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Diagnostic Services Provided By SASA
During Covid-19 Crisis


Guidance From Scottish Bee Health Inspectorate

The Bee Health Teams of DEFRA, the Scottish and Welsh Governments have issued their advice and guidance for beekeeping in the UK given the current restrictions around COVID-19, which can be found by clicking here.

This guidance has been published on Beebase and if you are not already registered on Beebase it is a good idea to do so, not only will you receive notifications like this but also alerts if there is EFB or AFB within your area.

The Bee Disease and Pest Control (Scotland) Amendment Order 2021 making Varroa reportable in Scotland and which amends The Bees Diseases and Pest Control (Scotland) Order 2007 comes into force on 21st April 2021 (similar arrangements are in place for England and Wales). This legislation requires all beekeepers and officials in Great Britain to report the presence of Varroa in any of the hives that they manage or inspect (in the case of bee inspectors) and will allow GB to comply with the Animal Health Law which is necessary for future working relationships with the European Union and for GB beekeepers to continue to export honey queen bees to the EU and Northern Ireland.

In summary, you should continue to care and manage your honey bee stocks in the normal manner whilst observing the government’s guidance on COVID-19 and social distancing.

Should you have any queries or need anything please do not hesitate to contact us.

We hope you and your bees stay safe and well.


SBA – Dundee University Research Collaboration: Overwinter Survey: April 2016

We wish to continue the annual surveys of overwinter losses that we began in 2012 and report back to the membership when all the data for 2015-16 is analysed. In addition, an overall analysis will be performed on data produced over all 5 years (eg. geographical location, forage availability and reported Varroa load) and general regional variations and emerging trends (if any) over this period. This survey will be supplemented by a honey yield survey at the end of the season and we wish as much data from the same apiaries as possible.

Your help will be greatly appreciated as the more returns that we have the more reliable the data will be. Previous analysis by professional geographers at Dundee, using data from years 1-3, indicated that by mapping Scottish colony losses by actual geographical distribution indicated a correlation of colony losses with two stressors. The first was increased rainfall (from the average for each area) and secondly, intensive land use. We will deliver the full 5 years data to the geographers to provide a more complete assessment of these stressors of honeybees in Scotland. In addition, given the ban on the three major neonicotinoids (for use on bee visited crops) in December 2013, we will be able to compare colony overwintering loss rates before (3 years; 2011-2014) and after (2 years; 2014-2016) their restriction. Has there been any benefit to Scottish honeybees, or have their use been replaced by more toxic alternatives?

If you have failed colonies, please freeze a sample of 30 bees and indicate this on the form provided. If you have a healthy colony at the same apiary, please also freeze 30 bees from one of these colonies (to serve as a control). Once we know how many samples are available, we will collect them to screen for the presence of Nosema ceranae. It is not yet clear if this new parasite is a threat to honeybees in Scotland.

All data will be held in strictest confidence and no personal details released. Any use of data will not bear identification unless with your permission. We may wish to follow up some data so contact details are requested. Full postal code information is important for accurate geographical analysis of final data.

Download your survey form using either of the links below:

PDF FORMAT               




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