May, 2016

Dear Member,
Driving to the BBKA Spring Convention at Harper Adams University in Shropshire, the roads were lined with clouds of Blackthorn blossom and the fields of Rape were beginning to yellow, but temperatures were still stubbornly below double figures centigrade. With such low temperatures blossoms will not be producing as much nectar as expected. Not such good news for our bees.

Read more: May 2016

Dear Member,

I know some of you attended the Tradex exhibition at Stoneleigh last month because I bumped into you, and hopefully some of you managed to attend some of the lectures.  I unfortunately missed the lectures for several reasons, but I am sure both Margaret Murdin and Roger Patterson gave value for money. Do think about attending next year as it is a good opportunity to hear good speakers and see what is currently on offer in the beekeeping fraternity.

Read more: April 2016

Dear Member,

The sharp-eyed amongst you, like Bruce, will have noticed two errors in last month’s newsletter - the date for Tradex at Stoneleigh is the 5th of March (not the 10th’) and our AGM was on the 17th February, not the 18th’ Apologies to all those misled by my errors.

Read more: March 2016

Dear Member,

Those of you who attended Celia Davis’ talk in January are now all aware of how important pollen is for both winter and summer bees. She stressed that pollen, both in quantity and variety was crucially important for the production of a protein vitellogenin which is essential to sustain bees, and which may even act as a protective agent against disease. So, make sure your hives have access throughout the seasons to different plants rich in pollen.

Read more: February 2016

Dear Member,

Well as we come into the new year, I hope you all have a happy and successful beekeeping year in 2016!

Our Christmas social meeting in December went off well despite missing Steve Brown’s delicious smoked salmon, members excelled themselves in providing a wonderful spread of delicious food, ranging from home-made bread to scrummy chocolate fudge cake. Dave Bonner ran an enjoyable quiz, pitting 4 teams against one another.

Read more: January 2016


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_-_Welsh_Language_Version v3

    If you have any queries please contact:

    For England:
    For Wales: /
    For Scotland:
  • 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:

    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: