24 March 2021

Beekeeping Associations,  from all around the UK,  are in agreement that the importation of bees from overseas is totally against best practices for the protection of our environment.

The problem is that at least one beekeeping business has said that they want to import bees to the UK through Northern Ireland. The bees they are sourcing come from southern Italy where a serious invasive species and parasite of bees, the Small Hive Beetle is established. The inspections on bees are extremely limited and we are fearful that a small, clubbed antenna, beetle will be able to evade their scrutiny and be imported to the mainland. 

We have started a parliamentary petition and we are asking you all to please sign it:  

Petition: Stop the importation of honey bees into GB from the EU via Northern Ireland


Photo: Crown Copyright 

In 2015, the Annual Delegates Meeting of the British Beekeepers Association,  which represents more than 25,000 beekeepers, said very clearly that they did not want imported bees. 

This is a major risk, not just to honeybees, but to the environment in general, The Small Hive Beetle (SHB) is native to Africa and has become endemic in the southern USA. It now looks likely to become widespread in southern Europe unless severe actions taken.

If the government and DAERA in Northern Ireland do not take that action, SHB is yet another pest that will pose a threat to bees who already have the endemic parasite, Varroa destructor, to contend with and the ongoing threat from Asian Hornets. 

“The beekeeping associations, from all around the UK, are in agreement that the importation of bees from overseas, especially from an area with an invasive species, is totally against best practices for the protection Beekeeping 


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