A to Z Contact Information Pages (1)

Contacts Directory

British Beekeepers Association

British Beekeepers Association
National Agricultural Centre

Tel: 024 7669 6679
Fax: 024 7669 0682

Email: information@bbka.demon.co.uk
Web: http://www.bbka.org.uk/

The Protection of Honey Bees

The protection of honey bees should be part of any conservation programme and should be considered during any environmental impact assessment. Bees, as well as helping to ensure good crop pollination can provide honey as a sweetener, and beeswax for candles. Royal Jelly is frequently used in alternative medicines. For more information on Honey Bees contact:

Many pesticides are harmful to bees and should be avoided. The following pesticides are considered to be a minimal risk to bees, but always check the label:

  • aldicarb (granules)
  • carbofuran (granules)
  • carbosulfan (granules)
  • diflubenzuron
  • disulfotan (granules)
  • pirimicarb
  • endosulfan (granules)
  • ethiofencarb (granules)
  • mephosfolan (soil drench)
  • phorate (granules)
  • phosalone

New research on lambda-cyhalothrin shows that whilst the pesticide is toxic to bees should it come in contact with them, the chemical actually appears to have a repellent action and so is unlikely to be a hazard.

Foul Brood

There are two foul brood diseases.

American Foul Brood


is caused by a bacterium called Paenibacillus larvae. The bacteria invades the whole larval tissue, killing it before it can emerge, and forming an extremely long lasting, robust spore. It is the distribution and ingestion of the spore that causes the disease, the spore being inadvertently mixed with the brood food. The larva collapses and dies after the cell has been sealed and feeding of the larva has ceased.

European Foul Brood


is caused by a bacterium now called Melissococcus pluton. This lives in the mid-gut of the larva killing it within about four days. During this the larvae are distressed, writhing about in the cell. The brood cells remain unsealed and the dead larvae can be colonised by other bacteria subsequently, such as Achromobacter eurydice and Paenibacillus alvei. These secondary infections can confuse the symptoms of the disease displayed.

In UK the management of these diseases is controlled by law and beekeepers are not entitled to employ their own treatments. In a sense their responsibility is restricted to regular inspection for the disease and once found treatment of the colony becomes the preserve of the Ministry of Agriculture's officials.

If you suspect foul brood disease you must report this immediately to your regional bee inspector - contact Central Science Laboratory (CSL) for advice. The inspector will issue you a Statutory notice called a Standstill Notice which means you can not move the apiary, equipment of bees that may be infected. This Notice remains in force until control measures are complete which may be several weeks.

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