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.

This is the time of year when colonies have been previously detected and we depend on alert beekeepers and members of the public to report sightings.

As we have an abundant insect population, Asian hornets may not just be found in apiaries, they could also be at places where insects congregate – stands of ivy, for example, and on decaying fruit.

At any sunny, warm period, take a little extra time – 20 minutes or more - to look around your apiary, any ivy and garden generally to help early detection of this alien insect.

What Else Can I Do?

  • Monitor your apiaries and observe local forage sites using monitoring traps:
    The NBU have produced a useful guidance note and video on how to make a monitoring trap.
  • Ensure your BeeBase records are up to date with apiary locations and contact information:
    We encourage you to use the online functionality to update your apiary records and also record if Asian hornet traps are situated in an apiary. Guidance on how to update your records can be found here.
  • Cooperate with your local Bee Inspectors:
    Beekeepers within the area of the outbreak may be contacted by NBU Inspectors in order to carry out apiary surveillance, we kindly ask for full your co-operation with these visits.
  • Report any suspect sightings:
    • with your smart phone or tablet, by using the ‘Asian hornet Watch’ app: for Android and iOS devices.
    • online at: http://www.brc.ac.uk/risc/alert.php?species=asian_hornet
    • by email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Please include as much information as possible in your email; where you saw the sighting, your name and contact details and if possible an image.

Please note that during outbreaks the NBU receive high numbers of calls and emails, we therefore ask that you use the signposting information above to report sightings, where possible preferencing the app or electronic form.

We thank you in advance for your co-operation and continued vigilance.

 


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