The queen marking colour for 2024 is GREEN.
Useful Beekeeping Links
BeeBase (National Bee Unit)
Thorne (Beekeeping Manufacturer & Retailer)
All beekeepers will find this an extremely useful resource and should consider signing up. BeeBase is the Animal and Plant Health Agency’s (APHA) National Bee Unit website. It is designed for beekeepers and supports Defra’s Bee Health Programmes. BeeBase supports the aims of Healthy Bees Plan 2030, focusing on protecting and sustaining our valuable national bee stocks.
The website provides a wide range of apicultural information for beekeepers, to help keep their colonies healthy and productive. Information includes the activities of the NBU, honey bee related legislation, pests and diseases information including their recognition and control, publications, advisory leaflets and key contacts.
Honey Sales & Labelling
Labelling rules and regulations can be confusing; click here to see the advice from BBKA. The BBKA raised a petition on the Government website calling for a change to labelling rules so consumers can easily recognise all countries of origin of the honey contained in a jar sold in the UK. The link to the petition, which officially closed on 13th April’23, and the disappointing government response is below.
Treatment for Varroa
Good beekeeping includes the control of the varroa mite. Click here for the various methods of control. More information can be found in the January 2023 section of our Blog page written by Alan Baxter. The website www.varroaresistant.uk provides practical and scientific information to help beekeepers transition to varroa resistant beekeeping.
See also a video on our YouTube channel of Oxalic Acid being applied by our chairperson Paula Little.
Asian Hornet Identification
It is important for beekeepers and the public to recognise Asian Hornets which are a threat to our honey bees, especially since the large increase in confirmed sightings during 2023. Click here and here for identification posters. It is recommended that all beekeepers with smart phones download the Asian Hornet Watch App where sightings can be reported. If a sighting is within our Fareham area you can contact our FDBKA Asian Hornet Team Leader, Mark Fisher on 07921954686.
Beekeeping Year Planner
Download your Yearly Planner HERE
BBKA News Archive
Did you know that you can read all the back issues of BBKA News online? Go to bbkanews.com To login, put your BBKA membership number including the dots (e.g. 93.10.1234) as the User Name. The password is your postcode.
Bee Friendly Pesticides
To make a ‘bee friendly’ pesticide:
- Mix 5ml Neem oil + 2ml Liquid Soap + 1litre water (add soap to the water first & then slowly stir in the neem oil)
- Pour into a spray bottle
- Note: The Neem oil may need warming to mix fully
In 2021, 2022 & 2023 the UK government permitted use of neonicotinoids for beet growing without a vote in Parliament. This substance is highly toxic to pollinators, persists in soil and leaches into water courses. BBKA raised a petition to the UK government requesting that such decisions in future are put to a vote in Parliament. Unfortunately the petition, which ended on 5th Janury’24 and is found HERE, did not raise the necessary 10,000 signatures to receive a formal response.
Sadly, on 17th January’24 the government approved it’s use for a further year.
Bee friendly natural pesticides that won’t harm pollinators.
Top 10 Plants for Bees
Bee numbers have steadily been in decline over the past several years and gardeners are being encouraged to have wild patches and to grow flowers that will help out our little buzzing friends. As beekeepers we should encourage this then hopefully numbers will start to increase again. See here for the top bee friendly recommendations.
Places to visit
Find below some interesting bee related places to visit within a 3 hour drive from our base in Fareham:
- We keep our teaching Dennis Smith Memorial Apiary at Manor Farm, SO31 1BH
- School visits at the National Apiary Garden, Stonleigh, CV8 2LG
- Quince Honey Farm, South Molton, EX36 3RD
- The Hive, Kew Gardens, Richmond, TW9 3AE
- Royal Horticultural Society Gardens, Wisley, GU23 6QB
- Gilbert White’s House & Garden, Alton, GU34 3JH