Sunday 7th March 2021

Beekeeping Associations from around the UK are warning that import arrangements since Brexit are causing an imminent and serious risk that the exotic bee pest the Small Hive Beetle (SHB) could be introduced to the British Isles.

They have put together a briefing note for the UK government and devolved administrations. It has been signed by the following organisations: 

British Beekeepers Association 
Welsh Beekeepers Association 
Ulster Beekeepers Association 
Scottish Beekeepers Association 
Bee Diseases Insurance Ltd 
Science Advisor Norman Carreck

The notes says: 

"There is clear evidence that the proposed transfer of bees from Northern Ireland to Great Britain is not part of a legitimate trade, but rather is a way to get around the law that prevents bees being imported into Great Britain. As such it is a breach of the law.

"Ultimately this will need to be tested in court, but in the meantime, bees that are going to be sourced in the EU and supplied to Great Britain via Northern Ireland are being openly offered for sale on the internet. We call on the UK government to uphold its anti-avoidance legislation to prevent this trade commencing in the next two months when the bees become available."