Importation of Bees

The British Beekeepers Association discourages the importation of queen bees and colonies from outside the UK. Bee importations into the Isle of Man have been banned already to maintain the low level of bee diseases amongst their colonies (they are Varroa free). 

There is growing concern among beekeepers about the ever-increasing importation of bees.  A 2018 Queen Replacement Survey conducted by Defra concluded that most beekeepers prefer home-reared queens.

The Bee Improvement and Bee Breeders Association (BIBBA) is staging a  series of one-day regional events during the 2018/19 winter to help and encourage everyone to produce bees and queens from local stock.  For further details visit www.bibba.com

The BBKA supports the ban on the use of harmful pesticides

We support the ban but we must be alert to what farmers will use instead on their outdoor crops. The position of the British Beekeepers Association has long been to support the banning of these long lasting systemic pesticides, unless their use can be shown not to harm both honey and other bees as well as the environment.

Honeybee winter losses are higher than the long term average in recent years, caused by a series of factors including the environment, loss of biodiversity and pesticides. Neonicotinoids including thiacloprid and sulfoxaflor continue to be exempt from this ban.

Our stance on seed dressings

The view that seed treatments are less harmful to pollinators than insecticide sprays is correct in respect of acute exposure, but not for chronic exposure. Neonicotinoid seed treatments provide primary exposure via nectar and pollen of treated crops, and secondary exposure via residues in the soil, which can be taken up by subsequent crops to translocate to wildflowers adjacent to treated crops, resulting in chronic persistence and exposure to bees and other pollinators. Neonicotinoids target the part of the insect brain which is responsible for learning and memory. Accumulation in the bee brain causes neuronal dysfuntion that limits a bee's capactiy to learn and remember.
John Hoar, Fareham and District Beekeepers Association (BBKA News, January 2019)