Varroa Reportable in Scotland
I am sure by now that you will have read the recent email* we'd sent out advising you on the new legislation due to come into force on the 21st of April 2021. Luis Molero Lopez (Lead Bee Inspector) wrote this article, which will also feature in the April issue of the Scottish Beekeeper magazine, detailing the circumstances and reasons for this legislation. I would suggest that you look at the relevant highlighted legislation or if you are really suffering from insomnia, have a read at:
Regulation (EU) 2016/429 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016
on transmissible animal diseases and amending and repealing certain acts in the area of animal health (‘Animal Health Law’).
There are many other animals included in this legislation apart from honeybees, so please do not get the impression that we (beekeepers) are being spotlighted in particular.
In the main, this will hardly affect beekeepers in any way and we are only being asked to do what was requested of us some years ago and report the presence of varroa on a one-off basis. To date, even Luis Molero is unaware of the method of this reporting and it may even mean that Inspectors while looking at colonies and finding varroa report their presence. Either that or we tick a box on our personal pages of BeeBase.
Whatever method is brought about, it will really be of little work to the beekeeper but may have the benefit of ascertaining where varroa is not present in Scotland.
This legislation affects the whole of Great Britain but as bees are a devolved subject, further guidance will be given on this after discussions with Luis and the Scottish Government.
There are only four notifiable bee diseases and these are:
1. American Foul Brood (AFB)
2. European Foul Brood (EFB)
3. Tropilaelaps mite
4. Small Hive Beetle (Aethina tumida)
The difference between “Notifiable” and “Reportable” is that a disease/condition is “Notifiable” on any occasion it is seen. “Reportable” on this occasion is a one off-circumstance.
I am aware that there are some conjecture theories on this subject, but please be assured that it is being done in compliance of legislation, under the scrutiny of the Scottish Government and Luis Molero Lopez (our Lead Bee Inspector) and will cause little to no effort to the beekeeper.
The SBA is, and will continue to be, in conversation with the authorities and Luis regarding all honeybee issues and will keep you up to date as and when possible.
* Please see email from email@example.com on Weds 3rd March