The National Bee Unit
The National Bee Unit delivers the Bee Health Programmes on behalf of Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) in England & Wales. Our function is to protect the honeybee, an essential pollinator of crops and wild plants, from threats such as serious disease and environmental damage. We do this using an integrated programme of apiary inspections, diagnosis, research and development, training and extension provided by a team of bee scientists and experienced practical beekeepers. We provide specialist advice and technical consultancy services on bee health to government departments, beekeepers and industry.
Click here to download the NBU Brochure [pdf-482k]
The aim of the Unit’s programme is to assist industry to become more self sufficient in dealing with endemic diseases and pests, allowing government resources to be deployed more effectively towards dealing with emerging exotic threats, and the development of necessary contingencies, that are presented by increasing global trade coupled with climate change. The Team is responsible for:
- Strategic planning to combat potential exotic pest and disease threats and changing status of endemic diseases.
- Laboratory diagnosis of suspect diseases and development of new diagnostic methods.
- Inspections of honeybee colonies for statutory bee diseases.
- Research and development to underpin bee health work.
- Formal Import Risk Analysis in support of Import Policy.
- Statutory Honey sample collection for residue analysis on behalf of Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, Veterinary Medicines Directorate (Defra VMD).
- Closer integration with industry through the Fera Bee Health Advisory Panel.
- Beekeeper training and extension programmes.
- Consultancy and training on behalf of overseas governments.