Extensive beekeeping expertise with over 150 colonies of honeybees
As part of our role we provide support and advice to government running a wide variety of studies which investigate the effects of agro chemical (plant protection products) and new veterinary medicines (for beekeepers), nutrition and disease.
Each study requires its own set of bespoke skills such as queen rearing and making various nuclei’s. We have worked in many areas such as queen polyandry, deformed wing virus, nutritional studies and honey testing.
We also support government with training and development on honeybee health to key stakeholders.
The National Bee Unit (NBU), in collaboration with The Bee Farmers Association Ltd, developed the Disease Assurance Scheme for Honeybees (DASH). This scheme aims to improve the health of honey bees, reduce the costs associated with disease to commercial beekeepers and to reduce the requirement for hive inspections. As preparation for DASH, or simply to provide continuing professional development for bee farmers, the NBU holds Bee Health Development Workshops. These workshops consist of talks which inform bee farmers of the threats their hives face from pests and diseases, including future threats such as the Asian Hornet (Vespa Velutina nigrithorax) and the small hive beetle (Aethina tumida).
The second part of the day long workshop incorporates practical sessions which equip bee farmers with the skills and knowledge to carry out thorough inspections of their hives to identify pests and diseases that are present, and teach methods for treating any problems that are found. The practical sessions also include training on good apiary hygiene to reduce the risk of spreading disease between hives.
We also produce a substantial amount of honey which is a by-product of our work
Our research expertise and scientific resources can help you to test your plant-protection products for their effects on bee survival, development and behaviour – helping you to develop products that are safe for bees and other pollinators.
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