NBU BeeBase News Feed

  1. Following a recent recruitment process Julian Parker has been appointed as Head of the National Bee Unit (NBU) within Defra’s Animal and Plant Health Agency. Within the NBU Julian has previously been Acting Head as well as National Bee Inspector and before that Regional Bee Inspector for Southern and South East Regions. Julian has over 12 years operational experience with the NBU including leading outbreak situations. Julian is also well known in the wider beekeeping community and his expertise is highly respected across Defra and Welsh Government as well as with Bee Health stakeholders. He has also played a key role in the review of the 2020 Healthy Bees Plan and will now play a significant role in delivering the Healthy Bee Plan 2030. Many congratulations Julian.
  2. If you have sent an email to nbu@apha.gov.uk between the 10th November and the 16th November, due to a system failure your message has not been received. Please resend your messages, we apologise for the inconvenience.
  3. Defra, Welsh Government and the National Bee Unit have worked with stakeholders to produce a review of progress made under the Healthy Bees Plan, a ten-year plan introduced in 2009 to improve honey bee health across England and Wales. Following this review, a new plan entitled the Healthy Bees Plan 2030 has been published today to carry on this important work.

    Welcoming the new plan, Nicola Spence, Deputy Director for Plant and Bee Health at Defra, said:

    I am delighted that today we are publishing the Healthy Bees Plan 2030 which is Defra’s and Welsh Government’s joint framework for continued action to improve honey bee health in England and Wales over the next ten years. Protecting our honey bees is vital because of the benefits they bring through pollination of flowers and crops, honey production and our well-being. Bee health stakeholders have had a key role in developing this new Healthy Bees Plan and we look forward to continuing to work together as we implement the plan.

    Ceri Witchard, Deputy Director for Land, Nature and Forestry at Welsh Government, said:

    The Healthy Bees Plan 2009 was published with the aim of achieving a sustainable and healthy population of honey bees for pollination and honey production in Wales and England. Our overall aim has not changed. However, the experiences we have gained and the relationships we have built within the Bee Health Advisory Forum now put us in a firmer position to face new risks and challenges to honey bees. I am grateful to the Forum and other stakeholders for their commitment and contributions in developing the Healthy Bees Plan 2030.
  4. The 2020 Hive Count launches today (2nd November)

    It is time to update your BeeBase records with the total number of overwintering hives as of 1st November 2020. You can do this by clicking this link to update your Hive Count: https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/beebase/secure/beekeeper/hiveCensus.cfm

    More details of this project, its importance and why we need your help can be found at:
    http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageid=362



  5. Defra, Welsh Government and the National Bee Unit have worked with stakeholders to produce a review of progress made under the Healthy Bees Plan, a ten-year plan introduced in 2009 to improve honey bee health across England and Wales.

    Healthy Bees Plan Review

    Healthy Bees Plan Review - Welsh Version
  6. 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
  7. An Asian hornet nest in an apple tree was killed near Gosport, Hampshire on Friday 11th September.  The nest was small, approximately 20cm in diameter and monitoring will continue in the area.

    Further information regarding the Asian hornet can be found on our Asian hornet page on BeeBase and on Defra's 2020 Asian Hornet sightings page. Please direct all media enquiries to the Defra Press Office: 0330 0416560

    Please report sightings using the ‘Asian hornet Watch’ app for Iphone and Android.
  8. 7-13 September is Asian Hornet Week
    A new blog by the National Bee Unit on Asian Hornet has just been published here
    Please report sightings using the ‘Asian hornet Watch’ app for Iphone and Android.
  9. Beekeepers and members of the public were today asked to remain vigilant after an Asian hornet was spotted in the Gosport area of Hampshire.

    Further information regarding the Asian hornet can be found on our Asian hornet page of BeeBase and on Defra's news page.  Please direct all media enquiries to the Defra Press Office: 0330 0416560

    Please report sightings using the ‘Asian hornet Watch’ app for Iphone and Android.
  10. 7-13 September is Asian Hornet Week
    You can help our UK pollinators by being able to identify Asian Hornets and reporting your sightings. Please refer to the GB Non-Native Species Secretariat’s recently updated identification sheet.
    Please report sightings using the ‘Asian hornet Watch’ app for Iphone and Android.
  11. 7-13 September is Asian Hornet Week

    The Welsh Beekeeping Association hosted a webinar by Frank Gellatly, the Regional Bee Inspector for Wales during Asian hornet week.  The presentation covers Asian Hornet identification, the Asian Hornet in France, incursions into England, the response including track and trace and the future, including Asian Hornet Teams in Wales.

    A recording of the webinar is available here

    Please report sightings using the ‘Asian hornet Watch’ app for Iphone and Android.
  12. 7-13 September is Asian Hornet Week
    Presentations on Asian Hornet Biology and Asian Hornet Genetics by Fera Science Ltd. are available online.
    Please report sightings using the ‘Asian hornet Watch’ app for Iphone and Android.

  13. 7-13 September is Asian Hornet Week
    A new video showing a hornet processing a bee and helpful tips on identification is now available 
    Please report sightings using the ‘Asian hornet Watch’ app for Iphone and Android.

  14. Bee Inspectors across the UK are reporting that many colonies are in need of food where honey has been harvested and nectar availability is reduced. Where starvation is a risk, replacement food needs to be provided.

    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. Sugar syrup should be made with 1kg of sugar to 650ml of warm water or a commercially ready-made bee syrup can be given.

    For further information, please see the Best Practice Guidance No. 7 - Feeding Bees Sugar
  15. Bees’ Needs Week is a campaign co-ordinated by Defra to raise awareness of the importance of bees and other pollinators, and to provide practical advice on what we can all do to support them. Many organisations are working together to encourage everyone who can, to do simple things at home - like growing more flowers and cutting grass less often - to help our precious pollinators thrive, and to engage further with nature through citizen science initiatives.
    There’s more information on the Bees’ Needs Website. Throughout the week a variety of content will be shared online including:
    • Why bees are important animation
    • Day in the life of a beekeeper video
    • Educational resources including bumble bee identification
    • Information on the UK Pollinator Monitoring Scheme
    Get involved with Bees’ Needs Week on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using #BeesNeeds
  16. The VMD would like to remind beekeepers of their responsibilities and duty to comply with the VMR and VMD guidance. A veterinary medicine must be administered in accordance with its marketing authorisation, which in practice means you must follow the instructions in the package leaflet unless directed otherwise by your vet.

    Read the full VMD Communication
  17. The National Bee Unit is pleased to share a range of presentations created by Fera Science Ltd. presented by Kirsty Stainton on;
    Asian Hornet Biology
    Asian Hornet Genetics
    European foulbrood

    The presentations can be found on BeeBases pages on Asian hornet and Foulbrood.
    Please do contact us with your feedback.
  18. Scottish beekeepers; please read the attached information note from Scottish Government.

    DIAGNOSTIC SERVICES PROVIDED BY SASA DURING COVID-19 CRISIS
  19. Please find updated Covid-19 beekeeping guidance with official logos for England, Wales and Scotland.  The updated guidance has an amended paragraph which reads:

    There are currently no restrictions on movements of bee colonies that you are managing, such as moving bees to fulfil pollination contracts. However, you should observe the public health guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when carrying out these activities, including the guidance on social distancing and essential travel.

    Covid-19_and_Beekeeping_Update_v2

    COVID-19_and_Beekeeping_-_Welsh_Language_Version v2
  20. Please see the below guidance from the bee health policy teams in England, Wales and Scotland regarding beekeeping during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Covid-19_and_Beekeeping_Update_v2

    COVID-19_and_Beekeeping_-_Welsh_Language_Version v2

    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


  21. The National Bee Unit currently has a number of Seasonal Bee Inspector (SBI) vacancies advertised in the following areas. If you are interested in applying for the job, please use the links below and contact the relevant Regional Bee Inspector for any queries regarding the position.

    South East – Kent
    North East – East and West Yorkshire
    Southern – Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Hampshire
    Eastern - North Cambridgeshire, South Lincs & West Norfolk

  22. DO YOU IMPORT BEES FROM OUTSIDE THE EU? If so, please read the below factsheet on what you need to do to prepare.

    The new Official Controls Regulation (OCR) will apply directly to the UK from 14th December 2019. Please read the OCR Factsheet for further information.

    You do not need to register on TRACES NT if you:
    • are not responsible for the load and do not raise notifications
    • only trade with the EU as you will continue to use TRACES Classic for Live Animals and Animal By Products
  23. Please be aware that we will shortly being upgrading our eLearning platform and as a result any information relating to previously completed training will be lost. We would therefore advise that if you wish to retain a record of your training, that you download this information and any certificates, before the end of February.

  24. The National Bee Unit has a vacancy for a Seasonal Bee Inspector (SBI) in the Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Merthyr Tydfil area. If you are interested in applying for the job, please follow this link.

    If you have any questions regarding the position, please contact Frank Gellatly (Regional Bee Inspector for Wales) - 01267 202 732/07775 119 480 - francis.gellatly@apha.gov.uk

    ---

    Mae gan Yr Uned Wenyn Genedlaethol swydd wag ar gyfer Arolygydd Gwenyn Tymhorol (SBI) yn ardalAbertawe, Castell-Nedd Port Talbot, Merthyr Tudful. Os oes gennych ddiddordeb mewn gwneud cais ar gyfer y swydd, dilynwch y ddolen ganlynol.

    Os bydd gennych unrhyw gwestiynau ynglyn â'r swydd, cysylltwch â Frank Gellatly (Arolygydd Gwenyn Rhanbarthol Cymru) - 01267 202732 / 07775 119480 - francis.gellatly@apha.gov.uk
  25. The RSS news feed issue has been resolved - apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.
  26. Don’t forget we need you to update your colony records on BeeBase by 31st December. You can do this by clicking this link to update your Hive Count: https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/beebase/secure/beekeeper/hiveCensus.cfm

    More details of this project, its importance and why we need your help can be found on the Hive Count page of BeeBase.

    If you have any further questions, please contact us at Hive.Count@apha.gov.uk
  27. A second Asian Hornet nest was destroyed near Christchurch, Dorset on Friday 11th October. It is likely to be a primary nest, related to the nest destroyed the previous week. Genetic analysis will be carried out to investigate relatedness between the nests.

    We continue to ask beekeepers and the general public to remain vigilant and report any suspect sightings using the iPhone and Android app ‘Asian Hornet Watch’, by filling out an online reportform or by emailing alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk.
  28. 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.

    We continue to ask beekeepers and the general public to remain vigilant and report suspect sightings using the iPhone and Android app ‘Asian Hornet Watch’, by filling out an online report form or by emailing alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk .

    Further information can be found here.
  29. Following the new case of Small hive beetle (Aethina tumida) confirmed in June in the province of Syracuse in Sicily the European Commission published safeguard measures on Tuesday 10th September. Further details of the surveillance in Italy can be found on the Italian National Reference Laboratory website.

    UK authorities remain active in preparing and monitoring for the Small hive beetleand this summer a contingency training exercise was run by the National Bee Unit (NBU) in Wales with the Welsh Government to train Inspectors on plans and protocols.
  30. The National Bee Unit destroyed an Asian hornet nest near Tamworth, Staffordshire on Friday 6th September. A further sighting was reported in a new location by a member of the public of an Asian Hornet south west of Ashford, Kent, this single hornet has been captured. Surveillance continues in both areas.

    This week is the British Beekeepers Association’s Asian Hornet Week and we encourage Beekeepers and members of the public to watch for Asian hornets in their apiaries, on fallen fruit and on flowering plants such as ivy.

    A summary of all Asian hornet sightings in the UK during 2019 can be found here, along with how to report sightings.
  31. The National Bee Unit has confirmed a sighting of an Asian hornet near Tamworth, Staffordshire, after it was reported by a member of the public.

    We continue to ask beekeepers and the general public to remain vigilant and report suspect sightings using the iPhone and Android app ‘Asian Hornet Watch’, by filling out an online report formor by emailing alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk .

    Further information can be found here.
  32. Due to an IT problem there may be a delay in processing some Beebase registrations. Apologies for any inconvenience caused. This issue is now resolved.
  33. DNA barcoding analysis of a suspect sample of Osmia spp. from Turkey has confirmed it to be a native UK species of leafcutter bee, Megachile centuncularis.

    The UK has a diverse variety of native bees and we encourage members of the public to seek identification of bee species through the many groups and societies with a particular interest in entomology such as; The ‘BWARS’ (Bees Wasps and Ants Recording Society) Facebook page, https://www.royensoc.co.uk/identifying-insects or https://www.nhm.ac.uk/take-part/identify-nature.html. Sightings may be recorded with the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology; https://www.brc.ac.uk/irecord/enter-casual-record.

    We encourage the reporting of non-native species identified by interest groups or members of the public. Guidance on where to report this information can be found on the GB Non-native Species Secretariat (GB NNSS) website (www.nonnativespecies.org/recording). The Government will then take action in accordance with the GB Invasive Non-native Species Strategy to minimise the risks they pose to our flora and fauna. We encourage everyone who travels abroad to check luggage especially if it has been kept outside during their trip. If you do spot a stowaway upon your return to the UK you should report it with the dates and places you went on holiday, and ideally a photo of the insect via the GB NNSS website.
  34. The National Bee Unit has today (Wednesday 3 July 2019) confirmed a sighting of an individual, female Asian hornet in New Milton, Hampshire, after it was reported by a member of the public. Based upon visual examination, the hornet is likely to be a queen.

    Further information can be found here.

  35. The Italian authorities have notified the Commission of the reoccurrence of Small Hive Beetle in Sicily in the Siracusa area. The EU will be discussing changes to the safeguard measure at the next SCOPAFF on 8/9 July.
  36. We are having a few enquiries from beekeepers with Gmail accounts regarding our emails not being received.

    Please add nbu@beebaseadmin.fera.co.uk to your safe senders list to try get our emails past the junk filtering system, as this is the address the automated emails are sent from.

    Some beekeepers have also told us that they found the automated emails in a different junk folder, once they logged in to their Gmail account on a desktop computer.

    Please try these methods and if you still experience issues contact the NBU Office: nbuoffice@apha.gov.uk
  37. The National Bee Unit has been receiving a large amount of calls regarding honey bee swarms. Please note that we do not deal with swarms, however, you may find the following advice useful in re-directing your enquiry:

    First of all it is important to establish what sort of insect it is. Usually, beekeepers are only willing to assist with honey bees. The British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) website holds list of volunteer Swarm Collectors and has a very useful identification and guidance page.
  38. Please note we are experiencing technical issues with our online e-learning courses when using Internet Explorer.

    This has been reported to IT and is under investigation.

    Please accept our apologies for this, in the meantime, the courses can be still be accessed using Chrome or FireFox.
  39. *** RESOLVED ***

    Updated: 28/05/2019 - This issue is now resolved.

    Please be aware we are currently experiencing issues with emails to nbu@apha.gov.uk

    In the interim, please direct email correspondence to nbuoffice@apha.gov.uk

    We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
  40. The Scottish Government are currently recruiting for a new Lead Bee Inspector. For further details please see here.
  41. Please be aware that the National Bee Unit email address has changed to remove the reference to ‘GSI’. Please update your records with immediate effect to use nbu@apha.gov.uk as emails sent to the old address will return invalid.

  42. Defra have published guidance on importing animals, which includes bees, if the UK leaves the EU with no deal. The information can be viewed by clicking on the following link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/importing-animals-animal-products-and-high-risk-food-and-feed-not-of-animal-origin-after-eu-exit

    Specific honey bee information will be provided on BeeBase as soon as it is available.

  43. Following the retirement of Mike Brown on Friday 8th February, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Julian Parker as the temporary Head of the National Bee Unit. Julian has held a variety of roles within the National Bee Unit over the past ten years, including most recently National Bee Inspector.
  44. Beekeepers should continue to monitor their colonies throughout the winter as temperatures in some regions of the UK have been unusually high for the winter months, allowing honey bee flight and forage of pollen. In some cases, small patches of brood are still being reared and the demand on the colony's food resources ongoing. 

    Where temperatures do not allow for a sugar syrup feed, fondant icing can be placed directly on the top bars of the colony, above the cluster and fed as required.

    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

  45. A Regional Bee Inspector Vacancy is now live on the Civil Service Jobs website. The area we are recruiting in is:

    Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Wirral and Merseyside, Lancashire, Cumbria, County Durham, Tyne and Wear and Northumberland (Northern Region) - Please contact the National Bee Inspector Julian Parker if you have any questions about the post. His contact details are as follows:
    Email: Julian.Parker@apha.gov.uk
    Phone: 07775 119469

  46. The 2018 Hive Count launches today (1st November)!

    More information can be found here.

    This year the emails will be sent out using the Government Notify system and you will receive an email from national.hive.count@notifications.service.gov.uk. Please make a note of this mailbox and mark it as a friendly to prevent it from being blocked by your email provider. Any replies to this mailbox should still reach us directly.


  47. Seasonal Bee Inspector Vacancies are now live on the Civil Service Jobs website. The areas we are recruiting in are:

    Greater London, London, Kent (South Eastern Region) - Please contact the Regional Bee Inspector Sandra Gray if you have any questions about the post. Her contact details are as follows:
    Email: Sandra.gray@apha.gov.uk
    Phone: 07775119430

    Northern Region - Co. Durham, Tyne & Wear and Northumberland. (Northern Region) - Please contact the National Bee Inpsector Julian Parker if you have any questions about the post. His contact details are as follows:
    Email:Julian.parker@apha.gov.uk
    Phone:07775119469


    Kind regards,

    National Bee Unit
  48. The National Bee Unit is investigating a confirmed sighting of the Asian hornet in Dungeness. The hornets have been seen foraging on Ivy. Please keep up your vigilance by continuing to monitor for any hornet activity, especially on flowering forage. Further information will become available as and when the situation develops.

    As usual, further information regarding the Asian hornet can be found on our Asian hornet pageof BeeBase and on Defra's Asian hornet rolling news page.

    Please report sightings:

    • with your smart phone or tablet, by using the ‘Asian hornet Watch’ app: for Iphone  and  Android;

    • online: http://www.brc.ac.uk/risc/alert.php?species=asian_hornet;

    • by email to: alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk. 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 direct all media enquiries to the Defra Press Office: 0330 0416560

  49. It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Chris Appleby, Seasonal Bee Inspector for Co. Durham, Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, who passed away unexpectedly on Friday 5th October.

    Chris joined the National Bee Unit in May 2017 working as part of the Northern team and in recent weeks he had been out helping with the Asian Hornet response in both Hull and Hampshire.

    Chris was well known for his passion and enthusiasm for his work and will be greatly missed by the Northern team and the wider NBU family.

  50. The National Bee Unit is investigating the finding of a dead Asian hornet found between a car grill at a car dealership in Guildford. Further information will become available as and when the situation develops.

    A new ‘Asian Hornet: UK sightings in 2018’ page has been published on Gov.Uk. This, along with BeeBase, will be updated with new developments as they occur.

    As usual, further information regarding the Asian hornet can be found on our Asian hornet page of BeeBase.

    Please report sightings:

    • with your smart phone or tablet, by using the ‘Asian hornet Watch’ app: for Iphone and Android;

    • online: http://www.brc.ac.uk/risc/alert.php?species=asian_hornet;

    • by email to: alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk . 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 direct all media enquiries to the Defra Press Office: 0330 0416560.