The following notes have been compiled as guidance for those beekeepers taking their colonies to the New Forest. Although they are not rules, the guidance is based on common sense and good practice.
- All colonies moved to the heather must be free from disease.
- Colonies must not be moved from apiaries where there is a standstill order in force.
- Beekeepers must pay regular visits to their colonies to ensure all is well. Horses and other critters can do considerable damage.
- Where a colony has died out, it should be removed from the site immediately as it is a possible source of disease.
- Particular attention should be paid to robbing: it can be triggered easily in shared sites by returning wet supers to hives.
- Towards the end of the heather honey flow, reduce entrances to your hives as a precaution against robbing.
- When visiting a shared site check other hives in case they have been knocked over or left askew by animal contact. Please straighten them up to prevent robbing and advise the hive owner.
- Make sure your hives are clearly marked with this year’s identity number and your contact details to help should a problem arise.
- On communal sites, it’s important beekeepers act as a team to support each other and troubleshoot problems early on.
- Keep away from roads, paths and bridal ways, and ensure your hives are sufficiently distant from others.
- Visit the site before moving your bees so that your move can be properly planned.
These notes are based on guidance from Hampshire Beekeepers’ Association.