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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.

Dear interested friend of bees,

As many of you know, I have been using a group of volunteers for a number of years to monitor various sites in which feral colonies of honey-bees are continuing to live despite the spread of Varroa throughout most of Scotland.

Sadly one of these sites has now been lost. The tree in which the bees were living near the River Nairn had become unstable, and it was judged to be a public danger and felled. Those who had been monitoring the site were quickly alerted to the situation, and within a few hours of the tree coming down, they went there to rescue the bees.

A year or two ago, I was sent a small sample of bees from this colony to do some wing morphometry on, and from the characteristics of the venation pattern on their wings, it appears likely that they are largely of the Carniolan race. These have a reputation for mild temper, and the behaviour of the bees while they were being rescued would certainly confirm that for this stock.

Those carrying out the rescue have made a most interesting video of their proceedings, and I hope you will enjoy watching it.

Ann Chilcott, who was the leader of the rescue team, has said that she would like this to be widely circulated among interested beekeepers, so feel free to share it with you beekeeping friends. It has many useful lessons for others who may be faced at some time with a similar problem.

Magnus Peterson

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