Tuesday 16 February 2010

National Beekeeping Study - please take part

The following message was sent to all YABeeP members for information, however, any beekeeper or prospective beekeeper is welcome to take part in the survey which closes at the end of February 2010:

A national study has been commissioned by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to "better understand new beekeepers' husbandry practices and how these are influenced by the advice available to them".   

I have just completed the on-line questionnaire myself and see it as a great opportunity for us to feed back to Government that as beekeepers we do not all follow "conventional" practices or support the BBKA party line. I would therefore strongly encourage you all to complete the survey - it takes about 10/15 minutes. 

You can stay anonymous if you wish, you don't have to answer all questions and it seems that the views of those who don't yet have bees are being taken as well. If you have the time PLEAS have a go at www.pspq.com/beestudy .

I have copied below the original request from People Science & Policy Ltd who have been commissioned by Defra to carry out this study.

Defra Beekeeping study

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has commissioned a study to better understand new beekeepers' husbandry practices and how these are influenced by the advice available to them.  Beekeepers’ opinions and experiences are a very important part of the study, which will help to improve advice and training for new beekeepers, including the work being undertaken to raise beekeeping husbandry standards as part of Defra and Welsh Assembly Government’s Healthy Bees Plan.

We are looking for beekeepers with all levels of experience; however we are particularly keen to hear from those with less than two years experience.

Answers will be treated in confidence.

People can register to take part by going to www.pspq.com/beestudy.
The study runs until the end of February 2010.  We are asking:
  • beekeepers with less than two years experience to take part in a questionnaire of approximately 20 minutes; and
  • beekeepers with more than two years experience to register for either a short telephone interview or to take part in a questionnaire of approximately 20 minutes .

We would be very grateful if you are able to help us with this work. If you have any questions please reply to tara.webster@peoplescienceandpolicy.com or call Alan Worley on 02031028137.

Tara Webster
Project Manager
People Science & Policy Ltd
Argyle House, 29-31 Euston Road
Kings Cross

Tuesday 2 February 2010

Combating Colony Loss

Oh boy, there's now yet another bee training day on offer on Saturday 20th March 2010, 9.30. am to 4.30. pm. This one is about bee diseases and being run by the Regional Bee Inspectors as part of the Defra Healthy Bees Plan and is free of charge and open to ALL beekeepers - download NBU flyer with details.

The down side is that this year's training day is being held in Devon, near Tiverton, which is quite a way (50 miles/1 hour) but then members can car share, perhaps have a pub meal after and make it a fun day out.

I went to one of these events last year when it was run in Avon and can thoroughly recommend it. I really cannot stress enough the importance for us to be fully briefed about bee diseases and bee health. Although I experienced a little anti-sustainable beekeeping antagonism from some delegates last year the inspectors, although knowing little about Top Bar Hives (!), were really helpful and informative. If we are to succeed in the sustainable beekeeping cause and win over the 'traditional' skeptics then we must keep healthy bees - please go if you can.

To book one of the places which is allotted on a first-come-first-served basis contact Adam Vevers 01364 653474  or e-mail adam.vevers@fera.gsi.gov.uk. I know there is a large beekeeping crowd in Devon so early booking is essential - if you think you might be able to make it book!