Small Hive beetle

​Did you know that a post-Brexit loophole could allow the arrival of a devastating new insect pest into the UK?  Small hive beetle is endemic in southern Italy, from where most bees imported into the UK are brought. 

Small hive beetle can multiply to huge numbers within infested colonies, where it eats brood, honey and pollen, destroys the wax combs and causes fermentation and spoiling of the honey.  Prior to December 2020, an effective inspection regime at points of import had prevented it from becoming established in the UK..  With Brexit, the rules changed: though packages of bees cannot currently be imported into Great Britain, they are still allowed to be brought into Northern Ireland – from where they can then be transferred to the UK mainland without restriction or disease inspection.

Unless this loophole is closed, unscrupulous importers will be able to move bees into the UK without control.  There is no effective treatment for small hive beetle – in the US at least 20,000 colonies were destroyed within two years of its discovery and the potential impact on British beekeeping could be devastating.  We support the British Beekeepers Association in a campaign to ask the Government to take action on this urgent issue.  For more information on this issue see the BBKA's press release BBKA here

Honey is the bees knees for coughs and colds


A recent study, published in the journal BMJ Evidence Based Medicine, has found that honey is a more effective treatment for coughs, blocked noses and sore throats than many conventionally prescribed remedies.  The researchers from the University of Oxford recommended honey as a cheap, accessible and low-risk treatment for symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI), on which antibiotics have no effect.

Read more in this article from The Observer

Bee rustling is real


This story by one of our members was in this weekend’s Yorkshire Post.  As you can read on our front page, the prospect of unscrupulous bee importers being responsible for bringing Small Hive Beetle into the UK via Northern Ireland is now a genuine threat to UK honey bees and beekeeping.  Please read the story and sign the petition to Stop the unregulated importation of honey bees into GB from the EU via Northern Ireland.