Exotic pests and notifiable diseases

The importance of being registered on BeeBase

It’s very important for all of us to be registered on Beebase. This is so the National Bee Unit knows where all colonies are located so bee inspectors can monitor for the arrival of exotic pests. It also means they are able to control outbreaks of notifiable diseases (like Foulbrood) and advise us when there’s a threat in our locality.

Asian Hornet (Vespa Velutina); Smaller than the European Hornet with characteristic yellow legs Asian hornet

It’s the responsibility of all beekeepers to make sure their BeeBase record is correct and up-to-date. Registration is simple and can be done by visiting BeeBase.

What are the beekeeper’s responsibilities?

The arrival of exotic species here is considered a significant threat to UK beekeeping, particularly when added to the other pests and diseases we already manage. Early detection is essential to improve the chances of controlling and containing these invasive pests.

Beekeepers should prepare for the possible arrival of exotic pests like Asian Hornet, Tropilaelaps and Small Hive Beetle.

The small hive beetle is endemic to sub-Saharan Africa but has spread to many other places, including North America, Australia, and the Philippines. The small hive beetle is a destructive pest of honey bee colonies, causing damage to comb, stored honey, and pollen. If an infestation is sufficiently heavy, it causes bees to abandon their hive. Help save our bees!

To help with this, there’s a series of short learning modules on Beebase. These cannot be found on the main ‘public’ menu but within your own private account and to access them, you must first register, then log in to your account.  

They’re free, of excellent quality and from the most trusted of sources. The modules will make you aware of the main features of each pest and the possible risks, and help to make surveillance and monitoring for pests a routine part of your beekeeping programme. Beebase

Tropilaelaps mites are parasites of immature honey bees. Adult mites lay their eggs on honey bee larvae inside their brood cells. These hatch into mite larvae that feed on the haemolymph (blood) of developing bees, depriving them of essential nourishment required for growth. They can easily overwhelm a honey bee colony and could devastate UK honey bees.

One thought on “Exotic pests and notifiable diseases

  1. I have completed this e-Learning and found it extremely useful and filled with great information. The only thing to note with the recent change of the law is that Varroa is now reportable via bee base. They will get round to updating it on the e-Leanring I’m sure. And another note is that Varroa feeds on the larvae’s fat cells and not blood as recently discovered


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