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Brosville 

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march on -
Hilary Benn has just released news of a few million to help beekeepers - but don't cheer yet! Around half will be for research into "diseases", with pointedly no mention of investigating the part agrochemicals may be playing in CCD
(surprise that, wonder why?.......), and the other half will be used for an extra army of bee inspectors............

"A further ?2.3 million over two years will go towards the work of the National Bee Unit in its efforts to help England's beekeepers deal with the problems facing their bee colonies.

This will include identifying all those who keep bees and providing expert advice to them on tackling pests and diseases and applying good husbandry"

-which means compulsory registration, and probably compulsory mass-medication....... I have a feeling that certain agrochemical companies are breaking out the champagne as I write.........:(
 

mrDoe 

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I welcome any funding into bee research, ?2m might not be the ?8m the BBKA have been asking for, but it's ?2m more than we had last year.

As for bee inspectors, the more the merrier I say. All the inspectors I have come across are dedicated, able and knowledgeable beekeepers, who do a great job for not allot of money. I don't have an issue with national registration (as long as it does not have to be done via local associations or the BBKA) and as for compulsory medication I don't think that is either practical, appropriate or enforceable.



Peter
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Polyanwood 

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It would be interesting to know whether they plan to bring in legislation to make us register and also legislation to force us to follow the bee inspector's advice. Since most beekeepers appear rather non conformist, it will be as difficult as hearding cats trying to force compliance. Compliance might be achieved if there were a threat that unless we comply, we will have our registration removed and it will be unlawful to keep bees without being registered. Still very difficult to police.

I would be surprised if they went that far, although if you listen to some commercial beekeepers who hate hobbyists, it makes you think that it might happen.
 
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Suggesting compulsory registration is just scare-mongering . . . . . supplying enough funds for more bee inspectors will give an easier overall view on beekeeping in Britain and the existing inspectors will be less hard pushed. I've met my local one twice, he came and inspected my hives and was more than helpful.

Looking at other animal farming for one moment, poultry keepers need to be registered if they have more than 50 birds. I recently aquired 2 pigs. . . certain things need to be done to register, none of it difficult - everyone I spoke to on the phone was most helpful and the pig police haven't turned up on my doorstep, nor do I expect them to, so I suspect that any registration which takes place will probably be for beeks with more than say 20 hives and even then it may be optional. As for compulsory mass medication. . . . compulsory mass medication for what? and to achieve what exactly?

Frisbee
 

Chris B 

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I would be surprised if they went that far, although if you listen to some commercial beekeepers who hate hobbyists, it makes you think that it might happen.
I can only think of one such person, but I think he hates everyone.

This funding announcement is good news. Okay it's a bit disproportionate to be putting over half of it into hunting down renegade beekeepers and educating us all, but it's still a big step in the right direction.

Brosville, you obviously haven't met any bee inspectors yet. Although DEFRA pay their (token) wages, they are not products of that system at all. They are highly skilled, highly motivated beekeepers (at least all the ones I've met over the years) who perform a valuable service and they are stretched too thinly at the moment.

Chris
 

mrDoe 

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<SNIP>

.... you obviously haven't met any bee inspectors yet. Although DEFRA pay their (token) wages, they are not products of that system at all. They are highly skilled, highly motivated beekeepers (at least all the ones I've met over the years) who perform a valuable service and they are stretched too thinly at the moment.

Chris

Here, here, I could not agree more.
 

Brosville 

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I've met a bee inspector, and he was, as you say, charming, knowledgeable, and scathing of the chemical companies (we got on very well), BUT the fact remains that none of the announced funds are to be used to look in ALL directions for the causes of the problems from which bees are suffering, agrochemicals have been visibly and pointedly excluded.
However wonderful the present bee inspectors are, who is to say that the new ones will be up to those high standards?
I have heard mutterings about more regulation, certainly compulsory registration has been mentioned more than once - is it such a leap of imagination to foresee
compulsory membership of the BBKA for beekeepers?
I await developments with trepidation...........
 

David P 

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It hardly surprising really that this isnt going towards research to the agro-chem industry.
after all how can the government be expected to fund research into this when outr own association endorses it.
 

Chris B 

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Hi Brosville,
I totally agree it's not what I would call a balanced allocation of the funds. But half the trouble is DEFRA have not been presented with a balanced argument by beekeepers who have made such a big thing of recent winter losses, for which the primary causes are reasonably well understood i.e. (i) bad weather leading to poor queen mating (ii) poor husbandry. So DEFRA have put some cash towards dealing with poor beekeeping. I'm not going to complain about that because it's a genuine need.
BUT the things that really need attention IMO are the time-bombs that haven't gone off yet e.g. SHB, tropilaelaps, nosema ceranae (I guess that one is already fizzing), and yes cumulative effects of pesticides and chemicals. We are unprepared and vulnerable on all those fronts and probably others too. Maybe these things are covered in the ?2m? I guess we'll have to wait until they announce the detail.
Regards
Chris
 

jimbeekeeper 

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It hardly surprising really that this isnt going towards research to the agro-chem industry.
after all how can the government be expected to fund research into this when outr own association endorses it.
Spot on!
 

Hebeegeebee 

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Gossip and conjecture, you're worse than Les Dawson and the other one who stood side by side against a fence!
 

tony350i 

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But half the trouble is DEFRA have not been presented with a balanced argument by beekeepers who have made such a big thing of recent winter losses
...............................

who is having these winter losses coz i don't see them with my bees and i don't treat.
my biggest problem is wood peckers smashing the hive entrance up which is giving my bee a bit of attitude when i check fondant levels

i don't know any bee farmers but why have they got a problem with hobby bee keepers.

compulsory registration,
if they use this as a way to false you to dump chems into your hives then the out look for bees is going to look very grim.
 

Hebeegeebee 

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That's it, Roy Barraclough.
Do we have any hard and fast details of what DEFRA is going to do ? OR do we have publicity now (aren't the govt a great bunch) and action later? I think the money is over 5 years...
 

mrDoe 

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<snip>

i don't know any bee farmers but why have they got a problem with hobby bee keepers.

compulsory registration,
if they use this as a way to false you to dump chems into your hives then the out look for bees is going to look very grim.
Hi Tony

I think it's mainly one bee farmer that has been making allot of noise against hobbyists recently, and IMO he does so to move focus away from the fact he sells non EU honey as English honey, often on markets for exorbitant prices "Bio-active honey @ ?6.50lb I think it was)

Don't worry about compulsory registration leading to compulsory medication, it will never happen. It makes absolutely no sense to treat all the bees in the UK with any one chemical at one preordained time. Ask any bee inspector if it makes sense to treat healthy bees without good cause; besides how will they police such. I'm also a fisherman and right now there is a big hue-n-cry about the EU regulating recreational angling, that too is a nonsense and will never happen in the UK. Often these bits of legislation are suggested by those that do not know enough about the relevant situation and during the debating process sense usually prevails.



Peter
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Peter are we talking about a creature of South African origin?
 

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I did see a video of him once saying what he thinks of us amateurs keeping bees in the uk,saying we should all be banned.

Not nice!
 

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