-eyed member of the public, is thought to be a Queen and that inspectors are now in the area looking for a nest.  The report came in on an app called Asian Hornet Watch which sends a GPS location as well as a photo taken on a smartphone. It was the first confirmed report since October 2018.  Last year, two Asian Hornet queens were found in locations near where this one was found between the sea and the New Forest. The full list is on the press release.  The Bees Wasps & Ant Recording Society (BWARS) said their team verified the find. They are one of several agencies that the report is automatically sent to.  You can see a BBKA map showing the finds in the UK which started in 2016.   Since 2016, a t... […]

  • Asian hornet and nest located & destroyed in Staffordshire
    on September 26, 2019 at 9:30 am

    7 Sept 2019 An Asian Hornet nest has been found and destroyed near Drayton Bassett in Staffordshire. The find was as a result of a member of the public reporting an Asian Hornet.  This was the second Asian Hornet reported in the UK in 2019. The first was at New Milton in Hampshire in July again spotted by an alert member of the public. Tomorrow we start Asian Hornet Week when we asked the public and beekeepers to make sure they are ready to identify this alien pest.  As the leaves fall off the trees at this time of year disused or even active Asian Hornet nests may become visible. All such sightings should be reported to: alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk Photo above shows one of the big nests being found in Jersey The Staffordshire find is right in the middle of the landmass of the UK. It is known that in France Asian Hornets follow water courses when they expand their territory and there is a large body of water very close to the location.  The Canals and River Trust i... […]

  • Asian Hornet found in Ashford in Kent
    on September 26, 2019 at 9:29 am

    11 Sept 2019 An Asian Hornet has been found and captured in Ashford in Kent. This is the third confirmed sighting in 2019. The sighting was confirmed by the Seasonal Bee Inspector on 9 September 2019. Two earlier sightings were confirmed the first in July at New Milton in Hampshire where a single hornet was found and subsequent searches of the area have not, so far, turned up any other hornets.  The second was in the Tamworth area of Staffordshire on 2 September 2019 where a nest was later found and destroyed and searches are continuing. In both cases, the hornets were spotted by an alert member of the public.  Since 2016, there have been a total of 16 confirmed sightings of the Asian hornet in England and seven nests have been destroyed. -ends-  UPDATE 26TH SEPTEMBER This Asian hornet was seen foraging on windfall apples by a fruit farmer. It is believed the hornet may have been blown across the Channel by the prevailing wind and weather conditions.  No... […]

  • Bees Needs Week
    on September 24, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    13 June 2019  Bees’ Needs Week is a week long campaign from 8-14 July 2019 to help raise awareness of bees and other pollinators.  During Bees’ Needs Week, London’s world-famous shopping destination is renamed ‘Carnabee Street’ and transformed into a hive of activity.  The iconic Carnaby Street arch has been given a bee-themed makeover and a popup ‘Hive’ will open at 3 Newburgh Street from 8-14 July, with a host of educational and fun games, installations and talks. This will include:  A bumblearium giving visitors the chance to get close to the bee action  Virtual Reality headsets to experience the inner workings of a bumblebee nest Honey Tasting The chance to look at specimens of bees up close, using microscopes More information is available at: https://www.bumblebeeconservation.org/bees-needs/and on twitter using #BeesNeeds -ends-&nbs […]

  • Record low level of winter losses of honeybees
    on July 3, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    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 2% in those places.  The most striking result is the ... […]