Box - Hive stocks on the Moors - Removal to homeapiaries
September 15, 2001 Final update on the above situation
I received the following letter this morning from Lord Whitty (referring to the initial letter to the Prime Minister) which refers to a Blue Box area. As you will appreciate after my letter the area became Red Box although there is no mention in this letter to any difference in the two defined areas.
"Thank you for your letter of the 5th September to the Prime Minister; I have been asked to reply, as the matter falls in my portfolio.
Obviously, our first priority is to stamp out foot and mouth disease as quickly as possible, which means that we must do all that we can to prevent any spread of the virus. On the hand , we are anxious not to interfere unnecessarily with activities that pose minimal risk.
No particular restrictions apply to beekeepers with colonies in the "Blue Box Areas". However, if the hives are in areas which have foot and mouth disease susceptible livestock on them they are subject to the restrictions on premises with such livestock (relevant premises) and require additional biosecurity measures to be in place - only clean vehicle and clean persons may enter or leave relevant premises. Thus colonies of bees can be moved within or out of the "Blue Box Area" subject to extra biosecurity provisions if they are on relevant premises. likewise, they can move if they are not on such premises.
I must stress the need for added biosecurity, if there are FMD susceptible livestock present on premises. Personnel and vehicles must be fully cleansed and disinfected BEFORE they go and again at the point of exit from premises. Your members should consult a Vet about suitable procedures.
Can you please urge your members to ensure that the outside of the hives themselves are cleaned with a disinfectant that is effective against foot and mouth virus. Advice on suitable disinfectants that will not harm bees is available from the national Bee Unit telephone 01904 462510.
Can you please advise beekeepers of this important announcement which will be place on the BBKA website fairly soon which is www.bbka.org.uk
September 11, 2001
I received a telephone call this afternoon advising me that the request made by me has been carefully considered and that special arrangements are being made for us. In essence we have to exercise careful disfecting arrangements and an addtional hygiene regime.
These details will be forwarded to me in the next two days. Once available details will be issued quickly.
Further details on the DEFRA web site www.defra.gov.uk in respect of animal movements but not bees.
As you may know be aware that an area extending from the outskirts of North
of Leeds, East to West of Leeds to way up into Northumberland, Cumbria and
Durham the whole area is now defined as Red Box area which means the
movement of livestock including bees is prohibited without a licence from
the DEFRA appointed bodies
I wrote to the Prime Minister on the 5th September when the zone was Blue
which was not as serious but very, very restrictive. I received a telephone
call from the Cabinet Office advising that my letter had been passed on to
the appropriate body, the same day followed up by a written reply
acknowledging its content.
On Thursday Medwin Bew advised me that at a meeting he attended in London
where the matter had been discussed and referred to the Animal Health
section of DEFRA together with support and assistance from the NBU on a
possible ways forward.
In addition Lord Whitty has been acquainted with the situation directly by
two members of the House of Lords who have asked in the politest terms to
give the matter the utmost importance. We will have to wait and see how
long before things begin to happen.
I am told that there are 200 or more stocks of bees on the Goathland moors,
Whitby that have come from a Lincolnshire bee farmer . Lincolnshire, I
understand is in close proximity to some very large pig farms in that part
of the world........it would be very bad press in deed if the virus became
transferred to unaffected areas and the blame lay at our feet!
In view of the restrictions on bee movements can you ensure people who have
bees on the moors in the Red Box area of the serious implications of bee
movements without authority. We are doing all we can to get an early
resolution to this problem and it would help if you would alert everyone to
its implications and the penalties.