NDB Short course – Seasonal Management – Swansea

Swansea 12th & 13th October – Margaret Murdin & Marin Anastasov

Winter colony losses are regarded as a critical measurement of beekeeper success and broader honeybee survival. We view winter preparations as part of the natural seasonal cycle of beekeeping activity, and look to understand how the aims for our beekeeping and the management decisions we take at different times of the year may affect wintering readiness and success. We look in detail at the balance between objectives, aspirations, options, and unplanned events during the active seasons, and how these accommodate or disrupt a colony’s inherent seasonal cycle.

The NDB Short Courses can provide valuable discussion, learning, and hands-on experience for those planning to take the BBKA Assessments above Basic level. The Short Courses are aimed at those beekeepers with some experience of the craft; they are not aimed at novices. We can provide guidance to applicants as to the appropriateness of our Short Courses to their stage of beekeeping. We do ask that students respect this policy.

Early Bird Tickets are on sale now at £88.


The course will be held at Pontarddulais Comprehensive School, SA4 8PD, just 10 mins from junction 47 or 48 off M4.

NBU Wales Bee Health Days 2019

The National Bee Unit (NBU) Wales will be running four Bee Health Days in June with presentations for beekeepers looking at bee health and good practice, and at Henfaes and the National Botanic Gardens beekeepers will have an opportunity to join in an inspection at the apiary, where we will demonstrate inspecting hives the NBU way.

Indoors you will have the chance to see diseased combs, displayed under special licence, to give attendees first hand experience of brood disease.  We will also be providing stalls of information covering a wider range of pests and diseases and relevant good beekeeping practice, from varroa control to biosecurity and exotic pests.

These breakout workshops will provide an opportunity for beekeepers to meet some of the NBU team in Wales, to get an understanding of the purpose and value of the Inspectorate’s work and, most importantly, to develop their knowledge and diagnosis of the key pest and disease threats to their bees.

Date & Time Host Venue
Saturday 8th June

2pm – 5pm

Montgomery BKA Plas Dolerw
Milford Road
SY16 2EH
Saturday 15th June

10am – 4pm

Conwy BKA Henfaes Research Centre
LL33 0LB
Saturday 22nd June

10am – 5pm

National Botanic Garden of Wales NBGW                        Middleton Hall
SA32 8HN
Sunday 23rd June

10am – 5pm

National Botanic Garden of Wales NBGW                        Middleton Hall
SA32 8HN

Attendance with Montgomery BKA and Conwy BKA is open to all beekeepers, further details from the association.

The event is now on the National Botanic Garden of Wales’ website at – https://botanicgarden.wales/visit/whats-on/bee-health-event-in-partnership-with-the-national-bee-unit-wales/   The programme runs 10am –– 5pm with a break for lunch 12pm – 2pm and is the same for each day Saturday and Sunday June 22nd/23rd 2019.

Spaces are available to book via the Garden’s Eventbrite page – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/bee-health-event-digwyddiad-iechyd-gwenyn-tickets-60573523038

Entrance to the Botanic Gardens is £10.45 or £7.50 each for groups of 10 or more, you book on 01558 667148. The NBU Bee Health event is no extra charge, the gardens have a lot to offer if you make a day of it, they are well worth supporting.

COLOSS – Press Release

Institute of Bee Health,
Vetsuisse Faculty,
University of Bern,
Schwarzenburgstrasse 161
3003 Bern, Switzerland.
PRESS RELEASE from COLOSS [Immediate:11/2/19]

“More knowledge is required to stop invasive honey bee pest” say scientists

Today, scientists of the honey bee research association COLOSS (10 have published an article(20 in the peer reviewed journal Biological Invasions which provides an action plan on how to deal with new introductions of small hive beetles (Aethina tumida) into regions free of this honey bee pest. Their proposed course of action will help stakeholders all over the world to slow down the spread of this invasive species. But it’s not all good news. Large knowledge gaps were identified, signalling the urgent need for more research to stop this invasive species from becoming an even more severe global problem for beekeepers and pollination.
Small hive beetles are parasites and scavengers of social bee colonies endemic to sub-Saharan Africa but have become a widespread global invasive species, causing damage to apiculture and possibly also to wild bees. Although further spread seems inevitable, eradication of new introductions and containment of established ones is urgently required to slow down the invasion speed. The authors therefore propose a feasible plan involving all stakeholders. “Early detection is most important. Only if an introduction is detected before the beetles manage to spread into wild honey bee colonies will it be possible to eradicate,” says Norman Carreck, from the Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects at the University of Sussex, UK. “To achieve this, we need to raise awareness and have to educate all stakeholders about the beetle’s biology and how to recognize it”.

For early detection and successful eradication, it seems fundamental to ensure an adequate border control and to install sentinel apiary sites. After small hive beetles are officially detected, the competent authorities must implement epidemiological investigations to determine the population status to be able to decide between eradication or containment. Furthermore, a surveillance system should be activated and maintained. Sentinel colonies have to be installed at outbreak apiaries to lure free-flying SHBs that might have escaped eradication. However, the authors strongly suggest further scientific research to support their plan of action. “Much about the biology of the small hive beetle is still unknown” says Prof. Peter Neumann, co-author and president of COLOSS. “We urgently need to address fundamental research questions to enable adequate solutions for this invasive pest” he adds.
The authors suggest a combination of measures to decrease the chances of small hive beetles becoming established beyond their current distribution. These best practices should be adopted by competent authorities until further scientific insights are available to improve the plan of action suggested by the authors.

Dr Marc Schäfer: Tel: +49 38351 7 1246/1297 Email: Marc.Schaefer@fli.de

1. The paper: “How to slow the global spread of small hive beetles, Aethina tumida” by Marc Schäfer, Ilaria Cardaio, Giovanni Cilia, Bram Cornelissen, Karl Crailsheim, Giovanni Formato, Akinwande Lawrence, Yves Le Conte, Franco Mutinelli, Antonio Nanetti, Jorge Rivera-Gomis, Anneke Teepe and Peter Neumann can be found here:-

2. COLOSS is a honey bee research association formerly funded by the European Union COST
Programme (Action FA0803) and currently by the Ricola Foundation – Nature & Culture, Veto
Pharma, the University of Bern and the Eva Crane Trust which aims to explain and prevent massive honey bee colony losses. COLOSS does not directly support science, but aims to coordinate international research activities across Europe and worldwide, promoting cooperative approaches and a research programme with a strong focus on the transfer of science into beekeeping practice. COLOSS has more than 1,200 members drawn from 95 countries worldwide. Its President is Prof. Peter Neumann of the University of Bern, Switzerland.
Website: http://www.coloss.org/

3. Press release written by:-
Dr Marc Schäfer, Institut für Infektionsmedizin, Greifswald, Germany.
Email: Marc.Schaefer@fli.de
Dr Bram Cornelissen, Wageningen Plant Research, Netherlands.
Email: bram.cornelissen@wur.nl
Prof. Peter Neumann: President of COLOSS, University of Bern, Switzerland.
Email: peter.neumann@vetsuisse.unibe.ch

Norman Carreck: COLOSS Press Officer, University of Sussex, BN1 9QG,