A worrying Article from the BBC, highlights a serious decline in flying insects. Something that beekeepers and other interested parties have observed for some time, but new evidence now appears to confirm our fears!
Would all beekeepers please be advised of a recent Asian Hornet (Vespa Velutina) outbreak in Devon. It’s not that far away from the south Wales coast, so it is not inconceivable that it could make its way to us in Pembrokeshire.
It is recommended that you check out the link on the NBU website at http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageid=208 which also has instructions for making an Asian Hornet Monitoring Trap.
Further advice will follow in due course.
Would PBKA members please note the attached document Invasive Weed Control Programme which is currently underway. Those beekeepers with hives close to the areas concerned should check their bees and take any necessary actions to protect them.
Please note that an order will be made shortly for Invertbee syrup at a discounted rate of £14 per can for PBKA members only. This syrup is ideal for winter feeding and is superior to sugar syrup.
To order, please ring Jeremy Percy on 07799 698568 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nectar flows have ceased and reports are coming in of bee colonies which are short of stores. It is also apparent that Wasps have been very populous in many areas and they too are desperate for nutrition so Beekeepers should be mindful of the need to protect hives from Wasp invasion particularly where feeding is taking place in the apiary.
Colonies particularly at Risk are:
• Bee Colonies where supers of honey have been removed this season and no feeding has taken place.
• Splits / Artificial Swarms and Nucleus colonies made up this year.
• Swarms collected this year where little or no supplementary feeding has taken place.
• Firstly – Check all colonies feed levels by ‘hefting the hive’ – Check the weight of the colony by lifting below the floor on both sides of the hive to see how much it weighs. Where the hive is light, liquid feed should be applied directly above the bees. Remove any supers from above the brood box which are empty or have few bees in them. This will help the bees get to the food quickly.
• Feed can be sugar and water mixed at 2:1 ratio or one of the proprietary ready mixed syrups available.
• Fondant can be used in an emergency if nothing else is available – but liquid feed will be more appropriate at this time of the season.
• Large starving colonies of bees will take 1 gallon (Approx 5 Litres) of syrup very quickly – smaller colonies ½ gallon (Approx 2.5 Litres) may be sufficient to keep them going, but after feeding heft hives again and check the weight – if in doubt feed some more in a few days time.
Further information and Guidance:
Further information on supplementary feeding can be found on Beebase – Best Practice Guideline Number 7 – ‘Emergency Feeding’
Would all Pembrokeshire beekeepers please note that there have again been confirmed outbreaks of AFB in the area. We have been advised that there will be a concentrated effort by National Bee Unit (NBU) Inspectors shortly, to check all colonies potentially at risk.
We would ask that you all be as helpful and accommodating to the NBU Inspectors as possible in undertaking this task and if asked you must advise them of all your apiary/hive locations!
Please also see the National Bee Unit (NBU) factsheet Apiary_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:
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.
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!!