Honey bee health strategy: review

Scottish Government in conjunction with the Bee Health Improvement Partnership (BHIP), have completed a review of the first 10 year strategy. This will allow us to understand the progress made since 2010 and how to support the sector in future years.


The first Scottish Honey Bee Health Strategy[1] was published in June 2010 - the main aim of which was “to achieve a sustainable and healthy population of honey bees for pollination and honey production in Scotland through strengthened partnership working between stakeholders with interests in honey bees”. This followed the uncovering of EFB and AFB in honey bees across Scotland in 2009 and highlighted the need for a strategic approach to honey bee health in Scotland.

This 10-year Strategy brought together stakeholders involved in the beekeeping industry throughout Scotland; from the amateur and commercial beekeeping sectors along with Scotland’s beekeeping advisor at SRUC, SASA, the SG Inspectorate and relevant key people from the Scottish Government, including Scotland’s very first Lead Bee Inspector (LBI) and provided for the establishment of a working group (now known as the Bee Health Improvement Partnership (BHIP)[2]). Their Terms of Reference[3] detail their role in the creation, implementation and progress reporting of the Honey Bee Health Strategy outcomes.

Delivery of the Scottish Honey Bee Health Strategy was taken forward using the following 4 key outcomes which had been developed by all those with an interest in honey bees including the Scottish Government, its agencies and delivery bodies, stakeholder associations and more importantly, individual beekeepers:

Outcome 1. Education, Training and Knowledge Transfer: good standards of beekeeping and husbandry will minimise pest and disease risks and contribute to sustaining healthy honey bee populations.

Outcome 2. Communication: effective communication and relationships operating at all levels.

Outcome 3. Surveillance, Diagnosis and Biosecurity: positive surveillance based on vigilance, reporting and diagnosis.

Outcome 4. Research and Development: sound science and evidence underpinning bee health policy, disease prevention and control, and good husbandry.


Email: Bees_mailbox@gov.scot

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