A copy of the 2017 Western Region Annual Report is now available from the Regional Bee Inspector Colin Pavey.
- Notifiable disease levels were below average – but with one or two hotspots.
- High varroa levels were seen especially late in the season.
- Levels of minor disease were average or below.
- No reports of Small Hive Beetle in the UK.
- No reports of Asian hornet in Gloucestershire in 2017 but a nest was found and destroyed in Woolacombe, North Devon (see NBU website and adjacent NBU news for latest updates).
- A reminder that it is a legal requirement to notify the National Bee Unit of any bee imports into the UK.
- It is also a legal requirement to only use approved Veterinary Medicines and to keep proper records of any treatments.
- Please remember to also register your colonies on BeeBase.
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 because they will kill them when they need protein to feed their own larvae.
Asian hornets were found in the Tetbury area of Gloucestershire in September 2016. The National Bee Unit found and destroyed a nest, which they believe was the only one in the area. A confirmed sighting was also reported in the Woolacombe area of Devon in September 2017.
Since Asian hornets are now established in France it is probable that there will be further arrivals in the UK at some point.
Beekeepers should check for the presence of Asian hornets by putting out traps. On warm spring days, mated queen hornets may emerge from hibernation as early as February, and worker hornets will be on the wing throughout the beekeeping season, right up until November, so hanging out traps between these two dates is a useful monitoring tool. Sugary liquid bait should be used in the spring, and a fish-based bait is recommended in the late summer when hornets are looking for protein to feed their young.
Simple wasp traps will also catch European and Asian Hornets if the trap entrance is at least 12mm diameter.
The National Bee Unit web site has full information about Asian Hornets and how to deal with them, information on suitable traps, and links to articles and videos covering the experience with Asian Hornets in France. Please read their information here: NBU Asian Hornet page