BBKA ADM Propositions

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This months BBKA News lists the propositions for the ADM. Two of the propositions, by Devon BKA, are aimed at stopping, or severely inhibiting, the imports of foreign queens to the UK.
This is one of the aims of a number of BBKA members and regularly appears in print in their publications.
The magazine does not provide all the supporting evidence for this proposal but this can be read on the BBKA website by members.
The supporting evidence is a little spurious as it seeks a blanket ban on imports citing the SHB outbreak in Italy. The second proposal throws doubt on the effectiveness of the veterinary checking systems in other countries.
I have written to my local association to lobby for my local delegate to oppose these motions.
Imports are controlled by EU regulations and standards. The EU will make the decision to stop the export of queens from Italy if deemed necessary. They have already banned imports from Hawaii in recent years.
I have emphasized the importance of genetic diversity in those areas of the UK that have mongrel populations. Apiary density is so high around me that raising local mongrels is not a lottery. The dynamics of breeding queens with good traits is loaded in favour of producing ever more difficult bees.
The large number of queens imported each year it is impracticable and impossible for local queen producers to provide adequate queen numbers. We are going to end up with an increasing number of poor quality local mongrels, a shortage of good queen stock and a rise in prices.
The long term consequences will be, IMHO, fewer beekeepers, friction between commercial pollinators and amateurs, and a depressing loss of Bees as pollinators.
The only beneficiaries of this policy will be a few breeders and the AMM zealots who do not understand the dynamics of keeping bees in the rest of the UK away from the Celtic fringes.
Imported queens were displayed at the Great Exhibition and have been a major part of the dynamic, particularly in England, since the 1920s.
I urge all forum members who are also BBKA members to read the propositions on the website, form their own opinion based on sensible knowledge, and instruct their local delegates accordingly.:hairpull::hairpull::hairpull:
 
:iagree: with the bbka for once.
Your argument for the importance of genetic diversity in areas with mongrel populations makes no sense to me.
We already have the genetic stock for superb bees going forward and the only sound arguments for continuing with imports are getting mated queens in volume early in the season and cost, every other argument is misdirection imho.
 
I urge all forum members who are also BBKA members to read the propositions on the website, form their own opinion based on sensible knowledge, and instruct their local delegates accordingly.

I completely agree with you. There is far too much of this carp coming from the BBKA nowadays
 
Surely a system needs to be in place to make up for the shortfall in quality queens before a ban is proposed.
BBKA typically having things arse about face.
But let's be clear on the shb issue. If bees are not imported from the control area, it won't be spread by bees. If it does take hold across Europe then we will get it through fruit/veg or imported plants even if there was a total ban on bee imports.
If that's their only justification, then the proposal doesn't have a leg to stand on.
 
Surely a system needs to be in place to make up for the shortfall in quality queens before a ban is proposed.
BBKA typically having things arse about face.
But let's be clear on the shb issue. If bees are not imported from the control area, it won't be spread by bees. If it does take hold across Europe then we will get it through fruit/veg or imported plants even if there was a total ban on bee imports.
If that's their only justification, then the proposal doesn't have a leg to stand on.

It's interesting that the area making this proposal (Devon) is one of the places Vespa velutina was found this year. It would be better if they identified how it got there (which I expect APHA have/are doing) than trying to change a system that works for all animal movements (TRACES).
 
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Whilst I am sure there is sufficient diversity to ensure good health going forward if we were to ban imports without a coherent plan it is a pipe dream. Just look at the views on here. This policy would mean some keepers would stop beekeeping and in areas where the local mongrels were savage colony numbers would fall. The BBKA don’t have the remit or the support to push through and develop this idea.
Banning imports would just mean people would source from the other end of the country in the “hope of something better than the locals” and population stability still would not exist.
This obviously does not apply to the AMM areas as already stated.


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As the one in the warehouse in Scotland shows. Short of banning all international travel and imports there's no stopping hornets from getting here. I seem to remember that the channel would be within typical queen dispersal range and didn't they find a dead nest in a caravan brought back from France a few years ago?
I've a friend who imports plants/trees from within the SHB control area in italy. He sells probably 50 mature olive trees from there each year and who knows what lurks in the soil or olives.
It certainly "feels" like this proposal has more to do with the Amm/local mongrel agenda than hornets or hive beetles.
Packages and queen imports are probably the least likely ways for shb or a queen VV to get here. So all the motion would achieve from my point of view is I'd have to learn ii a year or 2 earlier than planned.
As others have said, it's impact on Beekeeping generally would almost certainly be less than positive.
The goal of "population genetic stability" couldn't be more misplaced than in the honeybee that does so much to avoid it
 
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A ban would also motivate some to bring in queens through more nefarious methods, skipping the TRACES system all together.
The size and weight of a package of queens and the likely rise in UK queen prices would make it attractive and almost impossible to detect. Not to mention the penalties would almost certainly be less than for other forms of illegal importation.
 
The size and weight of a package of queens and the likely rise in UK queen prices would make it attractive and almost impossible to detect.

Could lead to an increase of the likes of the (ex) Pablo Escobar and his ilk.
 
This months BBKA News lists the propositions for the ADM. Two of the propositions, by Devon BKA, are aimed at stopping, or severely inhibiting, the imports of foreign queens to the UK.

Any resolutions passed by the BBKA have no lawful meaning can be safely ignored. At best they are simply recommendations of an organisation's thoughts.
 
The size and weight of a package of queens and the likely rise in UK queen prices would make it attractive and almost impossible to detect.
I think ITTLD mentioned vans driving down into eastern Europe early spring and returning full of packages of bees.
 
:iagree: with the bbka for once.
Your argument for the importance of genetic diversity in areas with mongrel populations makes no sense to me.
We already have the genetic stock for superb bees going forward and the only sound arguments for continuing with imports are getting mated queens in volume early in the season and cost, every other argument is misdirection imho.

:iagree:

Beekeepers... 2 hive owners and all... need to take on board Bee Improvement and Bee Breeding, and perhaps alter the ... gotta have 2 brood chambers full of bees before 1st June!.... import ... import.... all for 9lbs of honey!!!

The UK has the capability of producing enough bees and queens of good quality, just needs the existing breeders to step up to the mark!

I am not a member of Devon BKA

Yeghes da
 
:iagree: with the bbka for once.
Your argument for the importance of genetic diversity in areas with mongrel populations makes no sense to me.
We already have the genetic stock for superb bees going forward and the only sound arguments for continuing with imports are getting mated queens in volume early in the season and cost, every other argument is misdirection imho.

Sorry MBC I did not make my point clearly enough. I am trying with some of my colleagues to weed out nasty bees in this area. We are hoping to import queens from within the EU that have been bred for generations for the qualities we desire. The BBKA has been encouraging us to breed local mongrels with the theory that they would be suited to our area. We are failing miserably and year on year the number of unsatisfactory bees and queens with aggressive offspring increases. Our continental cousins have put vast amounts of time and effort into breeding lines of queens with desirable traits. In the UK we do not have the luxury of island mating sites and in Southern UK do not have access to secluded mountain valleys. Unless we can II large numbers of queens and have many years to develop lines then the BBKA will consigning us to nasty mongrels. This will inevitably lead to a decline in the number of hives and beekeepers.If other, more forward thinkers have done the groundwork why try to re-invent the wheel. On the continent government departments, universities and beekeepers all work together to achieve agreed aims.
I have said before on this forum beekeeping in the UK is an uncoordinated shambles. I am surrounded by unregistered beekeepers who show no interest in the temperament of their bees and do not give a hoot about disease spread. Only a couple of years ago Monty Don was advocating everyone having a neglected top bar hive in their garden. 'Just ring your local association and they will provide you with a swarm'. The BBKA should have come out strongly against this suggestion and slapped him down. He should have been on the receiving end of my phone to hear some of the idiots. But NO!! the BBKA just has the cart in front of the horse and cannot come up with an idea that has been thought through.:hairpull::hairpull::hairpull:
 
How has this situation arrived?
It wasn't due to any restrictions, rather the opposite.
For a sustainable future we should look to ourselves imho
 
Sorry MBC I did not make my point clearly enough. I am trying with some of my colleagues to weed out nasty bees in this area. We are hoping to import queens from within the EU that have been bred for generations for the qualities we desire. The BBKA has been encouraging us to breed local mongrels with the theory that they would be suited to our area. We are failing miserably and year on year the number of unsatisfactory bees and queens with aggressive offspring increases. Our continental cousins have put vast amounts of time and effort into breeding lines of queens with desirable traits. In the UK we do not have the luxury of island mating sites and in Southern UK do not have access to secluded mountain valleys. Unless we can II large numbers of queens and have many years to develop lines then the BBKA will consigning us to nasty mongrels. This will inevitably lead to a decline in the number of hives and beekeepers.If other, more forward thinkers have done the groundwork why try to re-invent the wheel. On the continent government departments, universities and beekeepers all work together to achieve agreed aims.
I have said before on this forum beekeeping in the UK is an uncoordinated shambles. I am surrounded by unregistered beekeepers who show no interest in the temperament of their bees and do not give a hoot about disease spread. Only a couple of years ago Monty Don was advocating everyone having a neglected top bar hive in their garden. 'Just ring your local association and they will provide you with a swarm'. The BBKA should have come out strongly against this suggestion and slapped him down. He should have been on the receiving end of my phone to hear some of the idiots. But NO!! the BBKA just has the cart in front of the horse and cannot come up with an idea that has been thought through.:hairpull::hairpull::hairpull:

I disagree... except the bit about the BBKA having the cart before the horse!:icon_204-2:

Many bee breeders in the UK produce very good quality stock.... there needs to be some form of distinction between bee breeders and bee importers!!

All the time you are bringing in cart loads of foreign bees that are not adapted or suited to the UK climate and quite definitely do not belong here you are destroying work carried out by those dedicated to bee improvement.
I am not convinced that the Germans have got it right with their program of uniformity.
Destroying what little we have left of UK populations of Amm is not the way forward.

Yeghes da
 
The UK has the capability of producing enough bees and queens of good quality, just needs the existing breeders to step up to the mark!

As ITLD has explained several times, it is not possible to mate queens in sufficient numbers early enough in the season
Personally, I don't start grafting until the start of May because the drones are not available/mature
 
I suggest we ban bee imports from Devon as they already have Asian hornets.

Makes more sense than Devon BKA' s motion..
 
With regard to the cart before the horse thing a positive approach would be to offer grants for queen rearing purposes, both for equipment and time/skill.
 

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