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See what's new in West Sussex

News will be posted here from time-to-time so please come back regularly.




South East Regional Bee Inspector

Sandra Gray has returned to the South East as Regional Bee Inspector for the area. 

To contact Sandra e-mail: [email protected]

 or telephone: 07775 119430.

Diane Steele is the Seasonal Bee Inspector for the region.

E-mail: [email protected]  or telephone: 07775 119452

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Asian hornet in the UK - see the report from Fera Science

The Asian hornet at Gosport in Hampshire was reported and confirmed on 8th September and the nest detroyed on 11th September.  The last confirmed sighting was on 1st October last year in Christchurch, Dorset.

The National Bee Unit destroyed an Asian hornet nest near Tamworth, Staffordshire on Friday 6th September 2019.  A further sighting was reported in a new location by a member of the public of an Asian hornet south west of Ashford, Kent, this single hornet has been captured.  Surveillance continued in both areas.

In July 2019 a sighting was confirmed of an individual, female Asian hornet in New Milton, Hampshire, after it was reported by a member of the public. Based upon visual examination, the hornet is likely to be a queen.

Members are asked to remain vigilant for this predator in our region.  It may be seen hawking at the entrance to hives.  Traps may be set up in the apiary and this video shows how to make your own.

For a full description of the Asian honet and its comparison to our native hornet view this document:

Any sightings should be reported to the non-native species team at: [email protected] and an Asian Hornet Watch app is available to download to your phone.  There is also a map on the BBKA website with your nearest Asian hornet team member -


Asian hornet

Defra Covid-19 Update October 2020

Defra has updated its advice to beekeepers on managing colonies during the pandemic.  Download here.



BBKA Insurance

BBKA has confirmed that with the help of their insurance broker, Buckland Harvester, the public and product liability insurance for the period 4th October 2019 to 3rd October 2020 will be provided at a lower cost than the previous year.  This was largely due to the fact that there had been no claims made on the insurance policy over the last twelve months.     The insurance policy wording and certificates are on the BBKA website to view and download:

A document with Frequently Asked Questions is available here and on the Newsletter page.

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Plan Bee Ltd. 

The Scottish-based company has again announced its plans to continue its business in the South of England in West Sussex.  A number of commercial colonies will be established in the east of the county.

Their new CEO has recently spoken to our secretary and explained that the company is now under totally new management with a new business model.  Their strategy is now to use local beekeepers to manage small numbers of colonies in limited areas and they are now using locally-bred queens.

Access their website here.

Plan Bee

Small Hive Beetle

On  11th September 2014 the Italian  National  Reference  Centre  for beekeeping confirmed the first detection of the presence of Small Hive Beetle (SHB)  in South  West Italy,  in  the  port  city  of  Gioia  Tauro.   The destruction of previously infected hives last year has proved ineffective in halting the spread of the beetle and eight further outbreaks have been confirmed in Calabria.  

Members are advised to remain vigilant for the detection of SHB within their colonies and if an infestation is suspected to advise the NBU immediately.  The Regional Bee Inspector's details can be found below.



BBKA Number for Members

Due to the volume of  calls that the BBKA has been experiencing, the Association is very much aware that Members have had problems contacting the main office. 

As a consequence an additional line has been installed so that BBKA may answer calls from members more quickly and efficiently.

Priority will be given to those using the new number which is purely for Member queries and requests; the number to call is 02476 698620. The current number will, when all staff are on calls, be on an automated system, with no answerphone capability.


Bees For development

The charity's aim is to assist people living in poor countries to achieve sustainable livelihoods through beekeeping. Visit their website:



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