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..