Latest News

Please find below, the latest news from the BBKA and National Bee Unit

BBKA

  • Report a sighting of the Asian Hornet
    on 6th March 2021 at 1:31 pm

    What do you do if you find an Asian hornet? 1. Please use the Asian Hornet Watch app on your phone to send a picture and a location via GPS in the app straight to the non-native species secretariat and National Bee Unit. 2. If you cannot download the Asian Hornet Watch app, please use this online recording form If it is safe to do so, you can send in a sample to the National Bee Unit for examination to confirm identity (please note the specimen must be dead before sending it in). However, do not under any circumstances disturb or provoke an active hornets’ nest. For more information visit the Non Native Species Secretariat website.

  • The Asian Hornet
    on 6th March 2021 at 1:30 pm

    Vespa velutina, sometimes known as the 'Asian hornet' is an invasive non-native species from Asia. It has recently arrived in France where it is spreading rapidly. As a highly effective predator of insects, including honey bees and other beneficial species, it can cause significant losses to bee colonies, other native species and potentially ecosystems It is expected that the places it is most likely to be found in numbers are in southern parts of England (it may be able to cross the channel from France) or in goods among which it could be accidentally imported (such as soil with imported pot plants, cut flowers, fruit and timber).  Active between April and November (peak August/September). What to look out for Vespa velutina queens are up to 3 cm in length; workers up to 25 mm (slightly smaller than the native European hornet Vespa crabro) Entirely dark brown or black velvety body, bordered with a fine yellow band Only one band on the abdomen: 4th abdom...

  • Asian Hornet Traps
    on 6th March 2021 at 1:28 pm

    At the moment DEFRA is recommending monitoring traps in all areas of the Country where there is no Asian hornet incursion. Once an Asian hornet has been positively identified in an area then kill traps should be used. This is in the expectation that if Asian hornets are in the area then they will be trapped and identified. The by-catch in these traps will be small compared to the damage caused by the Asian hornets if the nests are not found.  Any suspected Asian Hornets should be photographed and the pictures set in via the Asian Hornet Watch app which is available on both android and iPhone. You can also report them via an online form YouTube Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CR6MUekAjMo Download the full PDF  

  • Identifying Asian Hornet
    on 6th March 2021 at 1:23 pm

    Vespa velutina, sometimes known as the 'Asian hornet' is an invasive non-native species from Asia. If you find one you MUST report it. It arrived in France in 2004 and has spread rapidly. As a highly effective predator of insects, including honey bees and other beneficial species, it can cause significant losses to bee colonies, other native species and potentially ecosystemsIt is expected that the places it is most likely to be found in numbers are in southern parts of England (it may be able to cross the channel from France) or in goods among which it could be accidentally imported (such as soil with imported pot plants, cut flowers, fruit and timber).  Active between April and November (peak August/September).Is this an Asian Hornet  1 Does it look very black?2.Has it got a wide orange stripe on 4th segment of abdomen? 3.Do its legs look as if they have been dipped in yellow paint? Sound of an Asian Hornet This was recorded in a bathroom at BBKA trustee Bob Hogg...

National Bee Unit 

  • BeeBase Downtime
    on 1st February 2021 at 12:00 am

    Due to planned maintenance of our servers, BeeBase will be unavailable between 09:00 and 13:00 on Tuesday 16th February 2021.Normal service will be resumed after this time.

  • Social science study on how best to support beekeepers and bee farmers through education, information and advice
    on 20th January 2021 at 12:00 am

    Understanding how turnover (“churn”) among beekeepers can be managed and review information sources, learning methods and use of social media, to develop resources to support the beekeeping sector.Defra and Welsh Government have commissioned a social science study to gather information about different aspects of education and training. This includes getting a better understanding of how the turnover of beekeepers can be managed. It will also review information sources, learning methods and use of social media. The third part of the project will evaluate current continuous professional development schemes and resources to support bee farmers. The study which has just begun, has been contracted to ICF Consulting who have carried out a number of research projects in other areas for Defra. We are hoping that many beekeepers will participate in the project which will include a survey and further details will be announced soon.This work links into the Healthy Bees Plan 2030, working together to improve honey bee health and husbandry in England & Wales.

  • COVID-19 and Beekeeping update
    on 11th January 2021 at 12:00 am

    This is a re-issue of the guidance provided in October 2020:Please find the latest Covid-19 beekeeping guidance. The update includes separate links to the current Public Health Guidance for England, Wales and Scotland.Covid-19_and_Beekeeping_Update_v3COVID-19_and_Beekeeping_-_Welsh_Language_Version v3If you have any queries please contact:For England: BeeHealth.Info@defra.gov.ukFor Wales: HoneyBeeHealth@gov.wales / GwenynMelIach@llyw.cymruFor Scotland: Bees_Mailbox@gov.scot

  • Starvation and Varroa Alert
    on 4th December 2020 at 12:00 am

    Observations from beekeepers and Bee Inspectors across the UK suggest that some colonies of bees are becoming short of food.Please monitor your colonies throughout the coming months and feed as required to ensure your bees do not starve. A standard full size British National colony needs between 20-25 kg of stores to successfully overwinter. If they need feeding at this time then fondant should be used. This should be placed above the brood nest so that the bees are able to access it easily.For further information, please see the ‘Best Practice Guidance No. 7 - Feeding Bees Sugar’ on the following BeeBase Page: http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageid=167It has also been observed that Varroa levels in some hives are starting to increase again. This may be due to a number of factors, but the exceptionally mild weather this autumn has encouraged some colonies to produce more brood than usual which has allowed an increase in mite reproduction.Please monitor mite levels and treat accordingly.For further information, please see the’ Managing Varroa’ Advisory leaflet on the following BeeBase Page: http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageid=167