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Media Interest

BBC Radio Wales Interviews Frank Gellatly May 2013

Wales' Regional Bee Inspector, Frank Gellatly was interviewed by BBC Radio Wales, broadcasted on 26th May at 13:30pm and set at the Welsh Botanical Gardens, Welsh radio debates the possible repercussions that may occur if we were to lose our bees. Alun Davies, the Welsh minister for natural resources and food then goes into a discussion about drafts for a pollinator plan that aims to stop the decline. The interview can be found at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01snxzy

The Best Jobs in the Countryside May 2013

The Times featured an article where they interviewed our Regional Bee Inspector Charles Miller. Here he describes his transition from a 'top cat' alpha male, working in a London business to becoming the Western region's Regional Bee Inspector. The feature is very interesting with some humour and can be found via:


The National Bee Unit Interview with the BBC April 2013

In the light of debates regarding the claimed impact of neonicotinoid pesticides on pollinating honey bees, Mike Brown (Head of NBU) was interviewed by the BBC Breakfast programme. Excerpts of this interview were broadcast by the BBC on Monday 29th April – the date on which the EU Appeals Committee provided its definitive vote on the proposed EU-wide 2-year moratorium on neonicotinoid usage. A vote in the EU has paved the way for the European Commission to restrict the use of pesticides linked to bee deaths in scientific studies. The interview with Mike Brown can be found here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22338755 .The UK did not support a ban and argues that the science behind the proposal is inconclusive. It was among eight countries that voted against, while four abstained.

Bee number losses 'increasing' - June 2012

Mike Brown, Head of the National Bee Unit, explains to the BBC's Andrew Bomford how the recent bad weather has driven some of Britain's bee colonies to the point of starvation.

Click here to listen to the item



The Asian Hornet - October 2011

National Bee Unit staff have been invited to discuss the risk of arrival of the Asian Hornet Vespa velutina into the UK on the radio in 2011

BBC Radio York and BBC Radio Wales, [24th October 2011]. More information on the Asian hornet is available on BeeBase on the pests and diseases information pages here.

Additionally the topic was covered by the Guardian  Newspaper

Varroa Mite Project : Collaboration between The National Bee Unit and Aberdeen University Scientists - December 2010

The National Bee Unit and Aberdeen University have been collaborating on a potential new way to combat the varroa parasite in bees.

For further information please click on the links below.

Defra press release

BBC news item

Varroa (RNAi) Q&A

The One Show - the Bees Knees - September 2010

The National Bee Unit was recently featured on the One Show (on Tuesday 7th September 2010) in a segment looking at how bees see in Ultraviolet light.

Click here to go to BBC iPlayer - available until 7:30pm Tuesday 14 Sep 2010

Bee Part Of It - July 2010

The National Trust, jointly with BBC Local, have this year launched the 'Bee Part Of It' campaign.

The National Bee Unit, its inspectors and York staff have been assisting with various parts of this project, including BBC Radio and Television interviews across the country and providing advice and assistance on aspects of beekeeping.

A list of NBU contributions are as follows:

  • NBU on The Politics Show for Yorkshire & Lincolnshire
  • Ivor Flatman's report on his inspection at the National Trust's Longshaw Estate - available on BBC Local here
  • Keith Morgan's inspection of a local Bee Farmer on BBC Look East
  • NBU feature in BBC Look North news segment, a summary of which is available here
  • Andy Wattam interviewed by BBC Radio Lincolnshire, images available here, broadcast August 2010
  • NBU on Radio 4 'On Your Farm'

To visit the National Trust 'Bee Part of It' campain page, click here
To see the BBC Press release on the campain, click here

Insect Pollinators Initiative, Funding Anouncements - July 2010

Projects worth a total of up to £10M from the Insect Pollinators Initiative were announced on 22nd June 2010, during National Insect Week. These projects will explore the causes and consequences of threats to insect pollinators and ask questions about the decline of honeybees and other pollinating insects over recent years. The aim is to inform the development of mitigation strategies that will ensure that the pollination of agricultural and horticultural crops is protected and biodiversity in natural ecosystems is maintained.

The Insect Pollinators Initiative is a joint initiative from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Natural Environment Research Council, The Scottish Government and the Wellcome Trust, and is funded under the auspices of the Living With Environmental Change partnership.

Fera is leading in one project 'Modelling systems for managing bee disease: the epidemiology of European foulbrood' in partnership with Dr Ed Feil at the University of Bath, Professor Stephen Rushton at Newcastle University and Professor Matt Keeling at the University of Warwick, and collaborating with other organisations in two other projects 'Sustainable pollination services for UK crops' lead by Dr Koos Biesmeijer at the University of Leeds and 'Linking agriculture and land use change to pollinator populations' lead by Professor Bill Kunin also at the University of Leeds.

Details of all the successful projects can be found here.

Articles in the press relating to the IPI Initiative can be found here: