EU bans neonicotinoid pesticides on outdoor crops

27 April 2018 EU member states have voted by qualified majority to ban the use of neonicotinoid pesticides on outdoor crops. The vote follows a report from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) which found that the pesticides posed a threat to many species of bees, no matter where or how they were used in the outdoor environment. Martin Smith, Director of Communications for the BBKA said: "We support this ban but we must be alert to what farmers will use instead on their outdoor crops. "The position of the British Beekeepers Association has long been to support the banning of these long lasting systemic pesticides, unless their use can be shown not to harm both honey and other bees as well as the environment." EFSA study "The European Food Safety Authority sponsored research into their effects and this was published last year.  As a result, the UK government changed its stance from opposing the ban to supporting it, based on the sound scientific evidence that eme...

~ Mon, 11 Jun 2018 11:18:58 GMT

Why bees need trees? - a blog by Brigit Strawbridge

I’ve just returned home from a lovely long woodland walk. I walk as often as I can and almost always take my camera with me. I can pretty much guarantee - from March through till mid September, and sometimes beyond - that when I walk in the woods the understory, edges and clearings will be ‘abuzz’ with numerous bee species as they enjoy the foraging and nesting opportunities afforded by this wonderful diverse habitat. I'm absolutely fascinated by bees; from the different frequencies at which they buzz, their purpose in life and the challenges I face trying to identify them – to their life cycles, behavioural traits and the myriad relationships they have built up over the millennia with flowering plants. I cannot imagine what the world would be like without bees. In fact a world without bees is, quite simply, unimaginable. Bees as Pollinators The unique relationship between pollinators and flowering plants has been evolving for over 100 million yea...

~ Mon, 11 Jun 2018 11:16:12 GMT

Epping Forest beekeeper gets British Empire Medal in Queen's Birthday Honours

Congratulations to Ted who was recognised not only for his beekeeping but also for his voluntary work.  In Aprll last year, Ted and son Mark Gradosielski took the above shot at Everest Base Camp – on a Rotary Club trip to help redecorate an orphanage in Kathmandu and trek to base camp with 9 school kids from Hoddesdon. He became President of the Rotary Club in Hoddesdon in 2016.  At the end of 2017, Ted was made a Liveryman in the City of London joining the Wax Chandlers who have always had a close relationship with the British Beekeepers Association.  Ted says he has concentrated on rearing gentle Queens whose workers will not sting beginner beekeepers.  The letter informing him of his award came on 3rd May from the Cabinet Office. Ted said:  "I am absolutely delighted and totally surprised! Never had a clue that a group of people thought me worthy of such an honour. "My most sincere thank you goes to all those that submitted answers to the ques...

~ Sat, 09 Jun 2018 18:27:39 GMT

BBKA says "plant or protect" for World Bee Day

There are around 20,000 identified species of bees but Apis Mellifera, honeybees, are the only managed insects in the world, unique in providing honey for human consumption.  The health of honeybees is often taken as an indicator of the state of our natural world. It is part of a natural pattern that some colonies of bees won’t survive through the winter, but this year does seem to have been especially bad, in some cases, with up to half of all colonies being lost. Photo by Iolo Penri The weather, of course, plays a huge part in this, and signs are that it was the cold spring and summer last year, rather than the cold winter most recently, which might be to blame for poor over-winter survival rates across bee colonies. If it is an especially wet and windy spring, the queen bee may not be fertilised properly, so by the time spring comes the following year she is unable to lay eggs to bring new life to the hive and the colony dwindles out. Plant or protect This makes it...

~ Sat, 09 Jun 2018 16:18:01 GMT

Beekeepers grateful member of public spotted Asian Hornet

Statement  The British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) is disappointed to hear of the first sighting of the Asian Hornet, a non-native species of hornet that specifically targets and feeds on honeybees. The sighting by a member of the public on a cauliflower in Bury, Lancashire which has since been traced back to Boston, Lincolnshire. DEFRA have said “Bee Inspectors from APHA National Bee Unit will be carrying out surveillance and monitoring in a 1-2 Km radius around the initial sighting. Additional monitoring and surveillance will be carried out in the Boston area where the cauliflower was grown.” Beekeepers and members of the public are urged to keep a look out for this hornet that is smaller than the European hornet. Pictures can be found on the BBKA website with information on what to do if you suspect you have seen one. You can also download the Asian Hornet Watch app for reporting possible sightings, or visit the Asian Hornet Action Tea...

~ Mon, 14 May 2018 10:17:04 GMT

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