Weardale Beekeepers





Contact us







Anyone trying to contact the National Bee Unit please note they have removed the gsi from their address.  The new address is : nbu@apha.gov.uk    similarly for the regional/seasonal inspector email addresses.

American Foul Brood outbreak in Northumberland - make sure you are registered with BeeBase to receive news should it spread and threaten your bees.

Asian Hornet - the UK remains on high alert in 2019
The National Bee Unit destroyed an Asian hornet nest near Tamworth, Staffordshire on 6th September.  A further sighting was reported in a new location by a member of the public of an Asian hornet south west of Ashford, Kent; this single hornet has be captured .  Surveillance continues.

In early July the NBU confirmed a sighting of one female Asian hornet, thought to be a queen, in New Milton, Hampshire.  Monitoring is underway and local beekeepers are asked to keep vigilant.
Any suspected Asian Hornets should be photographed and he pictures sent to alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk

National Bee Unit website has instructions for making a monitoring trap for the Asian Hornet. 
(unfortunately I think it will also catch other harmless insects)

Beekeepers are being reminded to remain vigilant for the Asian hornet as it continues to be a ticking time bomb.  Beekeepers are also reminded of the value of being registered with BeeBase for urgent NBU text alerts.  There is a free to download Asian Hornet Watch app also available for your smart phone which uses GPS and allows the user to submit sightings giving the exact location of any finding, which means any confirmed sightings can be followed up quickly and efficiently . Google Asian Hornet Watch app and you will find appropriate app for your phone or tablet.

Suspected sightings should be reported to the Great Britain Non-native Species Secretariat,  alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk  include as much info as you can and, if possible, a photograph, though remember these are not friendly beasties so take care.


BBKA Publications

If you are not a member of an association affiliated to the BBKA you may not be aware of some new, excellent reasonably priced publications which can be purchased via their website shop  https://www.bbka.org.uk/shop/
Titles such as : Feeding Honey Bees;  In the Apiary - a month by month guide; and shortly a new title, Flower Families for Forage.

They also have some rather nice, though extremely pricey (in my opinion) gift ideas.

The National Bee Unit Publications
If you haven't looked at the Bee unit website take a look http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageid=167

Here you will find many useful publications.  People thinking of taking up beekeeping might take a look at "Starting Right with Bees".  Established beekeepers will discover a lot of advisory leaflets which have been updated this year and leaftlets advising best practice.  For the science professors among us there are science journal publications, posters and book chapters.

If you sign up the Beebase (as all good beekeepers should) you can log in and follow their online course to improve your knowledge on bees and diseases.  In addition, the Bee unit will email you if and when any matters of concern arise in your area...who would turn down such a service?  All free.



Just a reminder to beekeepers new and old of the merits of signing up to Beebase.
"Signing up to BeeBase as a Beekeeper will enable you to take advantage of the free services we offer. No charge is made for an apiary visit by a fully qualified Bee-inspector. The inspector will check for signs of disease or pests, and will provide you with help and advice on good husbandry, and how to tackle any potential problems they may find. All have extensive experience of managing colonies of bees and are keen apiarists themselves. They will always try and keep any disruption during a visit to an absolute minimum and provide you with up to date information and advice. You will also have access to all the latest information regarding disease and pest outbreaks and the results of various research projects and latest advisory information."
Key Benefits of Signing up to BeeBase
As a beekeeper, if you sign up to BeeBase you can:

  • Request a free apiary visit from your local bee inspector;

  • Be alerted to pest and disease problems in your area. It is very important for you as a beekeeper to sign up to BeeBase as this will ensure that you are included in the NBU's inspection programme. It is important to be able to visit every apiary within an area of confirmed disease, so it is vital to have beekeepers' apiaries logged onto BeeBase, to make sure that no potentially infected and/or at risk colonies from being missed.
  • Have secure access to your own (and only your own) inspection history and apiary information, via the web;
  • Find out about beekeeping training events near you;

For your information:

  • BeeBase is a stand alone system and not connected to any other external database
  • All the information is provided free of charge to beekeepers
  • More than 5,900 new beekeepers have signed up to BeeBase in the last three years.  The increasing number will be beneficial for all beekeepers leading to more effective disease monitoring and control, more opportunities for provision of training and access to information to help you with managing your colonies and an increased awareness among beekeepers regarding bee health. In the long term this will mean an improvement in the health of the national honeybee population as a whole.
  • BeeBase is a secure site running over https
  • All passwords are encrypted

To sign up to Beebase go to https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/beebase/public/register.cfm - go on, you know it makes sense.