Bee Health Improvement Partnership minutes: May 2019

Minutes of the meeting of the Bee Health Improvement Partnership (BHIP) on 7 May 2019.

Attendees and apologies

  • John Smith, SG, Acting Lead Bee Inspector
  • Fiona Highet, SG-SASA, Senior Entomologist
  • Gavin Ramsay, SBA, Bee Health Convener
  • Alan Riach, SBA, President
  • Phil McAnespie, SBA, Vice President
  • Bron Wright, SBA, Past President
  • Margaret Ginman, BFA, General Secretary (Telecon)
  • Jackie Quigley, SG, Secretariat
  • Angus MacAskill, SG, Bee Inspector
  • Sarah Gallagher, SG, Secretariat
  • Graeme Sharpe, SRUC, Apiculture Specialist


  • Murray McGregor, BFA
  • Margaret Thomas, BFA

Items and actions

Welcome and apologies

  • Fiona welcomed everyone to the meeting.
  • apologies received from Margaret Thomas and Murray McGregor

Minutes and actions points (19th March 2019)

  • previous minutes were approved.
  • actions arising from previous minutes

Graeme is awaiting further information from Lantra regarding train the trainer.

SBA having a two day course hopefully in Auchincruive and another two day course in Nairn. Train the Trainer courses will be subsidised by the Scottish Government. SBA to send a quote to Jackie so a Purchase Order can be raised. NDB costings are a bit expensive. SBA can’t get feedback from the previous TtT course as they have to wait a year. There was a suggestion that people from the BHIP should go on the course to see what they think and give feedback. 

SBA to take forward the suggestion of Scottish Beekeeping Christmas carol event at members meeting.

Fiona or Margaret Ginman are to provide Phil with a photo of Murray for the SBA magazine. 


Honey Bee Health Days are both fully booked. A request by CABA (Glasgow and district) has already been agreed in principal for 2020; Mhairi Neill is the contact. Gavin & Margaret have kindly agreed to help out again this year. The young beekeepers participating in the IMYB will also be attending the Honey Bee Health day at Kelso. Also SASA are looking for fresh combs with disease if possible for the Honey Bee Health days. There should be logos for BFA and SBA on the agenda and certificates that go out to participants.

Bee farmer training day 21st May 2019 (SG) – New recruits with the bee farmers so the training is needed and also some refreshing training for others. Margaret Ginman to send out a reminder.

Bee Farmers Association (BFA) – Training for Bee Farmers which will be presented by Tony Harris. The professional qualification will last for three years. We have appointed a Co-ordinator Steve Sunderland. We have went with City and Guilds as doing it through Lantra was expensive. The City and Guilds haven’t charged anything for the help they have given and also have sponsored the first of the apprentices.

The photography unit at SASA are going to look to see if they can make a pull up for the Highland Show.

Graeme Sharpe will be joining the Scottish Government stand in the Bee tent this year at the Royal Highland Show. Due to not having a Lead Bee Inspector this will be very helpful.

Lead bee inspector recruitment – an advert went out externally and we had a good number of applicants apply. The sift has now been done and all successful candidates have been informed. We have a good level of bee keeping amongst the candidates. There is a possibility of doing a live inspection as part of the interviewing process.

Steve has been appointed a ‘beekeeping expert’ on the EU Focus Group 34. He is the only UK representative within this group.

Bee health article 27. Action point: Sarah to share consultation as this needs to be in by 22nd May.

World of Bees – unfortunately Margaret Ginman can no longer attend this event. We will see if anyone else can attend but it looks like it may be a no show from us unfortunately.

2019 Inspections – There have been some positive cases of EFB already this year. Imports have been arriving from Italy and have been inspected. Hopefully Gordon & Claire will be getting more involved with the inspections this year. Angus and John have already been out inspecting over the past few weeks. Bee farmers have been trained to spot disease and are noticing a lot on their own. Surveillance won’t be done this year again as we don’t have the resources.

Christmas 2019 – SBA will bring this up at their meeting in June.

KPI discussion

Please see the attached sheet

Pollinator strategy

There have been no meetings and no outputs. They do however send out KPIs every six months or so. The have a blog and a twitter feed which has a lot on information. Possibly ask Athayde or Jim Jeffery to give a talk at the next BHIP meeting.

Dates and venue for remaining meeting

Future meetings will be held on:

  • HIP – 15th August 2019 at Battleby
  • Steering Group – 14 November 2019 at Battleby


Bees Health Improvement Partnership (BHIP)
c/o Scottish Government
Saughton House
EH11 3XD

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