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Bee Health Awareness Day

Blackburn 13th May 2017 [edited]

by Malcolm Watson

On 13th May, Steve Sunderland (head of the Scottish bee inspection team) and personnel from the Scottish Government, SASA, SRUC, and the SBA visited Aberdeen to present a bee health awareness day.  The event was attended by 36 local beekeepers representing ADBKA, Kemnay, and Moray Associations.

After introductions, Steve began the day by presenting the history of AFB and EFB in Scotland, followed by Graeme Sharpe’s presentation on observing the colony.

We then got down to the serious business of the day.  Dividing into four groups, the remainder of the time was spent in circulating around four education sessions which the team had prepared.

“Lab session 1” concerned the identification of diseases on frames. This was organised by Margaret Thomas, John Smith, and our own Kirsty Sutherland.

“Lab session 2” involved looked at various specimens under microscopes and was led by senior entomologist Fiona Highet and Mairi Carnegie from SASA. We saw varroa, nosema, small hive beetles, and acarine on microscope slides, together with jarred specimens of the Asian hornet.

Graeme Sharpe, the SRUC’s beekeeping adviser, led a session on hive and apiary hygiene.

The final session concerned varroa and was presented by ADBKA’s friend Gavin Ramsay, the SBA bee health officer [who gave advice on how to keep our bee colonies as Varroa-free as possible].

Everyone found the day very useful.  It was a major commitment for Steve to bring his eight-strong team up to Aberdeen and we appreciate it.   Hopefully we will now be able to monitor our colonies for these pests and diseases more effectively than we could before.

Malcolm Watson

[Group photo of Bee Health Day tutors – from left to right: Gavin Ramsay, Steve Sunderland, Margaret Thomas, John Smith (behind Margaret), Graeme Sharpe, Mairi Carnegi, and Fiona Highet.  Kirsty Sutherland is unfortunately missing from the photo.

More photos in the Gallery.]

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