By Dylan Devaney, Bee Health Specialist
National Bee Unit News April 2021 - Reporting Varroa
Are you a beekeeper registered on BeeBase? Then you need to be aware of an important change happening from Wednesday 21st of April.
Varroa Destructor is a pest that is widespread across the UK and in most managed and wild honey bee colonies globally.
The likelihood of your hives being Varroa-free in the UK are very slim, unless you’re on the isle of Mann, where they currently don’t have the pest on the island.
Why this change? Well, it means that England and Wales comply with Animal Health Law and lay the foundation for future working relationships with the EU.
And don’t be afraid to tick the box and admit you have a problem. Some of these photos were taken from my hives this week,showing just how prevalent varroa mite is. As you can you see, varroa mite is still present despite me having treated my colonies with a summer treatment and a winter oxalic acid treatment.
However, if left unchecked they can become a major cause for concern in your colonies.
If you’ve not yet registered your colonies on Bee Base, now would be a great time to do it. BeeBase is the Animal and Plant Health Agency's (APHA) National Bee Unit website.This online resource is very useful in keeping you up to date with lots of information about bee keeping that is relevant to the UK.
It will also notify you of any disease outbreaks in your area should they occur. I have my apiaries registered on Bee Base and I find the educational resources for disease recognition an excellent information point.
This is the following statement that has been released by the NBU (National Bee Unit):
“On 21st April, 2021 an amendment to the Bee Diseases and Pests Control (England) Order 2006 and the Bee Diseases and Pests Control (Wales) (Amendment) Order 2021 comes into force requiring beekeepers and/or officials to report the presence of Varroa in any of the hives that they manage. Reporting will be for each apiary site. This amendment will allow England and Wales to comply with the Animal Health Law which is necessary for future working relationships with the European Union. Similar arrangements are being made in Scotland.
To make this simple, a tick box will be introduced to BeeBase, the voluntary register for beekeepers managed by the National Bee Unit. This will allow beekeepers and inspectors to report the presence or absence of Varroa. This will be the easiest way to report Varroa. We are currently working on an alternative mechanism for those who do not wish to register on the BeeBase system and aim to share this before 21st April.
No action will be required until after 21st April.”
Andermatt have a range of bee health products that help you monitor and control the Varroa populations in your hive. Our Varroa EasyCheck can give you an accurate measurement of the Varroa in your hive. We have the formic acid treatment MAQs which is highly effective in tackling any Varroa population in your hives and also our long-term summer Varroa treatment Thymovar gives you an effective way to keep your bees in optimal condition.