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.


Varroa controls in Scotland

Varroa became reportable in Scotland in April 2021 through the Bee Diseases and Pest Control (Scotland) Amendment Order 2021 and continues to be considered one of the main causes for colony losses across the world, not only due to the physical damage caused by the parasite but also through the transmission of pathogens. Therefore, effective Varroa management continues to be one of the main challenges for beekeepers around the world.

Scotland faces a set of very particular challenges in terms of Varroa control, for instance, our climate and short season means that treatment capabilities are reduced, for example the lack of guarantees regarding sufficiently warmer temperatures during the season make some treatments inefficient in Scotland.

Action (SMART)

 

Owner / Lead

Priority

Update (to be advised at quarterly BHIP)

1. Fact Finding:

 

 

 

  • To complete a mapping exercise to identify current distribution of Varroa in Scotland identifying possible areas where Varroa is currently not present.

SASA

Short-term

(by Aug. 2022)

 

 

  • Communication of Varroa mapping exercise and guidance to beekeepers on best practice to protect these areas.

SG-Policy

SBA

Short-term

(by Aug. 2022)

 

 

2. Training and education:

 

 

 

  • To develop a Scottish specific training package on Varroa.

SRUC  (with SBA and BFA).

Medium-term

by Oct. 2022)

 

  • To develop an implementation plan for delivery of Varroa training package across Scotland.

SRUC

SG-Delivery

Medium-term

by Oct. 2022)

 

3. Updated Guidance:

 

 

 

  • Create Scottish specific Varroa management guidance e.g. treatments most suitable for using in Scotland / advice on timings for these treatments / correct use, disposal and efficacy of Varroa treatments.

Varroa WG

SBA

Medium-term

(by Dec. 2022)

 

Working with VMD, clarify labelling instructions, common applications and include information in Scottish specific Varroa guidance.

SG-Policy

 

Medium-term

(by Dec. 2022).

 

4. Regulatory activity:

 

 

 

  • Consideration of process requirements for establishing officially free Varroa areas in Scotland.

SG-Policy

Longer-term

 

  • Liaison with the Veterinary Medicines Directorate and the Food Standards Scotland regarding misuse of medicines and potential residues in Honey.  In addition, the availability of effective medications for honey bees and review how to optimise treatments for use in Scotland, and be most efficient in management techniques (including discussions prior to removing any approved medication and what replacement products will be available).

SG-Policy

Longer-term

 

Contact

Email: Bees_mailbox@gov.scot

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