This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
The red squares indicateHONEY YIELDS
where American Foul
Brood (AFB) wasFollowing the winter losses many areas also suffered from a
confirmed during 2008slow spring build up and starvation in the summer due to
the poor weather. This resulted in low honey yields being
reported almost everywhere. The NBU estimated that the
honey harvest for England and Wales was about 50%
down. The Bee Farmers' Association found that much less
borage had been grown in 2008, with a corresponding loss
of this honey source.
OTHER EFFECTS OF THE POOR WEATHER several possible routes around the problems that could be
The poor summer led to starvation being widely reported in taken to help beekeepers and these were being
many areas. This meant that feeding in summer was often investigated. A meeting of all parties with the VMD was
essential to avoid further colony losses. proposed. See queen mating success was widespread and this meant
cmhansrd/cm081117/text/81117w0022.htm for details ofit was difficult to make increases to offset losses.
some questions and answers on this topic posed on
NEONICOTINOIDS 17 November in the House of Commons.
PYRETHROID RESISTANCEThe Pesticides Safety Directorate (PSD) was asked to
comment on beekeepers’ concerns about neonicotinoids. Varroa resistant to the pyrethroids previously used as
The representative pointed out that imidacloprid and treatments was widespread. Some areas of Scotland still
clothianidin have been through trials required by European had some varroa mites that were not resistant. This meant
Union (EU) legislation. These were both laboratory and field that Apistan® and Bayvarol® were no longer efficacious
trials involving honey bees. They had not found evidence except in a rapidly shrinking proportion of colonies. This
pointing to a need to ban their use. Guidelines for a risk was felt to have contributed to the increasing number of
assessment for systemic pesticides will shortly be colony deaths due to varroa.
published. Concerns were raised that bees might suffer in
the same way as those in Germany. However, it seems that OTHER BEE DISEASES
the pesticide in this case was incorrectly applied and The NBU reported that their inspectors found more cases of
assurances were given that this would not happen here European Foul Brood (EFB) than in 2007. Worryingly, this
when corn is treated against the corn rootworm. disease has been confirmed in 29 10-kilometre squares
where it has not been previously recorded.VARROA TREATMENTS
Despite searching colonies throughout England and Wales,The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) is aware that
no Small Hive Beetles or Tropilaelaps mites were found.beekeepers would like a wider choice of registered varroa
treatments. European Union legislation has to be followed The number of dead colonies seen by bee inspectors is
which often makes innovation slow and difficult. There were recorded and the trend over the last nine years shows a
steady increase. Many collapsed due to varroa-related issues,
The graph below shows the incidence of AFB in England Nosema and starvation during August and September.
and Wales during the past 11 years EDUCATION
Education of beekeepers, so that they could provide
optimum conditions for their colonies in the face of all the
problems, was considered a key factor by several of the
delegates. BBKA, amongst other associations, reported an
increase in membership and record numbers taking the Basic
Assessment and Modules. The NBU gave more talks and
demonstrations this year.
Bee Craft digital January 2009 Page 7
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