On Friday 4th October a nest was destroyed following the confirmed sighting of an Asian hornet near Christchurch, Dorset after it was reported by a member of the public.

It is imperative that any Asian hornet colonies in the UK are detected and destroyed before queens are released.

Read more: Asian Hornet Alert!

As beekeepers we are in a uniquely advantageous position to either trap or sight the Asian Hornet ‘Vespa Velutina’ and this is vital to preserve honeybees and other pollinating insects in the UK.

Asian hornets were initially brought to France in 2004, most likely in a shipment of pottery imported from east Asia. Since arriving in France, the species has spread rapidly and decimated pollinators, partiularly honeybees, in that country.

Read more: Asian Hornet

We all know the damaging effects that the appropriately named parasitic mite Varroa destructor can have on our honey bee colonies. The mites attach themselves to the bees and their larvae and feed on their host’s haemolymph. In their phoretic stage, they are transported on adult bees, and can thus spread between bees within the hive and between colonies through the processes of drifting, robbing and swarming of the bees.

Read more: Fungal Extracts Reduce Viruses in Honeybee Colonies?

Staffordshire Hoard Helmet reconstruction. © Image Copyright Birmingham Museums Trust

Rugby Beekeepers Association were approached in 2018 by Pieta Greaves of Drakon Heritage and Conservation. They were looking for local beeswax that could be used in a project focusing on reconstructions of a high-status helmet contained within the Staffordshire Hoard. The project aimed to showcase how the original may have looked and to provide valuable research on the methods used in its construction and evidence of beeswax was found in the original objects during research in both the crest and on the lower design panel.

Read more: Beeswax Benefits Hoard Helmet
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  • Varroa a reportable pest
    22 July 2021
    The Bee Diseases and Pests Control (England) (Amendment) Order 2021, The Bee Diseases and Pests Control (Wales) (Amendment) Order 2021 and The Bee Diseases and Pests Control (Scotland) Amendment Order 2021 make Varroa a reportable pest effective 21st April 2021. To find out how you can report varroa please visit https://www.nationalbeeunit.com/public/BeeDiseases/report-varroa.cfm
  • Seasonal Bee Inspector (SBI) vacancy
    01 July 2021
    The National Bee Unit currently has a Seasonal Bee Inspector (SBI) vacancy advertised in South Kent & East Sussex area.
    If you are interested in applying for this job, full details can be found on Civil Service Jobs here
    If you have any questions regarding the position, please contact Sandra Gray (Regional Bee Inspector for South East) – 07775119430, Sandra.gray@apha.gov.uk.
  • Regional Bee Inspector (RBI) vacancies
    01 July 2021
    The National Bee Unit currently has two Regional Bee Inspector (RBI) vacancies advertised in the Western and Central Regions.
    If you are interested in applying for these jobs, full details can be found on Civil Service Jobs here
    If you have any questions regarding these positions, please contact Cristina Ruiz (National Bee Inspector) – 07976242798, Cristina.Ruiz@apha.gov.uk.