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Recent News Items


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July 2022 - Email Issue - FIXED

We are currently experiencing some issues with outbound emails from Bee Base. The issue is being investigated.

However, please note that you may not receive the following emails:

  • Password reset requests
  • Username reminder requests
  • Welcome emails for new users
  • 3km disease notifications

Thank you for your patience.

Update: All emails have now been sent out, and normal service resumed. 



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.

Laboratory analysis has shown that the Asian hornet was a female but as it was dried out and damaged it couldn’t be ascertained if it was a queen or worker. Additionally it is highly likely to be from the European population rather than a new introduction from Asia and is highly unlikely to be the offspring of either of last year’s nests in the UK.

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.



March 2022 - Registration Page - Error - FIXED

We are currently experiencing an error with our registration page which is preventing beekeepers from registering.  We are working hard to find a fix and will update this News items as soon as a fix is found. 

To register, please come back in a few days or give the NBU a call on 0300 3030094 and we can process your registartion for you. 

UPDATE: This has now been fixed. 



March 2022 - Analysis of 2021 Asian hornet nests

During the 2021 season, two Asian hornet nests were located and successfully destroyed by NBU inspectors and APHA colleagues, following sightings reported via the Asian Hornet Watch app.

The nest found in Ascot, and destroyed on 11th October, was 35 cm in diameter and contained six combs. Results from genetic analyses suggest that all Asian hornets collected in the surrounding area were likely to have come from this nest, and that the nest hadn’t reached the stage of producing adult sexual stages.

The nest found in Portsmouth, and destroyed on 31st October, was 31cm in diameter and contained 4 combs. Results from genetic analyses suggest that all Asian hornets collected in the surrounding area were likely to have come from this nest. The nest had reached the stage of producing sexual stages but was highly inbred and a large proportion of the offspring were triploid.

The queen and drones for both the Ascot and Portsmouth nest were highly unlikely to be direct offspring of the Gosport nest from 2020.

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

Use the Asian hornet Watch app for Android and iPhone to report sightings.

Yn ystod tymor 2021, cafodd dau nyth cacwn Asiaidd eu darganfod a'u dinistrio'n llwyddiannus gan arolygwyr yr NBU a chydweithwyr APHA, yn dilyn golygfeydd a adroddwyd drwy'r ap ‘Hornet Watch’ Asiaidd.

Cafodd y nyth a ganfuwyd yn Ascot ei ddinistrio ar yr 11eg o Hydref. Roedd yn 35 cm mewn diamedr ac yn cynnwys chwe adran i atgenhedlu. Mae canlyniad y dadansoddiadau genetig yn awgrymu bod yr holl gacwn Asiaidd a gasglwyd yn yr ardal gyfagos yn debygol o fod wedi dod o'r nyth hwn, ac nad oedd y nyth wedi cyrraedd y cam lle y caiff ffurfiau rhywiol llawn dwf eu cynhyrchu.

Roedd y nyth a ganfuwyd yn Portsmouth, a'i ddinistrio ar 31 Hydref, yn 31cm mewn diamedr ac yn cynnwys 4 adran i atgenhedlu. Mae canlyniad y dadansoddiadau genetig yn awgrymu bod yr holl gacwn Asiaidd a gasglwyd yn yr ardal gyfagos yn debygol o fod wedi dod o'r nyth hwn. Roedd y nyth wedi cyrraedd y cam lle y caiff ffurfiau rhywiol llawn dwf eu cynhyrchu ond roedd wedi mewnfridio i raddau helaeth ac roedd cyfran fawr o’r epil yn driploid.

Roedd y frenhines a'r dronau ar gyfer nyth Ascot a Portsmouth yn annhebygol iawn o fod yn uniongyrchol o’r nyth darganfyddwyd yn Gosport yn ystod 2020.

Mae rhagor o wybodaeth am y gacynen Asiaidd ar gael ar dudalen golygfeydd cyrn Asiaidd Defra ac ar ein tudalen cyrn Asiaidd BeeBase. Dylech gyfeirio pob ymholiad gan y cyfryngau at Swyddfa'r Wasg Defra: 0330 0416560.

Defnyddiwch yr ap Gwylio Hornet Asiaidd ar gyfer Android ac iPhone i roi gwybod am olygfeydd.



March 2022 - NBU question time – A hive autopsy?

Join regional bee inspectors John Geden and Maggie Gill and seasonal bee inspector Eleanor Burgess to find out about the common causes of colony losses over the winter and what can be done to prevent them. A hive autopsy will look at the signs and symptoms of starvation, varroosis, failing queens and other issues your overwintering bees can experience. 

Tuesday 15th March from 7:30pm – 9:00pm via Teams -  Register here 

Questions and photos can be submitted in advance to beekeepers@apha.gov.uk



February 2022 - 2021 Hive Count

Almost 9,000 beekeepers updated their details on BeeBase during the 2021 hive count. There are currently more than 46,000 beekeepers registered on BeeBase, meaning that around 20% participated.

This 2021 hive count produced a figure of 272,631 colonies in the UK. This is slightly higher than the 2020 figure of 260,268. It is necessary to make a number of assumptions in the calculation, and so the figure is classed as an experimental statistic.

The Hive Count provides a very useful indication of the number of managed colonies in the UK, and helps to ensure that BeeBase records are kept up to date. Information about numbers and location of hives is very important for the National Bee Unit and Scottish Government inspectors in terms of preparing and planning for outbreaks of disease and exotic pests.

Thank you very much to everyone who has taken time to ensure that their BeeBase information is up to date.



January 2022 - New Appointments within the National Bee Unit

We are pleased to announce the temporary appointment of Dhonn Atkinson as the National Bee Inspector (NBI) whilst the current NBI Cristina Ruiz is on maternity leave. Dhonn has held a variety of roles across the National Bee Unit and Animal and Plant Health Agency where he held the role of Regional Bee Inspector for the North East of England.

Following the retirement of Keith Morgan, Colin Pavey, and shortly Frank Gellatly and the temporary promotion of Sandra Gray, we are pleased to confirm the following movements and appointments:-

Regional Bee Inspector for Western England – Jonathan Axe has been promoted from the role of Seasonal Bee Inspector.

Regional Bee Inspector for Eastern England - Pete Davies, an experienced manager has moved from the Central England Region.

Regional Bee Inspector for Central England - John Geden. John joins the National Bee Unit as an experienced bee farmer.

Regional Bee Inspector for South East – Daniel Etheridge a seasonal bee inspector has been offered a temporary promotion to manage this area.

Regional Bee Inspector for Wales – Maggie Gill has been promoted from the role of Seasonal Bee Inspector.

Regional Bee Inspector for North East England – David Bough a seasonal bee inspector has been offered a temporary promotion to manage this area.

For full up to date details please visit the contacts page


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