Country File BBC 1 Sunday 29 July 11am

Media interest in bees and beekeeping continues at a high level. Our Research Colloquium, which as you will read shortly in BBKA News was a great success and has contributed a further impetus. As a result, Country File has filmed a short feature on bees and bee research which will be transmitted this Sunday, 29 July at 11am BBC1. It features input from ourselves, Defra/NBU and Sheffield University and hopefully will make our case for more research funding. Please inform your members of this broadcast which I am sure will interest them.
Best wishes
Tim Lovett

Disease Alert

Please be advised that the following disease has been identified:

This is located in the following 10km Map Square(s):

Square Number: TL13
Square Name: LOWER STONDON (Beds / Herts Border Square)

Beekeepers and Bee Farmers in this area should be vigilant and examine their colonies carefully and advise us if they have any concerns. If associations have new members within this area of whom we may not be aware - please advise us.

Priority Inspection Visits of apiaries will be continued in the area surrounding those where the disease has been confirmed.

Your help and cooperation is, as always greatly appreciated in completing these visits as swiftly as possible.

Useful Contact Details:

Peter Heath - Seasonal Bee Inspector: 01279 843177
Andy Wattam - Regional Bee Inspector: 01509 881092
National Bee Unit: 01904 462510 - E-Mail:

Thymol Varroa Treatment

100 grams Thymol crystals (handle with care - avoid skin contact)
200 grams PURA or other pure vegetable fat (no additives, preservatives or emulsifiers)
700 grams Castor Sugar
(sufficient for about 12 colonies)

Melt the PURA in a saucepan and allow it to cool until warm to the touch. Put the castor sugar into a plastic container and thoroughly mix in the Thymol crystals until all lumps are broken down. Add the sugar/Thymol mixture to the melted Pura and mix thoroughly until the mixture is the consistency of a paste.

If well sealed the mixture may be stored in the bottom of a refrigerator for up to 12 months.

On a piece of grease-proof paper about 10cm x 15cm spread the mixture so that it is about 5mm thick and place on top of the brood frames. The Crown board should allow a bee space above the paste. All ventilation should be closed except a 10cm wide entrance. Refresh the mixture very two weeks until the drop falls below 2-3 mites per week.

The ambient temperature needs to be above about 15C unless the hive is insulated. Expanded polystyrene works well (about 25mm thick) and can be left on all winter.

Note: do not apply the Thymol treatement when supers are still on. It is also advisable to remove excess winter stores in the spring before the bees transfer it into the supers.