Covid 19

Situation update 26th March 2020
The NBU has issued a comprehensive summary of how the Covid 19 affects us as beekeepers. This can be downloaded from here.

As far as Dorset BKA is concerned, swarms should only be collected if the beekeeper can do so safely whilst abiding by the government’s current instructions on both social distancing and not undertaking unnecessary travel.
The same applies to responding to calls in respect of possible sightings of the Asian hornet.
For either swarm collection or Asian hornet call outs, beekeepers should be mindful of the position in respect of their insurance and if they are in any doubt should check the position BEFORE undertaking any swarm or Asian hornet sighting travel/activity. They should not put themselves in a position where they might accidentally invalidate their insurance by being involved in an incident or accident whilst undertaking a journey or activity which their insurers might deem to be in contravention of government advice, instructions, or emergency legislation. 

Situation update 25th March 2020
The BBKA has issued a notice to say that bees are to be treated as livestock and therefore can be inspected.
You may visit your bees for welfare purposes…..”
This can be read in conjunction with their previous statement.

Situation update 24th March 2020
Well, who could see that coming – we are in lockdown.
The latest update from the BBKA says,
“BBKA have decided that all Practical Assessments this year are cancelled, other than possibly the Microscopy Assessment in September, but which is also under review.
Anyone who has already paid for an assessment this year can have a refund or free transfer to 2021 as they prefer.”
The BBKA will be writing to all those affected to explain in more detail.

The threat from the Asian Hornet has not gone away and as the air temperature rises so the threat from emerging queens increases. This week the temperature in Dorset could rise to 13C  which is enough to wake a hibernating queen. Be vigilant and observe your hives carefully.

For the time being we are allowed to go for a daily exercise walk. Use that opportunity to keep your eyes open for the Asian Hornet. At this time of year a popular food source is the exuded sap of trees. Pine trees and eucalyptus trees are particularly popular as described here.
Eucalyptus are not so common here but pine forests certainly are. Use your walk to look on the pine trees near you. On the plus side if we are all keeping at least two metres apart we should be able to check a lot more trees!

Update on situation 22nd March 2020
I am sure most of you have seen the latest communication from the BBKA but in case you have not then the essence of it is:

  • All training course at Stoneleigh are cancelled.
  • All Module Exams and Assessor Training is cancelled.
  • All Branches are advised to postpone all Beginners’ courses and any other training.
  • All members are encouraged to support others and do hive inspections when required.
  • Swarm collection is something we will have to carefully consider when we are called.
  • If there is a complete “lockdown” – and anything is possible – then bees are to be considered as “livestock”.
    If there is a sugar shortage then beekeepers are hoping to be treated as priority.

    Some of this may seem “over the top” but if a month ago I had written that all pubs and clubs might be closed …….

    Previous updates

    BBKA Module Exams
    The exams for March 21st 2020 have been cancelled. Those of us who had booked an exam will be able to defer the exam till March 2021 at no extra cost.

    BBKA Spring Convention
    The BBKA Spring Convention has been cancelled. All payments for bookings made through the BBKA will be refunded in full.

    East Devon Beekeepers
    East Devon Beekeepers have cancelled all events for the foreseeable future.

    Somerset Beekeepers
    Somerset Beekeepers have cancelled or postponed the following events:

    • SBKA Annual General Meeting 28th March –POSTPONED
    • Taunton Spring Auction 29th March –CANCELLED
    • SBKA Special Lecture Day 22nd April – CANCELLED

    Dorchester and Weymouth Beekeeepers
    Dorchester and Weymouth Beekeepers have cancelled or postponed the following events:

    • Bee Social Evening 9th April CANCELLED
    • DWBKA Beginners Course- POSTPONED
    • DWBKA Basic Assessment Training Day CANCELLED