AFB warning

Just a seasonal reminder for beekeepers concerning American Foul Brood (AFB).

We have been advised to direct you to the National Bee Unit (NBU) factsheet ‘Apiary Hygiene and Quarantine’, plus ‘Foulbrood Disease of Honey Bees and other common brood disorders’. These are available on Beebase at: http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageid=167

All beekeepers have a duty to keep healthy, disease free bees and the PBKA strongly recommends that beekeepers sign up to Beebase in order to ensure that they receive any warnings and can obtain advice etc. in the event of a disease outbreak.

Beekeepers within 3km of an AFB outbreak, with a current email address on Beebase, will receive an emailed alert from the NBU. All beekeepers within 5km of an outbreak should exercise vigilance as per the above factsheet, which also covers swarm collection and we strongly recommend that all swarms caught are quarantined for a period of 6 weeks with any concerns advised to your local Bee Inspector.

Please note if PBKA members see any hives in their area which appear to be abandoned, or are of unknown origin, contact the PBKA with details.

Reporting Varroa

On 21st April, 2021 an amendment to the Bee Diseases and Pests Control (England) Order 2006 comes into force requiring beekeepers and or officials to report the presence of Varroa in any of the hives that they manage. This amendment will allow England to comply with the Animal Health Law which is necessary for future working relationships with the European Union. Similar arrangements are being made in Wales and Scotland. To make this simple, a tick box will be introduced to BeeBase, the voluntary register for beekeepers managed by the National Bee Unit. This will allow beekeepers and inspectors to report the presence or absence of Varroa. Although Varroa is known to be widespread, it continues to be one of the most serious pests faced by beekeepers. Reporting Varroa will contribute to the overall pest and disease surveillance work of the National Bee Unit and we are grateful for your assistance with this new simple measure.


 

Starvation and Foulbrood warning!

The BBKA has issued a warning to beekeepers to check their bees for starvation and European Foulbrood during this cold snap.

Emergency feeding may be needed. It would be advisable to check the food levels by opening the hive and making a very quick observation of their store levels.

It is also important to check that hives have small entrances as Foulbrood is about in some areas and small colonies or those suffering disease may not be able to defend themselves from infected intruders if they have a large opening to defend. 

UK will no longer use bee-harming pesticide

A pesticide believed to harm bees won’t be used in England, after it had been approved for temporary use in January.

The government had authorised the emergency use of a product containing the chemical thiamethoxam, because of a virus which affected sugar beet seeds.

But that protection won’t be needed now, as the colder weather means there’s less risk to the crop.

See BBC article for further details.