Hive number 8 came through the winter well. However. It became apparent that the colony was not building up.

The queen appeared sluggish and the laying pattern was not all it could be. I decided to introduce a new queen from British stock from an acknowledged breeder.

 The queen was introduced in the appropriate way. I dispatched the old green queen on my branch – the myth being if you squeeze the queen on a branch this will form an attraction for swarms to attach– 4 queens over last 4 years no good so far.

When I checked a week later much to my frustration the new queen was nowhere to be seen. I closed the hive to sort out next week. The bee inspector was coming in 3 days.

I was telling the inspector of my bad luck in losing my new queen as he inspected the comb. He simply pointed out the queen, not the new marked one.

The colony had presumably also realised the old queen was failing and superseded. It appeared the two queens had fought as the right rear wing was somewhat chewed and not moving correctly. But she appeared to be laying well.

Sadly the ending was not happy. Wonky winged queen stopped laying as well and on inspection had a paralysed right rear leg. The poor pattern because many of the eggs were ending up at the side and being removed by the workers.

She has had to be replaced and has gone to the tree of swarms.


BeeBase

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  • Survey on how training and information sources for beekeepers and bee farmers can be improved now closed
    20 April 2021
    With thanks to those of you who have already responded. 

    Gyda diolch i'r rhai ohonoch sydd eisoes wedi ymateb. 

    Defra and the Welsh Government want to ensure that beekeepers and bee farmers have access to training and information that can help them implement effective biosecurity and maintain good standards of husbandry, so as to minimise pest and disease risks and improve the sustainability of honeybee populations.

    A questionnaire was available for current beekeepers, people who have recently stopped keeping bees as well as bee farmers to give their views and opinions on the type, accessibility and range of training and information available and how it could be improved. 

    The survey closed on 21 April
  • Seasonal Bee Inspector (SBI) Vacancies
    19 April 2021
    The National Bee Unit currently has a number of Seasonal Bee Inspector (SBI) vacancies advertised in the following areas South Kent & East Sussex, South West Devon and South East Wales

    If you are interested in applying for the job, full details can be found on Civil Service Jobs.


  • Reporting Varroa
    12 April 2021
    Amendments to the Bee Diseases and Pests Control (England) Order 2006, the Bees Diseases and Pest Control (Scotland) Order 2007 and the Bee Diseases and Pests Control (Wales) Order 2006 come into force on the 21st of April 2021 requiring all beekeepers and/or officials in GB to report the presence of Varroa in any of the hives that they manage. This amendment will allow Great Britain to comply with the Animal Health Law which is necessary for future working relationships with the European Union.

    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 be the easiest way to report Varroa but an alternative mechanism will be provided for those who do not wish to register on the BeeBase system. Details of this alternative system will be provided after 21st April. If Scottish Beekeepers wish to, they can report varroa by contacting the Scottish Bee Health Inspectors (BeesMailbox@gov.scot).

    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 the Scottish Bee Health Inspectorate. We are grateful for your assistance with this new simple measure.

    No action will be required until after 21st April.