Varroa reporting in England

May’s edition of BBKA News contained a short article about Varroa becoming a reportable disease in England with effect from 21 April. There was some discussion about this at Monday’s fireside chat which prompted Meridian member David Smith to emailed Ian Campbell, news editor of BBKA News.

David asked why the ‘Varroa Reportable in England’ article was published without any explanation or advice as to what beekeepers should do. David was very concerned that the Secretary of State would soon become a very busy person as every beekeeper in the land would be bombarding him!

David has kindly forwarded the very prompt reply from Ian which is reproduce here for your information.



From: Ian Campbell
Date: 28 April 2021 at 10:23:52 BST
To: David Smith


Subject:Re: Varroa Reportable in England

Dear David,


Thank you for your interest in the item ‘Varroa Rorportable in England’. The stories in BBKA News are written some way in advance to meet the printing deadline of the magazine.

The announcement of this new measure became public extremely close to that deadline, having not been officially announced by the NBU or Defra at that point. The implementation date however was rather close on 21.4.21. The legislation is limited to a yes/no answer on varroa infestation, whilst the level is of interest to beekeepers it is the existence or not that is now required to be declared.


Therefore in consultation with others in the editorial team of BBKA News it was decided that the partial factual information available to inform beekeepers was better than none in the May edition. This is a common practice on rolling news stories where information becomes available in stages. Subsequent editions and other media outlets, including BBKA social media, would be able to follow up on the story. Indeed hopefully the June edition of BBKA will contain details of the tick box scheme now in place on BeeBase for reporting. A scheme for non BeeBase users is as yet to be announced.


I hope this answers your query,
Best wishes,
Ian Campbell,News Editor,BBKA News

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