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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.




Seasonal Bee Inspector

My work for the National Bee Unit is now finished. 

Please firstly try The National Bee Unit on  03003030094.

Alternatively try the Regional Bee Inspector for the South East, Tom Bickerdike on 07775119464

If your email is time limited  please recall and resend it to [email protected]

If your email is a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 please resend your email to [email protected]

Many Thanks

Diane Steele     Seasonal Bee Inspector South East


South East Regional Bee Inspector

Thomas Bickerdike is the Regional Bee Inspector for the South East region.  

To contact Thomas e-mail: [email protected] or telephone:  07775 119464

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BBKA Insurance

This year the BBKA has taken out an insurance policy with Aviva that includes public & product liability cover for members for the period 4th October 2023 - 3rd October 2024.  Aviva does not issue certificates for public & product liability.  However, Aston Lark the Association’s insurance broker has provided a 'To Whom It May Concern' document for members to use if you are required to prove you have insurance cover.

This year all the insurance documents have been stored on the website under 'BBKA Documents'.  The website has undergone some work to link it with the eR2 membership database which means that only active members of the BBKA can login to the site. If you need to view the instructions on how to login to use this link : instructions.The 'Frequently Asked Questions' document has been reviewed with the broker and  this too is available to view on the website. 

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Defra Covid-19 Update October 2020

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



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 above.

The National Bee Unit will be carrying out a contingency exercise on 2nd & 3rd August 2023 in apiaries across the Petersfield area of Hampshire & into neighbouring areas of West Sussex, designed to mimic an incursion and spread of the small hive beetle.  This is only an exercise but the co-operation of local beekeepers will be sought as testing of the contingency procedures is carried out and the effectiveness and responsiveness to an outbreak are measured. 



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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