How to get All Beekeepers a Bad Name

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Joined
Nov 26, 2008
Messages
1,073
Reaction score
352
Location
Haddenham Buckinghamshire
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
20
I am out Association Swarm Officer and we operate a system where all our collectors have a default number that rings a central phone. During the working day there are only a few of us available to cover calls for swarms.
Our association area borders 6 others including some across county boundaries.
Yesterday I received a number of calls from a neighbouring village about 4 miles away in Oxfordshire. Calls had been made to Oxford beekeepers with no success and the BBKA map gives me as the nearest swarm collector.
At lunchtime I receive a call from a lady whose garden is full of swarming bees milling around. She is very is very sensible and says she will ring back when they settle. A call a little later tells me they have settled on the rear door of a neighbouring property to the left of her house but there is another swarm milling around in the garden to the right of her house.
She goes to look in the rear garden of the first house and rings back to say she believes he has hives in his back garden.
The occupier of the house to the right rings me to say there is a large swarm in his garden. I go to collect. By the time I get there they have moved on.
I pay a courtesy call on the lady and she takes me to view the neighbours garden via a rear gate.
I was amazed at the sight that greeted me. In a garden about 30 ft. square there was a stack of at least 8 hives possibly 12. There were 2 NUC boxes on a porch roof.
The hives were in rows of 3 with a second hive on the roof of the first and not daring to venture too far there appeared to be a second row . I could definitely see a 4th pair but did not dare venture further as another was swarming and the whole area was thick with bees.
This small garden was totally given over to hives and equipment and inspection of the lower hives in the stacks must be close to impossible if you have to lift the top hives off each time. (hence the swarming!!!)
Neighbours were not aware that bees were kept here and my colleagues have already collected 2 swarms from nearby gardens in the last week.
IMHO this guy should be banned from beekeeping. The RSPCA would prosecute anyone who kept other livestock in these unsuitable conditions.
What can we do????:hairpull::hairpull:
 
not sure what can be done with regards to rspca but
if hes doing something that is affecting his neighbors adversely the local authority should be able to enforce, something around a nuisance neighbor.
 
They're either incompetent or someone that follows the hands off approach to beekeeping. letting their hives swarm as its the 'natural' thing to do. (basically incompetent)

Maybe they have been waiting for a day that they can wear a T shirt but feel the cold more than most?
:spy:

You are right though, it's not great P.R for Beekeepers, I've only bagged three swarms so far this year but have received several calls about bees in walls and chimneys that have just moved in or are scouts checking it out, I've even been up on someones roof sealing up around the cowl where bees had found a gap to access the chimney, no reward for doing so but it's good P.R for Beekeeping.

I'll be removing some from a porch at the weekend!
 
Last edited:
I am out Association Swarm Officer and we operate a system where all our collectors have a default number that rings a central phone. During the working day there are only a few of us available to cover calls for swarms.
Our association area borders 6 others including some across county boundaries.
Yesterday I received a number of calls from a neighbouring village about 4 miles away in Oxfordshire. Calls had been made to Oxford beekeepers with no success and the BBKA map gives me as the nearest swarm collector.
At lunchtime I receive a call from a lady whose garden is full of swarming bees milling around. She is very is very sensible and says she will ring back when they settle. A call a little later tells me they have settled on the rear door of a neighbouring property to the left of her house but there is another swarm milling around in the garden to the right of her house.
She goes to look in the rear garden of the first house and rings back to say she believes he has hives in his back garden.
The occupier of the house to the right rings me to say there is a large swarm in his garden. I go to collect. By the time I get there they have moved on.
I pay a courtesy call on the lady and she takes me to view the neighbours garden via a rear gate.
I was amazed at the sight that greeted me. In a garden about 30 ft. square there was a stack of at least 8 hives possibly 12. There were 2 NUC boxes on a porch roof.
The hives were in rows of 3 with a second hive on the roof of the first and not daring to venture too far there appeared to be a second row . I could definitely see a 4th pair but did not dare venture further as another was swarming and the whole area was thick with bees.
This small garden was totally given over to hives and equipment and inspection of the lower hives in the stacks must be close to impossible if you have to lift the top hives off each time. (hence the swarming!!!)
Neighbours were not aware that bees were kept here and my colleagues have already collected 2 swarms from nearby gardens in the last week.
IMHO this guy should be banned from beekeeping. The RSPCA would prosecute anyone who kept other livestock in these unsuitable conditions.
What can we do????:hairpull::hairpull:

Compulsory registration for beekeepers who keep stock....

... bees are classed as food producing stock..( but like Alpaccas?) do not have any regulation other than checks for notifiable diseases ( not Alpaccas?)

Our pigs have to have a stock number, herd number where they are kept.. movement licence and specified abattoir when they are to be slaughtered
Paperwork is simple enough... SWMBO does it!

Stock regulation applies even if you have only one pig and includes pet pigs!

Seems any old Tom Dick or Harry is registered on the BBKA swarm page as collectors..... most worrying as it seems there have been a number of botched collections perpetrated by those greedy for some "free bees"

:calmdown::calmdown::calmdown::calmdown:
 
Compulsory registration for beekeepers who keep stock....
I agree there should be compulsory regulation. I have picked upu 2 swarms in the village since Sunday. One comes from a hive owned by a guy who was very keen and enthusiastic. He seems to have lost interest and slipped'off the grid'
The other comes, I suspect, from an 'off the grid' beekeeper who, I have been informed by several acquaintances and customers, brags about how easy it is to keep bees!!!!:hairpull::hairpull::hairpull::hairpull:
 
I agree there should be compulsory regulation.

Let's think about that a moment.
Who would you register with? The BBKA, despite it's name, doesn't represent all beekeepers and has some very strange ideas about beekeeping. The only realistic alternative would seem to be APHA/NBU. At least they have a mandate to enforce bee disease orders, but, they also have their own bias (as shown in their survey last year which was heavily in favour of Amm/mongrels). Do you really want to be licenced by an organisation which is not impartial?
 
Let's think about that a moment.
Who would you register with? The BBKA, despite it's name, doesn't represent all beekeepers and has some very strange ideas about beekeeping. The only realistic alternative would seem to be APHA/NBU. At least they have a mandate to enforce bee disease orders, but, they also have their own bias (as shown in their survey last year which was heavily in favour of Amm/mongrels). Do you really want to be licenced by an organisation which is not impartial?

Most of the stock farmers seem to think that everyone else should be regulated!

If my pig got SVF or my cattle Foot & Mouth because some clot was allowed to move his infected stock into the field / farm next door.... I would me not pleased indeed.
Same with bees!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swine_vesicular_disease

What makes you think that BIBBA etc had any more influence on the Defra/APHA/NBU as major honey bee importers ???
 
Last edited:
they also have their own bias (as shown in their survey last year which was heavily in favour of Amm/mongrels). Do you really want to be licenced by an organisation which is not impartial?

Not they per se unfortunately the top end of the NBU is riddled with BBKA sistificit holders - that became apparent when one of the top jobs was advertised anyear or so ago, I had a peek at the competency framework etc - the post was being held on a temporary appointment at the time and it was obvious that the incumbent had a hand in formulating it as, it was more or less, if you didn't have a wall full of BBKA certificates, you weren't going to pass the sift.
Thus is the person in charge now
 
Frankly I don't know the answer to inappropriate individuals keeping bees but regulation / registration is not the answer. There would be a cost associated with this, and for what? The NBU have extremely limited resources and quite frankly, are struggling to cope at best. Could the 25k beeks generate enough income to increase numbers at the NBU? I doubt it.

Linked to this and swarm collecting, has anyone else noticed the change to the BBKA swarm website? Last year I could put in my postcode and it would show a list of Beeks willing to collect swarms within a 10 mile radius. Now they've changed it to FULL postcodes. Therefore If you live in a town like me where I'm one postcode and my Beek buddy lives the otherside of town in a different postcode, unless joe public knows each postcode used in the town in full, they won't find a beek to help collect a swarm. What self inflicted damage has that done to Beeks and the BBKA by not being able to support the communities you live in?????
 
Most of the stock farmers seem to think that everyone else should be regulated!

If my pig got SVF or my cattle Foot & Mouth because some clot was allowed to move his infected stock into the field / farm next door.... I would me not pleased indeed.
Same with bees!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swine_vesicular_disease

What makes you think that BIBBA etc had any more influence on the Defra/APHA/NBU as major honey bee importers ???

I agree with your first point. Ideally, we should have impartial agencies that do the job they're supposed to do and aren't influenced by other factors.

However, the survey they put out last year was nothing short of scandalous. Don't pretend it wasn't biased because we've already had that discussion and I don't really want to go over old ground.

As I said at the time: trust is hard won and easily lost. APHA/NBU lost my trust when they got involved in the Amm bee lobby. If they had asked open questions on which race/sub-species I kept, I'd have happily told them...but..when the tone becomes biased, I clam up.
 
The other factor that is hard to rule out when you see a back garden as described by the OP is intent. This could be an over-enthusiastic enthusiast, as it were; but, with the stacked hives and high density, it reminds me of a number of urban sites that were shut down in the U.S. due to nuisance (and in some cases animal welfare) violations. These sites were supplying honey to local restaurants and they didn't care about checking and monitoring the hives or swarming. They took what they could and let the hives do what they wanted, and the ROI for effort was fairly high, even if it would offend a serious beekeeper.
 
Not they per se unfortunately the top end of the NBU is riddled with BBKA sistificit holders - that became apparent when one of the top jobs was advertised anyear or so ago, I had a peek at the competency framework etc - the post was being held on a temporary appointment at the time and it was obvious that the incumbent had a hand in formulating it as, it was more or less, if you didn't have a wall full of BBKA certificates, you weren't going to pass the sift.
Thus is the person in charge now

I'd have far more respect for a person with a real degree/Masters/PhD. They have to study real science, not the 100+ year old tripe on the BBKA syllabus.
 
They took what they could and let the hives do what they wanted, and the ROI for effort was fairly high, even if it would offend a serious beekeeper.

I know it's a bit picky, but, ROI (Return On Investment) would include all costs (not specifically labour)
 
Yeah, I do understand. If my memory serves, the equipment wasn’t first rate either. And the boxes are fairly cheap compared to what you could get from one overcrowded pirate apiary. It was one of the reasons, I’ve been told, the beekeeping was illegal in New York City until fairly recently.
 
Yeah, I do understand. If my memory serves, the equipment wasn’t first rate either. And the boxes are fairly cheap compared to what you could get from one overcrowded pirate apiary. It was one of the reasons, I’ve been told, the beekeeping was illegal in New York City until fairly recently.
Let's not go down the route you find in the "Land of the Free".
 
This is an interesting thread on a subject I had not considered. With animals, both companion and farm, even the RSPCA has no automatic right of seizure. Only the Police can seize, usually at the direction of a qualified veterinary surgeon. ( With bees, maybe the Bee Inspector will do this role?) Police will grant custody to the RSPCA after seizure. I have no idea whether Bees would be classed under the Animal Welfare Act. But I would hazard that all enquires and pleas for help would end up at the door of DEFRA or the NBU sooner or later. This does not seem to be an issue appropriate for any beekeeper’s association whether local or national BBKA or any other collection of keepers. We cannot police ourselves, surely? A good starting point would be for neighbours to approach the local authority’s environmental health department. That would be the first door I’d knock on. I would think any authority with powers to act under the law, would do so in conjunction with others who have expertise in bees.
 
This is an interesting thread on a subject I had not considered. With animals, both companion and farm, even the RSPCA has no automatic right of seizure. Only the Police can seize, usually at the direction of a qualified veterinary surgeon. ( With bees, maybe the Bee Inspector will do this role?)


Doubt it they don't have the resources to their day job.


Police will grant custody to the RSPCA after seizure.


Unless its something they're interested in they won't rock up

I have no idea whether Bees would be classed under the Animal Welfare Act.

Nothing they are not animals as defined under the AWA

We cannot police ourselves, surely?

Why not? Far better than the Nanny state getting involved?

I would think any authority with powers to act under the law, would do so in conjunction with others who have expertise in bees.

Which laws exactly?
 
Last edited:

Latest posts

Back
Top