First Asian Hornet of 2022 Confirmed

The first Asian Hornet of 2022 on the British mainland has been confirmed at Felixstowe in Suffolk. It was found in the shed of a beekeeper who keeps a sentinel apiary ( an apiary set up to monitor for diseases and pests).

Last year there were 2 Asian Hornet nests found on the mainland at Ascot in Berkshire and Portsmouth in Hampshire in October.

There has only been one other spring sighting of Asian Hornets at Bury in Lancashire in 2018.

Bee inspectors have set up enhanced monitoring in the area and are working to raise awareness with local beekeepers.

Felixstowe is Britain’s largest and busiest container port and one of the larges in Europe with links to more than 700 ports around the world, so the NBU says this immediately suggests a possible means by which the hornet could have arrived.

Additional information from Beebase:

April 2022 – A confirmed finding of a single Asian hornet in Felixstowe, Suffolk

The National Bee Unit is carrying out enhanced monitoring and awareness raising together with local beekeepers after a single insect, confirmed to be Vespa velutina was killed at a sentinel apiary, reported by a beekeeper.

Further information regarding the yellow legged Asian hornet can be found on Defra’s Asian Hornet sightings page and on BeeBase’s Asian hornet page. Please direct all media enquiries to the Defra Press Office: 0330 0416560

We continue to ask beekeepers to remain vigilant, record monitoring trap locations on BeeBase (guidance here) and report suspect sightings here.

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Ukraine Emergency Appeal

The VDBKA welcomes the National Honey Show’s initiative in setting up a Just Giving page in recognition of the long association beekeepers here have with Ukrainian Beekeepers.

Money raised will go to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. Link below

The NHS is also re-establishing a category previously sponsored by Ukrainian beekeepers at the annual National Honey Show.

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Swarm removal

During this time of year and through the summer months we get many calls and questions from people with bees in their houses, outbuildings and gardens.

There are over 250 types of bees in the UK but there is only one european honey bee (Apis mellifera). As well as honey bees there are around 24 species of bumblebee and over 240 species of solitary bee in the UK. Please see below to help identify what type of bee you have and who to approach for help and information.
A swarm of honey-bees May 2013 - photo John Eustace

If you come across a swarm of bees don’t panic. The bees are usually quite docile while they are swarming and they may not stay in place for more than a few hours. Please do not disturb the bees, instead before calling please read our swarm information page. All VDBKA swarm collectors have made their location and contact details available on the BBKA Swarm Map – managed by the British Beekeepers Association.

Bees in buildings: Please note all of our swarm collectors or indeed other beekeeping organisations are unable to work at height or dismantle building structures due to BBKA insurance restrictions. We therefore recommend you read this document and then contact a specialist company.

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2022 International Meeting of Young Beekeepers

February 25 2022

International Meeting of Young Beekeepers 2022 is planned to be held in Russia.
BBKA’s Executive Committee has decided to withdraw from the event this year.
BBKA’s president is investigating whether an event can be held in the UK this year to celebrate our own young beekeepers.

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Honey Labelling Petition

Honey is adulterated for economic gain on an industrial scale across the globe. We believe current measures to ensure authenticity of honey are insufficient. Public health, free market, livelihoods, food security, consumer confidence and bee health issues are all at risk.

Current regulations, testing and enforcement are inadequate to protect and inform consumers, and there is a need for an urgent comprehensive review in order to detect honey fraud.

We need the government to overhaul and update the labelling of the honey sold in the UK. This is the first step in reducing the amount of ‘so-called’ honey sold in our supermarkets that contain very little honey produced by bees.

Please consider signing this petition and ask your friends to sign it. This effects anyone who buys, sells or eats honey.

Petition: Review honey authenticity and current regulation of the honey market

Fully review the honey market and Honey Regulations, to review evidence of honey fraud within the honey market, and reform regulations and arrangements for enforcement, to prevent future fraud.

More details:

Sign this petition –

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October 2021 – Asian hornet confirmed in the Ascot area of Berkshire

October 2021 – Asian hornet confirmed in the Ascot area of Berkshire

A beekeeper in the Ascot area of Berkshire filmed live insects near a hive, photographed a dead Vespa velutina and reported the sighting using the using the ‘Asian hornet Watch’ app.

Further information regarding the Asian hornet can be found on our Asian hornet page of BeeBase and on Defra’s news page. Please direct all media enquiries to the Defra Press Office: 0330 0416560

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Varroa a reportable pest

July 2021 – Varroa a reportable pest

The Bee Diseases and Pests Control (England) (Amendment) Order 2021, The Bee Diseases and Pests Control (Wales) (Amendment) Order 2021 and The Bee Diseases and Pests Control (Scotland) Amendment Order 2021 make Varroa a reportable pest effective 21st April 2021. To find out how you can report varroa please visit

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Interested in Beekeeping?


The Vale and Downland Beekeepers’ association are holding meetings for anyone interested in beekeeping at our association apiary on:

• Wednesday’s 2nd June, 7th July and 4th August, starting at 1900hrs

• Sunday’s 20th June, 22nd August 1300hrs-14300hrs.

Spaces are limited so if you’d like to come along or if you know of anyone who would be interested in attending any of these meetings please contact us via our contact page here.

or call Michael Havard-Bilton on 01235 523420 between 6pm-7pm Mon-Fri evenings.

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BBKA News Survey

The BBKA need your opinion about your BBKA News magazine. Do you enjoy picking up a printed copy as it drops through your door and relaxing in a chair to read it, or if you would prefer to receive it on your computer/laptop so that you can enjoy it wherever you are, let us know. You can even opt to receive both versions of the magazine if you wish.

Here is a link to allow you to fill in a questionnaire about the BBKANEWS online;

BBKA NEWS Online Survey

or you can send in a printed copy by downloading the form or by filling in the paper copy in January’s  BBKANEWS and returning it to:


Please note this address label is sufficient and nothing else should be written on the envelope.

There are several other questions about the content, balance and style that the BBKA would value your response about. We need your opinions to help deliver the magazine you would like to receive.

The BBKA are leaving the survey open until end February so we encourage you to take part.

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The Hive Count 2020

The Hive Count 2020

If you have registered your bees with BeeBase then you should have received the following; if not, the please read on for the annual hive count.

Dear Beekeeper

It is again time to update your BeeBase records with the total number of overwintering hives as of 1st November 2020.

To complete this year’s hive count please click the link below which will take you to BeeBase. Once logged in, please answer the hive count questions displayed and then click the ‘Submit response’ button. It is as simple as that! Please update your records by 31st December 2020.

If you currently have no colonies, please update your BeeBase record to confirm this by selecting “non-current”.

Please click this link to update your Hive Count.

More details of this project, its importance and why we need your help can be found on BeeBase:

2019’s count indicated a total UK population of honey bee hives at approximately 264,000. Please note that several assumptions formed part of the calculations used to get derive this number. It is therefore classed as an ‘experimental statistic’.

If you have any security concerns about clicking on the embedded links in this email, you can access BeeBase directly from your Internet browser to complete the hive count. Simply log in to BeeBase and select ‘Hive Count’ from the list of options displayed.

We have produced additional guidance on how to update your records within BeeBase, these are included in the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ document on the Hive Count information page of BeeBase.

For more information on the National Hive Count you can email or call the National Bee Unit Office on 0300 3030094.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

National Bee Unit

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