Scotland’s Honey Bee Health Strategy: implementation plan

Details of the actions which the Bee Health Improvement Partnership (BHIP) will deliver in order to achieve the desired outcomes for honey bee health in Scotland.


EFB control

European Foulbrood (EFB) is a notifiable disease of honey bees in Scotland which means that anyone that suspects EFB on their colonies has a legal obligation to contact the Bee Inspectorate.

The discovery of the outbreak of EFB in Perthshire during 2009 determined much of the work that the SG Bee Health Inspectorate carried out over the last 10-years.  There have been great advances since then with levels of infection being significantly reduced and SG Inspectors now finding mostly low levels of infection at earlier stages.  New strategies may be required in order to further reduce infection rates, for example, taking on board scientific studies and our own experience, it has become clear that effective EFB treatment requires action at an apiary level.  This brings a number of challenges (particularly for commercial beekeepers with larger apiaries where the financial impact may be considerable)

Action (SMART)

 

Owner

Priority

Update (to be advised at quarterly BHIP)

1. EFB control plan

 

 

 

  • Review current EFB Control plan measures on infected apiaries to reflect evolving knowledge on EFB spread and control.

SG-Policy

SG-Delivery

Longer-term

(April 2023)

 

  • Run a revalidation certification course for EFB control plan signatories every 3 years as minimum.

 

SG-Delivery

SG-Policy

SASA

June 2023

 

2. Regulatory framework

 

 

 

  • Review of possible compulsory registration of beekeepers in Scotland (supporting effective disease control measures by identifying potential contact colonies easily)

SG-Policy

Longer-term

 

 

3. Education and Training

 

 

 

  • Delivery of a minimum of 5 presentations per year on notifiable diseases and pests, recognition, reporting and control to the Scottish Beekeeping Community.

 

SRUC

SASA

SG-Delivery

Annual Target

 

  • Delivery of one Bee Health Day per year to the Scottish beekeeping community with practical and theory presentations on notifiable diseases, pests, Varroa control and other relevant Bee Health Issues.

 

SRUC

SASA 

SBA

SG-Delivery

Annual Target

 

4. Surveillance, Disease Control Strategy.

 

 

 

  • Developing a proportional and expert Bee Health Team in Scotland able to delivery statutory Bee Health activities across Scotland.

SASA 

SG-Delivery

SG-Policy

SRUC

Longer-term

 

 

  • Expedient and timely communication with beekeepers about nearby notifiable disease outbreaks including what to do when outbreaks occur and notification when the disease outbreak has ended.

SG-Policy

 

Short-term

 

5. Research and Development of EFB in Scotland

 

 

 

  • Validation of PCR test from live bees to identify subclinical infection of EFB in honey bee colonies. Publish a report with findings and potential applications for surveillance, diagnosis and control strategies.

SASA 

SG-Delivery

Longer-term

(December 2023)

 

  • Use PCR test to carry out surveillance exercise across Scotland to identify the prevalence of subclinical EFB across Scottish apiaries. Produce report for publication. Proposals on application of PCR test to guide surveillance and support disease control strategy.

SASA

Longer-term

(December 2023)

 

 

 

 

Contact

Email: Bees_mailbox@gov.scot

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