Dear Members,

With the wet weather we have been experiencing, give a thought to your bees and make sure that they are not sitting in a damp or frost pocket and that hives are weather proofed. Remember that bees can withstand cold temperatures and can deal with heat, but damp is a killer. Bees can ventilate the hive or warm it up, but they can’t deal with damp, mouldy conditions.

Read more: November 2020

Dear Members,

Active beekeeping is coming to an end this month as we ensure that our bees are ready for winter; most importantly, do they have sufficient stores to get them through our prolonged and sometimes very wet winters, and have we completed varroa treatments to reduce the impact of varroa on those bees having to survive the next six months.

Read more: October 2020

Dear Members,

You may have noticed a lot of butterflies around this summer. It is a delight to see them flitting from flower to flower with their splendid colours on view, but it also reminds me that as the butterflies are prospering, so of course are moths, and wax moths among them.

Read more: September 2020

Dear Members,

The weather reports over the last month have frequently referred to ‘unsettled’, ‘variable’, conditions and that could just as well sum up the state of my bees. My experience, along with others’s experiences,seem to indicate that queen mating has been ‘variable’ verging on the ‘unsatisfactory’ this year.

Read more: August 2020

Dear Members,

Beekeeping, a bit like Covid 19, can be hard to pin down. Trying to work out what the right steps are to take in a given situation, making mistakes, and feeling confused when things don’t go to plan seem to be par for the course in both situations.

Read more: July 2020

BeeBase

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  • Julian Parker – Head of APHA’s National Bee Unit.
    23 November 2020
    Following a recent recruitment process Julian Parker has been appointed as Head of the National Bee Unit (NBU) within Defra’s Animal and Plant Health Agency. Within the NBU Julian has previously been Acting Head as well as National Bee Inspector and before that Regional Bee Inspector for Southern and South East Regions. Julian has over 12 years operational experience with the NBU including leading outbreak situations. Julian is also well known in the wider beekeeping community and his expertise is highly respected across Defra and Welsh Government as well as with Bee Health stakeholders. He has also played a key role in the review of the 2020 Healthy Bees Plan and will now play a significant role in delivering the Healthy Bee Plan 2030. Many congratulations Julian.
  • Email issues
    16 November 2020
    If you have sent an email to nbu@apha.gov.uk between the 10th November and the 16th November, due to a system failure your message has not been received. Please resend your messages, we apologise for the inconvenience.
  • Healthy Bees Plan 2030 Published
    03 November 2020
    Defra, Welsh Government and the National Bee Unit have worked with stakeholders to produce a review of progress made under the Healthy Bees Plan, a ten-year plan introduced in 2009 to improve honey bee health across England and Wales. Following this review, a new plan entitled the Healthy Bees Plan 2030 has been published today to carry on this important work.

    Welcoming the new plan, Nicola Spence, Deputy Director for Plant and Bee Health at Defra, said:

    I am delighted that today we are publishing the Healthy Bees Plan 2030 which is Defra’s and Welsh Government’s joint framework for continued action to improve honey bee health in England and Wales over the next ten years. Protecting our honey bees is vital because of the benefits they bring through pollination of flowers and crops, honey production and our well-being. Bee health stakeholders have had a key role in developing this new Healthy Bees Plan and we look forward to continuing to work together as we implement the plan.

    Ceri Witchard, Deputy Director for Land, Nature and Forestry at Welsh Government, said:

    The Healthy Bees Plan 2009 was published with the aim of achieving a sustainable and healthy population of honey bees for pollination and honey production in Wales and England. Our overall aim has not changed. However, the experiences we have gained and the relationships we have built within the Bee Health Advisory Forum now put us in a firmer position to face new risks and challenges to honey bees. I am grateful to the Forum and other stakeholders for their commitment and contributions in developing the Healthy Bees Plan 2030.