21st September 2018
The picture above shows the second nest found at Fowey in Cornwall today by bee inspectors and destroyed. Defra says a hunt for further nests is continuing aided by local beekeepers.
Here is the press release about it available on the government website:
Asian hornet: Second Fowey nest destroyed
A second nest in Fowey, Cornwall, has been destroyed and the public are asked to remain vigilant for Asian hornets.
Published 21 September 2018
Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and Lord Gardiner of Kimble
Asian hornet hawking honey bees
The National Bee Unit has located and destroyed a second Asian hornet nest in Fowey, Cornwall.
The Asian hornet is smaller than our native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than a bee. However, they do pose a risk to honey bees.
Adopt a Beehive - Sponsored by Burts Bees
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Asian Hornet Leaflet NNNS (Laminated)
Bees, Neighbours & Siting an Apiary (L011)
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Collecting a Swarm (L004)
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12, 13, 14 April 2019
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17 September 2018
You may be wondering how Jersey beekeepers have worked out the distance they are from an Asian Hornet's nest by timing how long it takes a hornet to fly from bait to nest and back? Well it all goes back to elementary mathematics.....
Speed is a measure of how quickly an object moves from one place to another. It is equal to the distance traveled divided by the time. It is possible to find any of these three values using the other two.
So you know the time it takes to go back and forth from the bait and you have a guesstimate of the time at the nest which is considered a constant. Divide the result by 2. Then use an estimate of the speed of flight of the Asian Hornet and you can work out the distance to the nest. So distance = speed x time
At the moment, the estimate of speed of flight of the Asian Hornet being used is 100 metres per minute or 1.7 meters per second.
This is what works best to get them closest to the nest they are hunting. The other thi...
10 September 2018
Two more sites where an Asian Hornet has been found and confirmed emerged today. Liskeard in Cornwall and the city of Hull.
Surveillance activity at both sites is underway.
The National Bee Unit has called for the public to report any suspected Asian Hornets after two further confirmed sightings. At this stage, there is no evidence to suggest that the Cornwall and Hull sightings are linked.
You can find a map of all the Asian Hornet incursions here:
The Asian Hornet is smaller than our native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than bee. Although like all wasps they can repeat sting.
However, they do pose a risk to honeybees and work is already underway to identify any nests in the Liskeard and Hull areas, which includes deploying bee inspectors to visit local beekeepers and setting up monitoring traps. They are monitoring a 1-2km radius around both sitings.
The hornets in Fo...
September 7 2018
An Asian Hornet nest has been found in Fowey in Cornwall and destroyed by bee inspectors.
It was on Friday 31st August a beekeeper in the Fowey area found 2 Asian Hornets in a trap he'd set up near his beehives. They were positively identified by the Non Native Species Secretariat and a surveillance zone was set up on Tuesday (Sept 4). Killing traps and feeding traps with meat and sweet baits were deployed and there was a lot of hornet activity around them. By timing their visits back to the bait, inspectors from the National Bee Unit were able to track them back to their nest.
The latest nest found on Jersey ( above )
The nest was detected on Thursday (Sept 6) and destroyed in the evening, when the hornets would have returned to the nest, by using CO2 gas to carry an active ingredient called bendiocarb. The nest was removed this morning at 0700.
It is described as a small nest, about the size of a child's football, and was situated about...
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4 September 2018
An Asian Hornet was found in a beekeepers monitoring trap in Fowey near the south coast of Cornwall on Friday.
Bee Inspectors have been carrying out surveillance and monitoring since, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) said.
It follows an earlier sighting in Lancashire earlier this year.
It was first seen in Jersey in 2016, and has since been seen in north Devon.
While the sting from an Asian hornet poses no more threat than to humans than a honey bee, they are extremely defensive of their nests and have a voracious appetite for insects that could cause harm to our ecosystem.
Nicola Spence, from Defra, said a "well-established protocol" was in place.
She said: "That's why we are taking swift and robust action to locate and investigate any nests in the south Cornwall area following this confirmed sighting.
"Following the s...
New guidelines for doctors from the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) say they should tell patients to use honey first when they have a cough. This is based on 3 studies that showed honey reduces symptoms by 2 points on a 7 point scale.
Honey and over-the-counter medicines should be the first line of treatment for most people with coughs, new guidelines recommend.
This is intended to help tackle the problem of antibiotic resistance. Overusing antibiotics is making infections harder to treat, by creating drug-resistant superbugs.
A hot drink of milk and honey is a very effective remedy for a sore throat. And honey can be combined also with lemon and ginger for coughs and a sore throat.
Patients are advised to use honey and over-the-counter medicines containing pelargonium, guaifenesin or dextromethorphan and wait for symptoms to improve, before going to a GP.
Most coughs are caused by viruses, which cannot be trea...
NOTE: Anyone sighting an Asian hornet on the UK mainland must report it to the National Bee Unit at this email: email@example.com and they will decide what action to take.
Judith Norman, the first volunteer from the mainland to go to help Jersey Beekeepers deal with overwhelming number of calls about Asian Hornets on the island, has written a blog about it:
20 August 2018
Earlier this month, Diane Roberts sent an email suggesting that beekeepers go to help out in Jersey because the Asian hornets were multiplying at such a rate that local beekeepers were swamped with the workload. At first, I felt awfully noble dashing to their rescue, but I have a confession to make: it turned out to be the most fun I have had in ages. I got thoroughly hooked on the thrill of the chase, as well as the camaraderie of working alongside like-minded people who enjoyed using their wits to overcome every type of obstacle one could imagine. Locating the nests was our only task; as s...
Saturday 18th August 2018
The British Beekeepers Association ( BBKA) which represents more than 25,000 beekeepers is celebrating National Honeybee Awareness Day on August 18th by asking the public to make sure they plant for pollinators.
The recent hot, dry weather has stressed bees as plants dried up and stopped producing nectar and pollen.
Plants that traditionally help pollinators at this time of year are Asters, Michaelmas Daisy, Catmint, Cosmos, Ox-eye Daisies and Goldenrod. Climbers include Autumn Clematis , Black-eyed Susan Vine, Common Ivy and Passion Flower.
Honeybee on Passion Flower
You can help in the early part of next year to make sure that all pollinators have a good start by planting Cyclamen, Hellebore, Snowdrops, Winter Crocus, Winter Jasmine, Winter honeysuckle, and Winter Flowering Cherry.
If you would like to support honeybees you can Adopt a Beehive with the BBKA near you and sup...
BBC Countryfile live, Blenheim Palace, August 2018 by Suzanne Bennett, Trustee
The British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) stand at the BBC Countryfile Live show at Blenheim Palace had more than 25,000 visitors over the 4 day event. It took place in the grounds of Blenheim Palace in August and was a great success.
The national Shows Committee under Clive Joyce's lead included Gordon Robbins, Douglas Nethercleft, Brian Donley, Liz and Steve Bates, Eileen Joyce plus Trustees Stephen Barnes and Suzanne Bennett.
Volunteer Area Association stewards from Oxfordshire and neighbouring counties joined in to meet our charitable objects to further and promote the craft of beekeeping and to educate the public in the importance of bees in the environment.
Stewards included Dean Forest Beekeepers Simon Burke and his 13 year old daughter Emily who is studying for the Basic Assessment in Beekeeping: "I learnt a bit more about beekeeping and I think people have been...
The British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) is very fortunate in being part of a brand new, exciting project to look at the health of honeybees after exposure to chemicals, involving many European countries and funded by the EU.
The project, named PoshBee (pan-European assessment, monitoring and mitigation of stressors on the health of bees) has 9 million Euros to boost global bee health. It is designed to determine the exposure of bees to a range of chemicals and assess the level of pests, diseases and nutritional status and the impacts these may have on the health of honeybees, bumblebees and solitary bees in a field realistic way rather than laboratory studies.
Beekeepers will be paid to take part
Pam Hunter, BBKA Trustee in charge of research projects, said "This is going to be a wonderful opportunity for some of our members to take part in real scientific experiments and initially we need 30 hives in two sites in Kent and in Berkshire or Oxfordshire fro...
Asian Hornet Week 10th - 16th September 2018
We will be holding Asian Hornet Week during 10-16 September, since this is the time of year when Asian hornets start hawking honeybees at hive entrances. The early autumn is the last chance we will have to prevent the emergence of new Asian hornet queens.
Why is Asian Hornet Week being held?
The #AsianHornetWeek will hopefully encourage all beekeepers to spend several one-hour sessions looking out for Asian hornets at their apiaries during fine weather. If you pin a 'skirt' around your hives you will force Asian hornets to hawk in front of the hive rather than ambushing bees from underneath and you can see if your bees are under attack.
It will need this amount of time as, unlike in France, there are more insects in the UK because they haven’t been eaten by competing colonies of Asian Hornets, so Asian Hornets won’t be relying on the bees for protein in quite the same way.
In case you do not understand why we are...
Cheshire Beekeepers Association has won its fourth Gold Medal at the RHS Tatton flower show.
Pamela Hatton, President of Cheshire BKA, said: "We are particularly pleased as growing conditions this year have been very challenging due to the hot, dry weather. Stuart Hatton did a magnificent job with the plant display.
"The set-up team and the stewards all worked really hard over the five days of the show with candle-rolling, demonstrating how bees live in a modern beehive, encouraging visitors to plant for pollinators, selling honey and generally talking about bees and beekeeping. We also offered a bee quiz."
A new feature this year was live demonstrations of handling bees using two hives in a netted enclosure. The demonstration hive sited next to the enclosure proved so popular it needed beekeepers in constant attendance.
Someone commented: "All those bees and not one sting all week!"
BBKA would like to congratulate Cheshire Beekeepers Association for another priz...
We are NCS group participating in the social action portion of our program. We’ve taken an interest in bees and the fact that they are almost extinct. We are going to host a family fun day in hopes of raising money for our bee-free candle campaign. With the money raised from these projects we would like to donate it to a bee friendly association.
25 July 2018
The British Beekeepers Association ( BBKA) which represents more than 25,000 beekeepers has set out plans for a nationwide system of training beekeepers to rear new Queen bees.
There has been a lack of commercial bee breeders in the UK and a consequent reliance on imported Queens. These queens, although checked for health, are not adapted to our climate. There is an increasing interest in the qualities of native black bees too.
So the BBKA initiative will start with 6 basic skills queen rearing courses - for people who can be trained to raise queens in their own branches and make them available to beekeepers needing them. It’s envisaged that a total of 72 people will be trained at this level initially.
Photo credit: Bermondsey Street Bees
This plan fits in nicely with the new proposals by Defra for much more reliance on good local queen supplies therefore diminishing the number of imported queens.
It’s hoped that the theory sessions will sta...
The British Beekeepers Association ( BBKA) has a new forum for members and anyone interested in asking a question about beekeeping.
There is a general bee chat and a swarm tracker page on the site plus somewhere for young beekeepers to hang out.
The forum has the same code of conduct as all our social media - you can find full details here but we expect everyone to be courteous and refrain from using derogatory language:
BBKA Code of Conduct for Social Media
So far there has been question about white ghost bees which turn out to be honeybees covered in the pollen from Himalayan Balsam plants. There is no doubt that the Balsam is flowering much earlier just like everything else this summer and the drought may mean there is not much nectar produced by the plants but honeybees are still working them.
That lack of nectar production is also discussed along with advice to not take too much honey off at this stage as we are nowhere near closing up th...
Bees in the curriculum is available now! With kind sponsorship from Suttons Seeds, it provides teachers with all the resources they need to teach their Primary aged children all about the basics of bees.
Please register with your local branch which you can find details of here for access to the Bees in the Curriculum site.
If you are a School and thinking of having Bees in your School please find the following thoroughly researched documents as guidelines for your planning; -
1. Managing your apiary, time commitment
2. Schools' beekeeping management plan
3. Model rules for the Apiary
4. Model risk assessment
If you are from a BBKA Association or Branch and have had an enquiry from a School, please see our advice in Members' News, in the Members section.
For anything else, especially if you are interested in helping to fund the Secondary School equivalent of Bees in the Curriculum, please get in touch with our Schools' Coordinator Claire Hartry
From apiculture to beeswax, alarm pheromones to supersedure, there are many words associated with beekeeping. As part of the Oxford English Dictionary’s 90th birthday celebrations, they are launching a number of public word appeals and one of them is about beekeeping.
A number of beekeeping terms are, of course, already included in the dictionary. For example the dictionary team have recently added entries for ACARINE (a disease of honeybees caused by the mite, Acarapis woodi) and BEE-BUTT (specific to south-west England, a man-made receptacle used as a home for a colony of bees).
They would love beekeepers to tell them words they use to describe a particular technique or a slang and colloquial expression that has arisen in your beekeeping community.
They want to know how you use these words? Perhaps you have evidence of earlier usage? What new words and phrases are coming into use?
So come on put your thinking caps on!
Did you know that the word for a skep r...
Electronic radio tags could be used to track invasive Asian Hornets and stop them colonising the UK and killing our honeybees, new research shows.
Scientists from the University of Exeter attached tiny tags to Asian hornets, then used a tracking device to follow them to their nests at two sites in SW France and Jersey where Asian hornets are well-established.
The tags led researchers to 5 previously undetected nests.
Lead researcher, Dr Peter Kennedy, of the Environment and Sustainability Institute on the University of Exeter's Penryn campus in Cornwall said:
"Our new method of tracking offers a really important tool to tackle the spread of this invader, providing an efficient means of finding hornet nests in urban, rural and wooded environments."
You can read the full paper here:
The work was funded by Defra as part of preparation for future outbreaks of the Asian Hornet in the UK and also by South West...
Bees and Honey Quiz for Children aged from 7 to under 15 years (Tick all the answers that apply and write your name, email or phone number on the back of this sheet)
Click here to download and print
Buzz, Flutter, Buzz - for Children under the age of 7 years (Draw and colour-in a picture of a bee, a butterfly and a bumblebee, write your name, and age and ask a parent or guardian to provide their contact details on this sheet)
Click here to download and print
Monday 2 July
Teams arrive in the IMYB venue at Nerac in France. Our 3 English competitors are Robyn, 15, from Hexham Beekeepers Association, in Northumberland, Natalie, 13, from Calderstones School in Liverpool and May, 15, who comes from Romsey Beekeepers in Hampshire.
IMYB is an annual meeting ensured by a multinational non-profit community for young people interested in beekeeping. Even though the event started in 2010 as an initiative of a few countries from central Europe lead by the Czech Republic, it has gained a large popularity and has become the largest international meeting for young beekeepers worldwide.
Young beekeepers in action.
It is designed for participants in the age from 12 to 16 who compare their knowledge and skills, establish new friendships and find more about other countries and cultures during usually a four-day meeting.
Wednesday 4th July
BBKA team leader Sim...
The annual survey carried out by the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) to measure winter survival of honeybees shows that losses almost doubled from the 13% reported in 2016/7 to 25% or a quarter of colonies being lost in 2017/8.
A significant cause of the increased losses was the more severe winter with the so-called Beast from the East bringing snow to many regions in February and a further, very cold, snap with more snow in the middle of March.
This meant there was a very late start to spring this year. This delay in the start of available forage occurred at a time when colonies are at their weakest and that, undoubtedly, was a contributing factor.
Beekeepers even reported that bees were venturing out only to be confined back in their hives due to the late snow.
Contributory factors included weak colonies going into winter, and queens not being mated properly. Both these were caused by colonies not having a good summer in 2017.&n...
The award-winning King’s Cross (KX) Bee Trail App 2018 will be available during the school summer holidays (July 9 – September 10) appealing to adults and children interested in bees and urban forage.
The tech-enabled 60 minute bee tour of King's Cross unlocks content at 7 locations about bees and how to help them, and allows you to ID and count bees as you walk.
Each of the seven locations along the 2018 KX Bee Trail are marked with a Honey Club sign. A 4-digit code on each sign, tapped into the App, unlocks a bee-related activity such as counting bees or learning about the forage that bees need to survive. Once the activity is completed, the App unlocks vouchers to some of the hip restaurants and cafes* in this emerging location behind King’s Cross Station.
The KX Bee Trail App is brought to you by The Honey Club, a partnership between King’s Cross-based youth charity Global Generation and Urban Bees. It was awarded a Bees’ Needs...
Documents which make up the Delegate Pack are below :
1. Index to ADM Pack - download file
2. ADM Pack Section 1 - Reports. download file
3. ADM pack Section 2 - Financial reports: download file 1 download file 2
4. ADM pack Section 2 - Management Reports & Budget Projections: download file
5. ADM Pack Section 3 - Nominations & Propositions. download Nominations file download Propositions file
6. 013 Draft Constitution 14-11-18: download file
7. Annex C Disciplinary Procedure v002: download file
8. Flow chart for Annex C Disciplinary v1 : download file
Notification Documents issued 17th August 2018:
Notification letter v2 from Stephen Barnes, Chair of Governance & Standing Orders Committee
Guidelines for BBKA 2019 ADM Meeting – Nominations & Propositions
Trustee Nomination Form
Examination Board Member Nomination Form
What does being a Trustee of the BBKA involve...
I’ve just returned home from a lovely long woodland walk. I walk as often as I can and almost always take my camera with me. I can pretty much guarantee - from March through till mid September, and sometimes beyond - that when I walk in the woods the understory, edges and clearings will be ‘abuzz’ with numerous bee species as they enjoy the foraging and nesting opportunities afforded by this wonderful diverse habitat.
I'm absolutely fascinated by bees; from the different frequencies at which they buzz, their purpose in life and the challenges I face trying to identify them – to their life cycles, behavioural traits and the myriad relationships they have built up over the millennia with flowering plants. I cannot imagine what the world would be like without bees. In fact a world without bees is, quite simply, unimaginable.
Bees as Pollinators
The unique relationship between pollinators and flowering plants has been evolving for over 100 million yea...
Congratulations to Ted who was recognised not only for his beekeeping but also for his voluntary work.
In Aprll last year, Ted and son Mark Gradosielski took the above shot at Everest Base Camp – on a Rotary Club trip to help redecorate an orphanage in Kathmandu and trek to base camp with 9 school kids from Hoddesdon.
He became President of the Rotary Club in Hoddesdon in 2016.
At the end of 2017, Ted was made a Liveryman in the City of London joining the Wax Chandlers who have always had a close relationship with the British Beekeepers Association.
Ted says he has concentrated on rearing gentle Queens whose workers will not sting beginner beekeepers.
The letter informing him of his award came on 3rd May from the Cabinet Office. Ted said:
"I am absolutely delighted and totally surprised! Never had a clue that a group of people thought me worthy of such an honour.
"My most sincere thank you goes to all those that submitted answers to the ques...
Explanation of risk codes on risk assessments - download
Use of Closed Observation Hives at Public Events - download
Use of Apiary for Training - download
Running a Honey Show - download
BBKA Safeguarding policy
Safeguarding, child protection and vulnerable adults. Policy and procedures - download
Alcohol and drugs policy - download
Whilstleblowing policy - download
There are around 20,000 identified species of bees but Apis Mellifera, honeybees, are the only managed insects in the world, unique in providing honey for human consumption. The health of honeybees is often taken as an indicator of the state of our natural world.
It is part of a natural pattern that some colonies of bees won’t survive through the winter, but this year does seem to have been especially bad, in some cases, with up to half of all colonies being lost.
Photo by Iolo Penri
The weather, of course, plays a huge part in this, and signs are that it was the cold spring and summer last year, rather than the cold winter most recently, which might be to blame for poor over-winter survival rates across bee colonies. If it is an especially wet and windy spring, the queen bee may not be fertilised properly, so by the time spring comes the following year she is unable to lay eggs to bring new life to the hive and the colony dwindles out.
Plant or protect
This makes it...