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Recent News Items


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October 2020 - COVID-19 and Beekeeping update

Please find the latest Covid-19 beekeeping guidance. The update includes separate links to the current Public Health Guidance for England, Wales and Scotland.

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If you have any queries please contact:

For England: BeeHealth.Info@defra.gov.uk
For Wales: HoneyBeeHealth@gov.wales / GwenynMelIach@llyw.cymru
For Scotland: Bees_Mailbox@gov.scot



September 2020 - Asian hornet nest killed in the Gosport area of Hampshire

An Asian hornet nest in an apple tree was killed near Gosport, Hampshire on Friday 11th September.  The nest was small, approximately 20cm in diameter and monitoring will continue in the area.

Further information regarding the Asian hornet can be found on our Asian hornet page on BeeBase and on Defra's 2020 Asian Hornet sightings page. Please direct all media enquiries to the Defra Press Office: 0330 0416560

Please report sightings using the ‘Asian hornet Watch’ app for Iphone and Android.



September 2020 - Asian Hornet Week

7-13 September is Asian Hornet Week
A new blog by the National Bee Unit on Asian Hornet has just been published here
Please report sightings using the ‘Asian hornet Watch’ app for Iphone and Android.



September 2020 - Asian hornet confirmed in the Gosport area of Hampshire

Beekeepers and members of the public were today asked to remain vigilant after an Asian hornet was spotted in the Gosport area of Hampshire.

Further information regarding the Asian hornet can be found on our Asian hornet page of BeeBase and on Defra's news page.  Please direct all media enquiries to the Defra Press Office: 0330 0416560

Please report sightings using the ‘Asian hornet Watch’ app for Iphone and Android.



September 2020 - Asian Hornet Week

7-13 September is Asian Hornet Week
You can help our UK pollinators by being able to identify Asian Hornets and reporting your sightings. Please refer to the GB Non-Native Species Secretariat’s recently updated identification sheet.
Please report sightings using the ‘Asian hornet Watch’ app for Iphone and Android.



September 2020 - Asian Hornet Week

7-13 September is Asian Hornet Week

The Welsh Beekeeping Association hosted a webinar by Frank Gellatly, the Regional Bee Inspector for Wales during Asian hornet week.  The presentation covers Asian Hornet identification, the Asian Hornet in France, incursions into England, the response including track and trace and the future, including Asian Hornet Teams in Wales.

A recording of the webinar is available here

Please report sightings using the ‘Asian hornet Watch’ app for Iphone and Android.



September 2020 - Asian Hornet Week

7-13 September is Asian Hornet Week
Presentations on Asian Hornet Biology and Asian Hornet Genetics by Fera Science Ltd. are available online.
Please report sightings using the ‘Asian hornet Watch’ app for Iphone and Android.



September 2020 - Asian Hornet Week

7-13 September is Asian Hornet Week
A new video showing a hornet processing a bee and helpful tips on identification is now available 
Please report sightings using the ‘Asian hornet Watch’ app for Iphone and Android.



August 2020 - Starvation Alert

Bee Inspectors across the UK are reporting that many colonies are in need of food where honey has been harvested and nectar availability is reduced. Where starvation is a risk, replacement food needs to be provided.

Please monitor your colonies throughout the coming months and feed as required to ensure your bees do not starve. A standard full size British National colony needs between 20-25 kg of stores to successfully overwinter. Sugar syrup should be made with 1kg of sugar to 650ml of warm water or a commercially ready-made bee syrup can be given.

For further information, please see the Best Practice Guidance No. 7 - Feeding Bees Sugar



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.



April 2020 - DIAGNOSTIC SERVICES PROVIDED BY SASA DURING COVID-19 CRISIS

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

DIAGNOSTIC SERVICES PROVIDED BY SASA DURING COVID-19 CRISIS



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: BeeHealth.Info@defra.gov.uk 
For Wales: HoneyBeeHealth@gov.wales / GwenynMelIach@llyw.cymru
For Scotland: Bees_Mailbox@gov.scot




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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