2021 NBU Western England Annual Report

  • The 2021 annual report is now available.
  • Following the retirement of Colin Pavey, Jonathan Axe is the new Regional Bee Inspector for the Western Region which includes Gloucester. Liz Gardener is the Seasonal Bee Inspector for the majority of Gloucestershire with Bronwen Hopkins covering the Forest of Dean from March.
  • The level of European Foulbrood (EFB) has continued to increase in the Western region and is now at record levels, although the numbers in Gloucestershire remain low. Avoiding colonies swarming and quarantining captured swarms, to check for disease, can help to prevent the spread of EFB to neighbouring areas in the region.
  • Remember to check your colonies for stores during periods of poor weather to avoid starvation and monitor and treat for Varroa where necessary to avoid colony collapse.
  • There were no reports of Asian hornet in the region. However, the nest found and destroyed in Ascot (Berkshire), was the largest to have been found in England to date (35cm diameter). Monitoring and local Asian Hornet Teams therefore remain important.
  • As the UK is now considered a Third Country by the EU, all honeybee imports from the EU require an accompanying export health certificate. Only queens can be imported from the EU (and package bees from New Zealand). The risk remains, however, that package bees from southern Italy (where Small Hive Beetle is present) could be imported into mainland UK via Northern Ireland.
  • 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.