Bee vets have gathered in Edinburgh to meet the Scottish Bee Health Team and discuss its vital task of keeping the “national colony” healthy and disease free.
The British Bee Veterinary Association (BBVA) met at Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) – part of the Scottish Government.
SASA provides laboratory-based diagnostic support for Scottish bee inspectors in the identification and control of the reportable bee diseases American foulbrood (AFB), European foulbrood (EFB), Asian hornets and small hive beetle.
The Scottish Bee Health Team is charged with the vital task of monitoring and controlling AFB and EFB, and provides in-depth training to commercial bee farmers and operates a rigorous certification process.
The meeting was hosted by senior entomologist Fiona Highet MBE and Luis Molero, the newly-appointed lead bee inspector for Scotland. Mr Molero is a former veterinary officer and veterinary advisor at the APHA.
BBVA president John Hill also joined the gathering from the World Apiculture Congress (Apimondia) in Montréal, Canada, as well as speaking at the US Honey Bee Veterinary Consortium Conference at North Carolina State University, Raleigh.
Delegates experienced excellent training first-hand from SASA entomology laboratory manager Mairi Carnegie when examining honeycombs infected with AFB and EFB. They also examined specimens of small hive beetles (Aethina tumida) and Asian hornets (Vespa velutina).
Asian hornets are a serious predator of honeybees and present a significant public health concern as they are poised to invade the UK. Now well established in France, Spain, Portugal and the Channel Islands, we have recently received news of the fourth Asian hornet sighting in England this year (Christchurch, Dorset).