Dear Member

Perhaps you were as confused as I was between the Coloss colony loss survey and the BBKA survey from Leigh Sidaway. Hope you managed to do both as the information for Coloss will go towards a Europe wide survey whereas the BBKA one is UK wide. A bit like Brexit talks, it would be good if they could co-operatate and co-ordinate their efforts.

Read more: May 2019

Dear Member

April is usually the time when temperatures are high enough, and there is forage around, for a first inspection to be less disruptive to the bees, but with a warm dry February and then some high temperatures in March it seems that many colonies are already building up strongly and we can anticipate an early swarming season as a result. Apparently Winnie the Pooh made the very apt remark that “you can never tell with bees”- something that anyone who has ever kept bees will concur with.

Read more: April 2019

Dear Member

Towards the end of this month, if the weather starts to warm up, you should start to see your bees bringing in pollen. The flowers they will be foraging from at this time of year are crocus, snowdrops, helebore, mahonia and pussy willow. It is a good idea to have some of these planted in the vicinity of your hives as while the weather is still cool, the bees cannot fly too far, about 100 yards maximum, before getting chilled and then they are unable to fly back to the hive. They won’t be bringing nectar in until the temperatures get to around 15degrees C, so keep hefting your hives and feed fondant if necessary.

Read more: February 2019

Dear Member

Happy New year to you and your family (and your bees!). Let us hope that 2019 is a good year for bees and their other pollinating buddies and that we beekeepers get a good honey harvest as a bonus.

Read more: January 2019

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  • Email Issues
    23 May 2019
    Please be aware we are currently experiencing issues with emails to nbu@apha.gov.uk

    In the interim, please direct email correspondence to nbuoffice@apha.gov.uk

    We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
  • Swarms of honeybees
    15 May 2019
    The National Bee Unit has been receiving a large amount of calls regarding honey bee swarms. Please note that we do not deal with swarms, however, you may find the following advice useful in re-directing your enquiry:

    First of all it is important to establish what sort of insect it is. Usually, beekeepers are only willing to assist with honey bees. The British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) website holds list of volunteer Swarm Collectors and has a very useful identification and guidance page.
  • E-Learning Module - Technical Issues
    09 May 2019
    Please note we are experiencing technical issues with our online e-learning courses.

    This has been reported to IT and is under investigation.

    Please accept our apologies for this and we will advise when they are back up and running.