Swarms and Swarm Collecting

At this time of year we get a lot of queries from members of the public about swarms of bees. One noticeable trend has been the number of reports concerning bees found in the roof or facias of buildings, bird boxes etc. This may be the Tree Bumblebee (Bombus Hypnorum), which is a recent visitor to the UK, but is becoming more common.

Unlike other bumblebees which tend to nest in the ground, the Tree Bumblebee likes to live higher up, typically in bird boxes and roof spaces. Further information can be found from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

Please note that we do not remove bees from buildings. Nor do we remove Bumblebee or Wasp nests and suggest that in respect of these, you contact Pembrokeshire County Council’s, Pest Control Service.

However, if you come across a swarm of Honey Bees in Pembrokeshire and would like advice, please contact Jeremy Percy on 07799 698568.

For further information on swarms please click here.

‘Beekeeper Advice Surgery’ today!

Just to remind all beekeepers that we will be hosting the National Bee Unit’s, ‘Beekeeper Advice Surgery’, on Saturday July 15th from 2pm until 5pm at the Picton Centre, Freemens Way, Haverfordwest, SA61 1TP, which will cover bee diseases etc. Details on this can be obtained NBU Advice Surgeries Flyer 2017.

We strongly recommend that you make every effort to attend for the sake of your bees!

All beekeepers and would be beekeepers are welcome!!

Refreshments available!!

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Urgent warning!

Would PBKA members please note that there have been outbreaks of AFB and EFB in the Tenby/Narberth area.

We have been advised to direct you to the National Bee Unit (NBU) factsheetApiary_Hygiene_and_Quarantine for your information and action. Also ‘Foulbrood Disease of Honey Bees and other common brood disorders’ has a lot of information on biosecurity and barrier management, including ‘10 rules for foulbrood control’. These are on Beebase at:

http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageid=167

We strongly recommend that all PBKA members sign up to Beebase in order to ensure that they receive any warnings and to obtain advice etc in the event of a disease outbreak.

Beekeepers within 3km of the outbreak with a current email address on Beebase will have been emailed an alert from the NBU. All beekeepers within 5km of an outbreak should exercise vigilance as per the above factsheet, which also covers swarm collection.

Please also note that we will be holding a National Bee Unit Beekeeper Advice Surgery on July 15th at the Picton Centre, Haverfordwest which will cover bee diseases and details on this can be obtained NBU Advice Surgeries Flyer 2017. Specific details re times etc to follow in due course and we would urge you all to attend.

Varroa warning from the NBU

In some regions of the UK, colonies are starting to show symptoms of high levels of Varroa mites, for example wing deformities and perforated cappings. Therefore, it might be prudent to start monitoring colony mite populations and information on how to do this can be found on page 15 of the Managing Varroa booklet. Also, the Varroa calculator can be used to help calculate your estimated mite population in your colonies:
http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/public/BeeDiseases/varroaCalculator.cfm
If your colonies have a high amount of Varroa, i.e 1000 mites after calculating it from the average drop, you may want to treat them with a registered varroacide. Suitable treatments where brood is present would include
Apiguard;
Apilife Var;
Apistan*;
Bayvarol*;
Mite Away Quick Strips (MAQS) and;
Thymovar.
If you wish to use an oxalic acid based product then a broodless condition should be created first. Additionally, if you have honey for human consumption on the hives, remember that MAQs is currently the only registered product which can be used. When using any medicines it is important to remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
*Mite resistance to these products have been recorded and so a resistance test (the Beltsville test) should be carried out before using the product.

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