Before starting his talk on the future of local bees in Britain, Norman Carreck of Sussex University gave us an up-date on the outbreak of Small Hive Beetle (SHB) in Italy.  There was a meeting of the Bee Health Advisory Panel on Wednesday.  SHB has been found in eight apiaries in southern Italy.  It must have been there for some time as all life stages were present.  It is probably quite established and impossible to eradicate.  It likes warm, damp, places so could do quite well here.

The National Beekeeping Unit has a contingency plan and has ‘sentinel apiaries’ near ports and airports to give us early warning that it’s too late!  Does the Government have a workable plan to prevent SHB getting here, such as banning imports of bees and fruit from Italy?  Probably not.  SHB can get here in many ways.  Keep a look out and contact your local Bee Inspector if you see anything suspicious.

A transparent flask containing preserved specimens of all the life stages of SHB was passed around for us to see..


About chrissladesbeeblog

I have been keeping bees since 1978 and currently have about a dozen hives. I am a member of the BBKA where for many years I represented Dorset at the Annual Delegates' Meeting. I am the co-author (with Dave MacFawn of of S. Carolina) of "Getting the Best from Your Bees" and am working on a book of my own poems : "Bee People".
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  1. Anne Clements says:

    Chris, this sounds horrendous – another thing to look out for. It must only be a matter of time before it arrives here, as with all things marching northwards. What should we look out for?

  2. Small black beetles, about a quarter of an inch long with knobs on their antennae, running away from the light as you open a hive. Lots of spiny maggots in the brood area, maybe tens of thousands. There may be up to 30 taking over a worker cell.

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