The free Vita Bee Health honey bee health smartphone web app has just been updated and refreshed. Ideal for use in the apiary, the app helps beekeepers to quickly identify any health issues in their colonies.
The web app, suitable for nearly all smartphones and tablet devices, can be accessed free from www.healthybeeguide.com
The Hon. David Dalrymple cut the ribbon and unveiled the celebration plaque to mark the opening of Newbattle Bee Academy on World Bee Day 20 May 2018. NBA President Myriam Baete welcomed guests and members and thanked the many and various supporters, volunteers and sponsors for their generous contributions in the past 9 months, which resulted in the official opening on such an auspicious day. Vice President David Hennessey delivered an amusing and informative presentation on the Bee Academy journey from its first inception in May 2017, to the launched building we have today. Guests and members enjoyed a delicious afternoon tea, honey tasting, learning about pollination and the impact on food production if there were no bees, viewing bee specimens through the microscope, and the most talked about attraction of the day visiting the apiary to view bees in the observation hive. Some guests were excited to be able to put on a bee suit and gloves and get up close and personal with the bees in the apiary. A magical day which has provided the runway to being able to offer education and learning to become new and improved beekeepers and so contribute to honeybee conservation.
I saw this on the BBC News App and thought you should see it.
Member states will vote on Friday on an almost complete ban on the use of neonicotinoid insecticides across the EU.
Scientific studies have linked their use to the decline of honeybees, wild bees and other pollinators.
The move would represent a major extension of existing restrictions, in place since 2013.
Manufacturers and some farming groups are opposed, saying the science remains uncertain.
Neonicotinoids are the most widely used class of insecticides in the world, but concerns about their impact on bees have been reinforced by multiple research efforts, including so-called "real world" trial results published last year.
Change of heart
Back in 2013 the European Union opted for a partial ban on the use of the three chemicals in this class: Imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam.
The restrictions applied to crops including maize, wheat, barley, oats and oil seed rape. The new Commission proposal would go much further, meaning that almost all outdoor uses of the chemicals would be banned.
Another key element that has pushed the Commission to hold a vote has been the UK's change of heart on the use of these insecticides. Environment Secretary Michael Gove announced last November that the UK would now support further restrictions.
"I think it has helped the dynamic," Franziska Achterberg from Greenpeace told BBC News.
"It has helped sway Ireland definitely, and then lately, the Germans, the Austrians and the Dutch. I think the fact the UK had come around was a good signal for them as well, that they could not stay behind."
During the partial ban, some countries including the UK were given permission to use neonicotinoids for short periods. However, the EU Commission is now signalling that it is seemingly intent on pushing the proposal through as it stands.
"Several countries have said they want exemptions on sugar beet for example," said Sandra Bell from Friends of the Earth (FOE).
"So far the Commission have been very strong on this, because they say the Efsa evidence backs the extension of the ban to sugar beet and therefore they are following the science and won't put in an exemption for a compromise."
Growers will be free to use neonicotinoids in greenhouses across the EU, despite some environmental groups having reservations about the chemicals leaching into water supplies. Other neonicotinoids including thiacloprid and sulfoxaflor will continue to be exempt from the ban.
No benefits for bees
Many farmers are unhappy about the proposed increase in restrictions, saying they do not believe they are warranted on scientific grounds and that the existing partial ban has not delivered results.
"The Commission hasn't been able to find that these restrictions have delivered any measurable benefits for bees," said Chris Hartfield from the National Farmers' Union (NFU).
"That has been a big question for us, and if we can't be certain they can deliver measurable benefits why are we doing this?"
The Commission's proposal needs to reach a qualified majority to go forward, meaning 55% of states representing 65% of the EU population will have to support the measure.
If that fails, the Commission will likely take it to an appeals committee within weeks. If that also fails to produce a result, then the Commission can unilaterally impose their ruling.
British farmers say that if the proposal goes ahead, it could have significant impacts on the types of crops grown across the Continent.
"The irony of the current restrictions is that it has led to the decline of oil seed rape being grown in the UK and that's reflected across the whole of Europe," said Chris Hartfield from the NFU.
aigners took to the streets in 2013 in favour of the partial ban
"We're not decreasing our consumption of that product, we are just importing it from outside Europe, where it is often treated with neonicotinoids - I would expect to see that continue."
There is a cautious optimism among environmental campaigners that the measure will go through, either today or in the very near future.
Some believe that it heralds a new era for EU farmers where the needs of the environment are seen as more important than production.
"It's a significant indication that we need a different form of farming across Europe that farms with nature and not against it," said FOE's Sandra Bell.
"The ban on neonicotinoids, if it happens, could be a really important step towards a more general questioning of the use of pesticides and the harm they are doing to our environment."
with John Vendy on Saturday 9th June, 10 - 4 at Belhaven Community Garden, Dunbar East Lothian. £30 including tea, coffee and lunch. Reservations can be made by calling Lorraine Turner on 0793 0906443.
On Sunday 15 April 2018 at the Newbattle Beekeepers Association Bee Academy Joyce Jack and Peter Jack receiving the Scottish Beekeepers Association Affiliated Beekeepers Association Award medal from SBA President Alan Riach for services to NBA and beekeeping in general. A richly deserved award for an amazing contribution by both over the years.
Check out the NBA FB page for lovely photos, comments and congratulations to Joyce and Peter
The Bee Craft Live panel are looking forward to George Clouston from Arnia joining them on 28th March. George will be talking about Arnia’s remote hive monitoring system (covered in August 2017 issue of Bee Craft p.24), the new research Arnia have been involved with and we will be taking your questions LIVE! It’s sure to be a great show, and we hope you can join us at 8 pm GMT, 28th March 2018.
He’ll talk about his latest research into varroa and Deformed Wing Virus, and how beekeepers can best protect their bees from these. His talk: “Varroa and DWV: Science and practical beekeeping” and will explain viruses and how rational varroa control works.
As usual, the talk will start at 7.30pm at the Community Centre (Drill Hall), Walkersheugh, Peebles: there is a small charge (£1) to cover costs, and any contributions to the refreshment table will be very welcome!
I would like to thank everyone for listening to me on a rather dry subject, Nosema, and to bringing some interesting topics into the forum.
After the talk, Maurice and I discussed if indeed the sublimation of oxalic acid did effect N.Cer. as he thought. Please see his response......Hi David. A good night's sleep provides an answer.Fumigate twice with acetic acid?
We now have a definitive answer, although freezing is still a good option.
Maurice also brought up something Martin mentioned.....Martin also raised a good point. Stimulating with sugar can be useful for drawing fresh comb,although it is not thought necessary in a good flow.
In conclusion, what we are currently doing to reduce Nosema spores is great and this has been shown by low counts of spores and no incidence of Nosemosis. We now have other options to fall back if the status quo changes.
I would also like to thank Maurice for his invaluable input.