2020 NBU Western Region Annual Report

Prepared by our Regional Bee Inspector Colin Pavey

Keeping a safe distance in 2020 – from the beekeeper! Photo Jonathan Axe

Some highlights from Colin Pavey’s Report

 

  • Registration on BeeBase is important for all beekeepers to help the National Bee Unit identify colonies at risk from notifiable disease or exotic pests and target control measures effectively. Remember also to keep your keep your apiary records up to date.
  • There are 6 inspectors for the Western Region. From 1st April you can use the postcode search on the contacts page of BeeBase to check for your local Seasonal Bee Inspector (available April to September). Elizabeth Gardner is the SBI for Gloucestershire, excluding the Forest of Dean where it is Jonathan Axe.
  • There was an increase in the incidence of EFB in the Western Region in 2020. Fewer affected colonies were found in Gloucestershire (8 vs 11 in 2019), but the number was very high in Worcestershire (almost 40) and more than double in Herefordshire (21 vs 10 in 2019). 
  • There was only 1 case of AFB – in Worcestershire.
  • Some beekeepers are taking a ‘light touch’ with regard to treatment for Varroa. Remember to monitor and control for Varroa where necessary. Use biotechnical methods or Veterinary Medicines Directorate approved treatments as required, record their use, and rotate them to avoid the risk of resistance.
  • There were no reports of the exotic pests Tropilaelaps or Small Hive Beetle in the UK in 2020 although the threat of SHB incursion from Italy remains.
  • There were no reports of Asian Hornet in the Gloucestershire area again in 2020 and only one in the UK (Gosport, Hampshire) – the small nest was found and destroyed.
  • Nationally, 21405 queens and 1882 packages of bees and 573 nucs/colonies were imported – links on how to import bees legally are available within the Report and it should be noted that new rules apply from January 2021. Better still, why not have a go at raising your own local queens with the help of your local GBKA branch.