Bee Health

Bee Health

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Our local beekeepers discovered pyrethroid resistant Varroa mites in the area in April 2006. This was the first time they had been noted in the Lancashire area.

As a consequence Branch members are now urged to undertake other methods of Varroa control. These methods are collectively called Integrated Pest Management or IPM and may include :-

  • Open mesh floors.

  • Drone brood culling.

  • Comb trapping.

  • Dusting with icing sugar.

  • Using none pyrethroid Varroacides e.g. Thymol based products, organic acids.

  • Shook swarm technique.

Brood frame activity


Other beekeeping Branches outside our area, that have already had experience of resistant mites, have demonstrated that beekeepers who ignore these resistant mites will suffer extensive losses unless they start to use IPM methods to keep the Varroa mite levels down. More detailed advisory leaflets on bee diseases and pests can be obtained from Beebase which is part of the National Bee Unit.

Varroa monitoring

We monitor the Varroa mite drop count at our out apiary.

A bee on a frame's top bar

If the Bee Diseases Inspector confirms that a beekeeper's bees have American Foul Brood (AFB) or European Foul Brood (EFB) then Bee Disease Insurance (BDI) will compensate them for the destruction of their equipment e.g. hives, frames etc. Membership of the Branch automatically includes cover for up to three colonies. For members with more than three colonies an additional payment to their annual Branch subscription must be made as follows :-

    • Up to 5 colonies (including the basic three) an additional £2.00

    • Up to 10 colonies (including the basic three) an additional £5.25

    • Up to 15 colonies (including the basic three) an additional £7.75

    • Up to 20 colonies (including the basic three) an additional £9.50

    • Up to 25 colonies (including the basic three) an additional £11.10

    • Up to 30 colonies (including the basic three) an additional £13.60

    • Up to 35 colonies (including the basic three) an additional £16.10

    • Up to 39 colonies (including the basic three) an additional £18.10

40 hives or more?

For beekeepers owning 40 or more hives a different scheme, known as Scheme B, operates. This scheme is available to beekeepers that may or may not be members of a BDI member association. For further details contact the BDI Scheme B Manager. This scheme has higher levels of maximum compensation than the Scheme A. These are for Scheme B, £3,500 for up to 50 colonies insured and £5,000 above 50 colonies insured

For the insurance to be valid, all colonies owned by the beekeeper must be declared. Therefore members must make allowances (when payment is made) for any unforeseen increases in colony size during the season (an additional swarm or nuclei also counts as an individual colony).

Forage for Bees

Here are a few ideas for what to plant to feed the bees at different times of the year.