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Recent News Items

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July 2020 - This week (13-19 July) is Bees’ Needs Week

Bees’ Needs Week is a campaign co-ordinated by Defra to raise awareness of the importance of bees and other pollinators, and to provide practical advice on what we can all do to support them. Many organisations are working together to encourage everyone who can, to do simple things at home - like growing more flowers and cutting grass less often - to help our precious pollinators thrive, and to engage further with nature through citizen science initiatives.
There’s more information on the Bees’ Needs Website. Throughout the week a variety of content will be shared online including:
• Why bees are important animation
• Day in the life of a beekeeper video
• Educational resources including bumble bee identification
• Information on the UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme
Get involved with Bees’ Needs Week on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using #BeesNeeds

June 2020 - New Presentations Online

The National Bee Unit is pleased to share a range of presentations created by Fera Science Ltd. presented by Kirsty Stainton on;
Asian Hornet Biology
Asian Hornet Genetics
European foulbrood

The presentations can be found on BeeBases pages on Asian hornet and Foulbrood.
Please do contact us with your feedback.


Scottish beekeepers; please read the attached information note from Scottish Government.


April 2020 - COVID-19 and Beekeeping update

Please find updated Covid-19 beekeeping guidance with official logos for England, Wales and Scotland.  The updated guidance has an amended paragraph which reads:

There are currently no restrictions on movements of bee colonies that you are managing, such as moving bees to fulfil pollination contracts. However, you should observe the public health guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when carrying out these activities, including the guidance on social distancing and essential travel.


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March 2020 - COVID-19 and Beekeeping

Please see the below guidance from the bee health policy teams in England, Wales and Scotland regarding beekeeping during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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If you have any queries please contact:

For England: 
For Wales: /
For Scotland:

February 2020 - Seasonal Bee Inspector (SBI) Vacancies

The National Bee Unit currently has a number of Seasonal Bee Inspector (SBI) vacancies advertised in the following areas. If you are interested in applying for the job, please use the links below and contact the relevant Regional Bee Inspector for any queries regarding the position.

South East – Kent
North East – East and West Yorkshire
Southern – Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Hampshire
Eastern - North Cambridgeshire, South Lincs & West Norfolk

February 2020 - Smarter Rules for Safer Food - Official Controls Regulation

DO YOU IMPORT BEES FROM OUTSIDE THE EU? If so, please read the below factsheet on what you need to do to prepare.

The new Official Controls Regulation (OCR) will apply directly to the UK from 14th December 2019. Please read the OCR Factsheet for further information.

You do not need to register on TRACES NT if you:
• are not responsible for the load and do not raise notifications
• only trade with the EU as you will continue to use TRACES Classic for Live Animals and Animal By Products

February 2020 - eLearning Upgrade

Please be aware that we will shortly being upgrading our eLearning platform and as a result any information relating to previously completed training will be lost. We would therefore advise that if you wish to retain a record of your training, that you download this information and any certificates, before the end of February.

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