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Discovery of Small Hive Beetle in Italy

BBKA representatives attended the meeting of the Bee Health Advisory Forum held at Defra’s offices on Millbank, on 23 September 2014.  At our request, the discovery  of Small Hive Beetle (SHB) in South West Italy was a priority item on the agenda. We learned that the Italian authorities have established a 100km exclusion zone around the apiary where SHB was first found.

No exports of bees will be permitted from within this area. However, we expressed the strong view that movements of bees carried a far lower risk than that of the shipment of fruit, vegetables and other plant materials from this area and which are more likely to spread SHB.

The BBKA and other stakeholders at the meeting pressed Defra hard to take steps to avert this major risk via shipments of produce. 

We are unhappy with an approach which is dependent principally on the actions of the local authorities or on containment measures once SHB is found in the UK. 

We have insisted that Defra keeps us fully informed of developments and the measures put into effect to combat this threat with all vigour.  We will share this information with members as and when received.

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