Dear Member

Hopefully many of you will be in the throes of extracting and processing honey from your hives. Remember we have a Honey Show coming up on the 7th October so think about putting aside some of your best honey to show off. This will be Fran Payne’s first Honey show so let’s all make sure we all try to enter something to make it a success.

Read more: August 2017

Dear Member

Beekeepers, like farmers, are always concerned about the effects of the weather, and this year has brought some interesting challenges. First we had cold, but dry weather, then rain and more recently very high temperatures with no rain. This has meant that many plants did not give their nectar freely, but also that plants seem to have come into flower earlier than usual.

Read more: July 2017

May 2017
Dear Member

We are well into the swarming season as can be seen from the swarm map. Please continue to let Rowan know if you have collected a swarm so that we can make this as accurate a record as possible.

I collected a swarm this year that reminded me that swarm collection is also about paying attention to bees ‘normal’ behaviour as well as how their behaviour differs in swarming mode.

Read more: June 2017

May 2017
Dear Member
Hopefully your hives are all building up well and are ready to take advantage of the forage available over the next few months which will promise a good honey crop. The blossom this spring has been spectacular, but as for beekeeping, the downside of the dry, and sometimes cold, weather has been that flowers release less nectar in these conditions, although pollen fortunately remains plentiful.

Read more: May 2017

April 2017
Dear Member
This is the month that keeps beekeepers on their toes. Colonies should be building up steadily - in fact some members are reporting that with the mild winter their colonies are already full of new bees as the queen has been laying throughout the winter. Perhaps our bees are taking on the characteristics of Italian bees - if only we get the same summer weather to support them!

Read more: April 2017

BeeBase

Beebase News Web feed
  • Social science study on how best to support beekeepers and bee farmers through education, information and advice
    20 January 2021
    Understanding how turnover (“churn”) among beekeepers can be managed and review information sources, learning methods and use of social media, to develop resources to support the beekeeping sector.

    Defra and Welsh Government have commissioned a social science study to gather information about different aspects of education and training. This includes getting a better understanding of how the turnover of beekeepers can be managed. It will also review information sources, learning methods and use of social media. The third part of the project will evaluate current continuous professional development schemes and resources to support bee farmers. The study which has just begun, has been contracted to ICF Consulting who have carried out a number of research projects in other areas for Defra. We are hoping that many beekeepers will participate in the project which will include a survey and further details will be announced soon.

    This work links into the Healthy Bees Plan 2030, working together to improve honey bee health and husbandry in England & Wales.
  • COVID-19 and Beekeeping update
    11 January 2021
    This is a re-issue of the guidance provided in October 2020:

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

    Covid-19_and_Beekeeping_Update_v3

    COVID-19_and_Beekeeping_-_Welsh_Language_Version v3

    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
  • Starvation and Varroa Alert
    04 December 2020
    Observations from beekeepers and Bee Inspectors across the UK suggest that some colonies of bees are becoming short of food.

    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. If they need feeding at this time then fondant should be used. This should be placed above the brood nest so that the bees are able to access it easily.

    For further information, please see the ‘Best Practice Guidance No. 7 - Feeding Bees Sugar’ on the following BeeBase Page: http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageid=167

    It has also been observed that Varroa levels in some hives are starting to increase again. This may be due to a number of factors, but the exceptionally mild weather this autumn has encouraged some colonies to produce more brood than usual which has allowed an increase in mite reproduction.

    Please monitor mite levels and treat accordingly.

    For further information, please see the’ Managing Varroa’ Advisory leaflet on the following BeeBase Page: http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageid=167