Warwickshire County Honey Show – Saturday 29th September 2018

Again at the Stoneleigh showground, the county Honey Show will be held alongside three interesting lectures

Staging from 08.00, full details are in the schedule which is attached to this article.

Online entry will be available from 1st August until 8.30pm Sunday 23rd September.  Go to the booking page HERE

This year we have three nationally recognized speakers; we expect the day will appeal to all our members, whether they are taking part in the Honey Show or simply looking to improve their beekeeping knowledge by learning from others.

10.00 am ‘Varroa, the ghost in the hive’ – Professor Steve Martin, Salford University. Steve will be reporting on fascinating research into how bees recognize other bees within the hive, how the varroa mite can camouflage itself and the implications this has for reliance on hygienic behaviour to combat varroa.

11.30 am ‘Viral infections in honeybees’ – Kirsty Stainton , National Bee Unit, York. In recent years, many beekeepers in Warwickshire have suffered colony losses from Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus (CBPV). We will be getting an update on the research that the NBU have been undertaking on CBPV and other viral infections which impact honey bee colonies (How many can you name?).

14.00 pm ‘How do I sort this out?’ –  Gerry Collins, NDB & Master Beekeeper. In his own unique down-to-earth style Gerry will cover some of the head scratching situations we encounter in our hives and practical solutions to resolve them.

Please register HERE for the lectures.  The lectures are free to attend for members, but it is important that we can plan for the expected numbers of attendees.

We also want to help those entering the Novice Classes at the Honey Show to get individual feedback on their entries. In a change to previous shows, the entrants will be offered the opportunity to attend the judging process so that they can hear directly about their entries from the Judge.

Updated schedule of events and map:

thumbnail of WBKA 2018 Honey Show & Lectures information sheet

Asian hornet identified in Lancashire

The National Bee Unit has confirmed a sighting of the Asian hornet in the Bury area of Lancashire. It was spotted by a member of the public in a cauliflower, which has since been traced back to Boston, Lincolnshire.
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 and work is already underway to identify any nests, which includes setting up a surveillance zone and traps in the two identified locations and deploying bee inspectors to visit local beekeepers.

Full article here

Apimondia 2019 Announced

Montréal will be hosting the 46th Apimondia International Apicultural Congress in 2019.
As many of you know, APIMONDIA is the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Associations. Its major objective is to facilitate the exchange of information and discussions by organizing Congresses and Symposia where beekeepers, scientists, honey-traders, agents for development, technicians and legislators meet to listen, discuss and learn from one another. Apimondia meetings are fabulous events that offer great opportunities to learn about all the aspects of the beekeeping world. During these meetings, from morning until late evening, participants explore various exhibits and learn about cutting edge research from all parts of the world.

The official website is HERE

Healthy Bee Day Announced 19th May 2018

Open to beekeepers from Warwickshire and adjoining counties, a day of practical workshops and demonstrations covering all aspects of bee health including the chance to inspect diseased comb.  This will be led by the Regional Bee Inspector, assisted by members of his staff

Cost :-£15 , Tea/coffee included. Bring your own lunch. Delegates will receive a Healthy Bee guide for use in the apiary.

All 60 places now allocated

December Update on Asian Hornet by NBU

Update on the Asian Hornet Outbreak in Woolacombe

Please click the following blue link to view an image of an Asian hornet sighting in Woolacombe hawking in front of beehives.

Following suspect sightings, on Sunday 24th September the NBU received two photographs from a beekeeper in Woolacombe, North Devon, of an Asian hornet. The following day, the 25th September, preliminary surveillance began in the apiary and the NBU’s Contingency Plan was activated. The local Bee Inspector monitored the apiary and initially found surveillance difficult due to the position of the colonies in the apiary. However, that morning, the Inspector managed to capture a hornet and sent the sample to the NBU in Sand Hutton for formal identification. Later that afternoon, the Inspector returned to the apiary site and a further 7 hornets were seen hawking in front of hives, but no line of sight could be ascertained, to establish a flight path back to the nest.

On the 26th September, South West Region inspectors were deployed to intensify searches for Asian hornets hawking in the area. Wet, misty and murky morning weather conditions were not ideal, but the Inspectors continued to survey the original outbreak apiary and two lines of sight were established. Inspectors were able to identify a second apiary site about 1km from the original outbreak, where one hornet was seen hawking for returning foraging bees. A hornet sample was taken, in order to establish if the hornets visiting the second apiary site were from the same nest and thus determine if there were multiple nests in the area.

Hornets were also observed in an apiary at a further site and were seen flying in a similar line of sight. The lines of sight from both the outbreak apiary and the second apiary combined were enough for an initial triangulation to be taken and investigated. The Inspectors began investigating public footpaths and the area around where the lines of sight met at the triangulation. A great deal of Asian hornet activity was observed at a nearby building site and on 27th September an Asian hornet nest was discovered.

The nest was destroyed the following evening, removed and taken to the Fera lab (Sand Hutton, York) on Friday 29th Sept. Further surveillance was carried out within a 10 km zone of the nest site and no further Asian hornet activity was detected. Following analysis of the nest has shown that none of the adult hornets were male and this indicates that the nest was detected and removed before the production of queens which will have gone into winter and then produced nests in 2018.

Additionally, if you are interested in finding out more details of the Tetbury outbreak in 2016, including genetic analysis of the hornets origin, this can be found in the PLoS One publication: Budge GE, Hodgetts J, Jones EP, Ostoja Starzewski JC, Hall J, Tomkies V, et al. (2017) The invasion, provenance and diversity of Vespa velutina Lepeletier (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) in Great Britain. PLoS ONE 12(9): e0185172. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0185172.

Asian Hornet Confirmed

October 4th 2016

There has been a confirmed finding of Asian hornet north of the Mendip Hills in Somerset. As with the first sighting, work to find, destroy and remove any nests is already underway, and includes:

• setting up a three mile surveillance zone around the location of the initial sighting
• opening a local control centre to coordinate the response
• deploying bee inspectors across the area who will use infrared cameras and traps to locate any nests
• readying nest disposal experts who will use pesticides to kill the hornets and destroy any nests

Bee inspectors in Somerset will be supported by nest disposal experts who will use an approved pesticide to destroy any hornets and remove any nests.

The first Asian hornet confirmed in the UK was discovered in the Tetbury area. A nest in the area has since been found, treated with pesticide and destroyed. No further live Asian hornets have been sighted in the area since the nest was removed.

Husbandry Advice:

It is very important that beekeepers remain vigilant and monitor their apiaries and surrounding forage for any Asian hornet activity. At this time of the year, Asian hornets can be seen foraging on the ivy for nectar and preying on other foraging insects for protein.

Traps should also be hung out and closely monitored. When using bait, please refrain from using light beer or lager mixed with sugar as this does not work. In France a Dark beer, mixed with 25ml of strawberry syrup and 25ml of orange liqueur has proven to work well.

Additionally, a protein bait of mashed fish e.g. prawns or trout, diluted to 25% has also proven effective. Anyone wishing to make their own traps may find the following factsheet useful: How to make a homemade Asian hornet monitoring trap.

Further guidance on identifying the Asian hornet can be found on the Asian hornet pages of Beebase where you will find a very useful Asian hornet ID sheet and Asian hornet poster. All of this information can be found on the Asian hornet page of BeeBase: http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageId=208.

Any suspected Asian hornet sightings should be reported to alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk.

If you are not sure, please still send in a sample for ID or report any sightings. When emailing, please include your name, the location of the sighting and if possible, a photograph of the hornet. Please do not put yourself in any danger of getting stung when trying to take a photo.

Low Food Stores

30th December 2016

In some regions of the UK beekeepers have reported excessive use of food stores due to the un-seasonally warm weather. It would be advisable that you check your colonies have adequate stores and add supplements if required. With the weather being quite variable, fondant is the best option not liquid feed.

For those of you thinking about treating your colonies with Oxalic acid, we remind you to only use only approved products Api-bioxal or Oxuvar and to administer the treatment by label instruction only.

Further information about colony feeding and keeping good and accurate medicine records can be found on our website at www.nationalbeeunit.com .