Asian Hornet update

One of our bee inspectors advises that she has spent the best part of September in England chasing Asian hornets and the monitoring going on by the public has been variable. The only chance of preventing them from becoming a huge problem is to stop them early.
This is a link to the NBU Asian hornet trap
Note that Asian hornets are apparently quite hard to ID when they’ve been in a trap for a while, so people need to have a good look.
The most Asian Hornets have been seen on ivy and other forage, picking off flys and other insects (as this is easier than hawking in front of a hive) so if everyone could spend half an hour every so often watching some forage there’s a chance of spotting them if they’re here.
If anyone does spot something suspect then THEY NEED TO TAKE A PHOTO OR CATCH ONE AND PUT IT IN ALCOHOL OR THE FREEZER. The bee unit and non-native species have had over 4000 reports of Asian hornets that are actually something else (one was a cockroach!) people can also download the Asian hornet app, which has ID info and you can report sightings.


Asian Hornet sightings confirmed in Liskeard and Hull

The BBC report that sightings of the honey bee-killing Asian hornet have been confirmed in Cornwall and East Yorkshire.

Work is under way to identify any nests in Liskeard and Hull, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said.

The Asian hornet is smaller than the native hornet and poses no risk to human health, but does pose a risk to honey bees.

Inspectors are monitoring areas around the sightings.

Nicola Spence, Defra deputy director for plant and bee health, said: “These sightings in Liskeard and Hull underline the need to remain vigilant.

“I want to encourage people to look out for any Asian hornet nests and if you think you’ve spotted one, please report your sighting through the Asian hornet app or online.”


Wasp alert!

Wasps are making their appearance felt now around the hives.

To keep the pesky invaders out:

Reduce the entrance size of the hive, probably opened fully during the recent hot weather, to give the bees a smaller area to defend.

Put out wasp trapswasp trap (Mobile)these can be bought or easily made with a jam jar with a hole made in the lid or from a plastic drinks bottle as shown. Jam attracts wasps, but not bees.  Do not use honey in the bait of course.

Be tidy and keep rubbish away from the apiary, which could attract wasps and other pests!


Potential starvation risk!

Just to remind all beekeepers that the June gap can still happen and inclement weather, combined with large growing colonies and little or no available forage, can quickly result in a shortage of stores.

So be sure to check that your bees have enough food, especially if you have taken off any spring honey. Note that if you add extra frames of sealed stores you should keep them in the brood boxes, so as to avoid getting them mixed up in the honey supers. Also, if you have to feed directly, use a light syrup (i.e. 1:1 sugar/water ratio) with any honey supers taken off during the feeding process.

National Bee Unit Wales – Bee Health Events 2018

The NBU team will be getting out and about to local association venues this year and offering tailored support sessions to local beekeepers. The 2018 Bee Health events in Wales will be ‘drop in’ workshops, allowing attendees to come and go at a time of their choosing, and to focus on the issues of greatest concern to them.

The workshops will provide an opportunity for beekeepers to meet some of the NBU team in Wales, to get an understanding of the purpose and value of the Inspectorate’s work and, most importantly, to develop their knowledge and diagnosis of the key pest and disease threats to their bees.

The NBU will be bringing their ever popular diseased combs, displayed under special licence, to give attendees first hand and, we hope only, experience of brood disease. The NBU will also be providing stalls of information covering a wider range of pests and diseases and relevant good beekeeping practice, from varroa control to biosecurity and exotic pests.

Welsh Government and the Animal and Plant Health Agency, of which the NBU is a part, are keen that the events are made available to all beekeepers. As in previous years, associations are hosting our workshops but attendance is not restricted to association members – all beekeepers are welcome to come along. Full protective sanitary wear will be provided and the NBU will require attendees to comply with the biosecurity measures they will have in place.

The events will run from 2pm until 4pm at the following venues:

Saturday 16th June – Bridgend BKA, Coytrahen Community Centre, CF32 9DW

Saturday 30th June – South Clwyd BKA, St Collen’s Community Hall, Llangollen, LL20 8NU

Sunday 8th July – Gwent BKA, Goytre Hall, NP4 0AW

Friday 13th July – WBKA, Aberystwyth University, SY23 3FL

Sunday 15th July (10am – 12pm) – WBKA, Aberystwyth University, SY23 3FL