Tips for the Month:

  • Keep up weekly inspections to check for queen cells. Even if you have done a swarm prevention or had a swarm leave your hive, if the colony builds up strongly there may still be another swarm.

  • After selecting a good sealed queen cell make sure you check all the frames by shaking the bees off to ensure you have not left any queen cells - emergency queen cells are hard to spot. Don’t shake the frame with the chosen queen cell - brush the bees off.

  • If your bees have not swarmed but your queen is aging, consider making up a nuc with the old queen and forcing the bees in the old hive to make queen cells and produce a new queen.

  • Do not disturb the nuc or colony where a new queen is being produced for at least 3 weeks from the date you left a sealed queen cell. It can sometimes take longer before the new queen starts laying.

  • Continue to put on extra supers when ¾ of frames are covered by bees.

  • If your bees are near oilseed rape remove supers once they have been sealed and extract immediately before it crystallises.

  • Make sure colonies have sufficient stores - there is a lot of brood to feed at this time of year. If there are no supers on the hive make sure there are at least 2 frames of stores


BeeBase

Beebase News Web feed
  • Survey on how training and information sources for beekeepers and bee farmers can be improved now closed
    20 April 2021
    With thanks to those of you who have already responded. 

    Gyda diolch i'r rhai ohonoch sydd eisoes wedi ymateb. 

    Defra and the Welsh Government want to ensure that beekeepers and bee farmers have access to training and information that can help them implement effective biosecurity and maintain good standards of husbandry, so as to minimise pest and disease risks and improve the sustainability of honeybee populations.

    A questionnaire was available for current beekeepers, people who have recently stopped keeping bees as well as bee farmers to give their views and opinions on the type, accessibility and range of training and information available and how it could be improved. 

    The survey closed on 21 April
  • Seasonal Bee Inspector (SBI) Vacancies
    19 April 2021
    The National Bee Unit currently has a number of Seasonal Bee Inspector (SBI) vacancies advertised in the following areas South Kent & East Sussex, South West Devon and South East Wales

    If you are interested in applying for the job, full details can be found on Civil Service Jobs.


  • Reporting Varroa
    12 April 2021
    Amendments to the Bee Diseases and Pests Control (England) Order 2006, the Bees Diseases and Pest Control (Scotland) Order 2007 and the Bee Diseases and Pests Control (Wales) Order 2006 come into force on the 21st of April 2021 requiring all beekeepers and/or officials in GB to report the presence of Varroa in any of the hives that they manage. This amendment will allow Great Britain to comply with the Animal Health Law which is necessary for future working relationships with the European Union.

    To make this simple, a tick box will be introduced to BeeBase, the voluntary register for beekeepers managed by the National Bee Unit. This will be the easiest way to report Varroa but an alternative mechanism will be provided for those who do not wish to register on the BeeBase system. Details of this alternative system will be provided after 21st April. If Scottish Beekeepers wish to, they can report varroa by contacting the Scottish Bee Health Inspectors (BeesMailbox@gov.scot).

    Although Varroa is known to be widespread, it continues to be one of the most serious pests faced by beekeepers. Reporting Varroa will contribute to the overall pest and disease surveillance work of the National Bee Unit and the Scottish Bee Health Inspectorate. We are grateful for your assistance with this new simple measure.

    No action will be required until after 21st April.