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 Bella Bees News

Autumn 2008:

The government have responded to the bee petition:

Honey bees are important pollinators of crops and wild flowers and make an important contribution to sustainable agriculture and the environment. Defra recognises the importance of a strong bee health programme in England to protect these benefits and takes very seriously any biosecurity threat to the sustainability of the apiculture sector.

The Department has not reduced its expenditure with the National Bee Unit (NBU) and funding for this year remains at the same level as in recent years. In the 2007/8 financial year, Defra and the Welsh Assembly Government are providing the NBU with funding of £1,518,000. There is an ongoing review of expenditure on all Defra programmes, including bee health, and it is not possible to give long term commitments on the continuation of funding into the distant future for any particular programme. In addition, work is underway to develop a bee health strategy.

This is being discussed with all sectors of the industry and should help establish priorities and clarify the roles and responsibilities of government and the industry. The strategy will also determine whether the current approach to disease control is the most effective use of resources or whether alternative approaches might yield better results in terms of disease protection, including any response to potential new threats. That review will include consideration of resource implications and the role that industry has to play in working in partnership with government. In the event of any resultant proposals to change the provision of the NBU's inspection services, there will be further consultation.

In addition, the budget for Bee Health R&D in 2007/08 is £192,000, which is comparable to previous years. The R&D programme underpins bee health policy and covers work on all exotic and statutory pests and diseases of bees. This year the programme is focusing on the development of a system for the monitoring and surveillance of Small Hive Beetle (Aethina tumida (Murray)) and assessing the effectiveness of the shook swarm technique for the control of European Foul Brood. In addition, a 3 year PhD studentship studying bee viruses will start this year. Defra is also collaborating with other funders in order to optimise the outcome of the research programme and the inaugural meeting of the Research Funders Forum will take place early in November.

Defra is aware of the press reports about the serious situation in the USA in respect of cases of abnormally high levels of colony loss described as Colony Collapse Disorder. However, despite continuing press speculation, we do not have evidence to suggest that there is something similar happening in the UK. Scientists and inspectors at the NBU are monitoring the situation and are in contact with experts in the USA and in Europe to learn about developments.

It is not unusual for some colonies to be found dead or absent at the end of winter. If beekeepers report such cases in England and Wales to the NBU they are routinely investigated. The very limited number of cases of high losses for which there is no ready explanation is being investigated in depth by the NBU and bee inspectors. The figures from inspections strongly indicate that colony losses in 2007 will not be significantly higher than the 11.1% recorded in 2006, reflecting the upward trend since 2001. The NBU's research and apiary assessments suggest these losses are primarily due to Varroa and inappropriate control. Uncontrolled mite populations can lead to an increase in the associated secondary pathogens like viruses or Nosema.

Diary

September

21st-22nd September- Holistic Health 2008 Donington Park, East Midlands (the midlands only complementary therapy trade event) Free entry for qualifed therapists and salon owners..

Summer 2008:

Bella-Bees Articles

Bella-Bees has added a new page to the website with bee related articles. Hot news this summer is the threatened extinction of bees - have a look at the articles page for more information.

St Paul's Carnival 2008

THE BIG DAY IS SATURDAY 5TH JULY! Put it in your diary and don't dare miss it. All your favourite elements are in place - soundsystems to suit all tastes; barbeque chicken galore and the best of local live music with an unmissable visiting headliner on the Green Stage. There's plenty of fun for the family with a fantastic variety of activities and entertainment in Mandela's Hideaway, and this year we are delighted to bring a new Spoken Word Corner to the recently renovated St Paul's Park. At lunchtime you would be crazy to ignore the spectacular procession with lots of local people and visiting groups involved - it's not too late to join in so see our 'Get Involved' section. There is also the opportunity to contribute to large scale banner decorations for the carnival site. www.stpaulscarnival.co.uk

Bella-Bees has been working with a brilliant group of individuals. See us in the carnival procession 'Bees & Flowers' to help highlight the Honey Bee Health at risk campaign. There is still time to join this group, so if you have some time to spare and want to bee involved, come along to St Paul's Family and Learning Centre Wednesday 3-6pm, Thursday 6-9pm and Saturday 2-5pm.

The theme for the day is CULTURE, IDENTITY AND UNITY. It's about celebrating the diversity of St Paul's and the wider community, appreciating how our differences make life more exciting and, most importantly, demonstrating how strong we are when we all work together. It's only a special occasion because of everyone that comes along to make it special - so don't hold back, come and join in!



Diary

June

27th-29th June - Green Parenting Show in London

July

5th July - Bella-Bees will bee at St Paul's Carnival

8th July - Skill Share at Cafe Midnimo, St Paul's, Bristol. DIY Cleansing and Cleaning with Bella-Bees.

24th-28th July - Womad

31st July-4th Aug - Big Chill

August

20th - 25th August - Shambala.





Spring 2008 News

Bees may die out altogether within 10 years unless there's some research in the catastrophic bee diseases currently affecting the UK.

Without bees, that'll mean no fruit, no vegetables, nuts etc.

Please sign this petition if you want to be still enjoying your food in 10 years.

There is a petition on the Downing Street website calling on the PM to fund scientific research into maintaining UK bee stocks. It needs a lot more signatures. The address is:

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/BeeResearch


February 2008

Welcome to Bella-Bees brand new website! Now you can buy Bella-Bees fantastic balms online. Watch out for new additions to the range, with amazing natural luxuries for bath times, soap, bath salt and bath bombs coming soon.

All the products are made with Bella-Bees' own bees and they are going strong and have been working very hard this year. They have produced some amazing honeys and beautiful beeswax.

Brand new Treatments and classes are now available: Bella-Bees Baby/Infant massage and Bella-Bees Holistic facial with honey hot from the hive.

We are excited to be able to present a new programme for Bella-Bees from 2008 - MISP - the Massage In Schools Programme.

Bella-Bees is working with the Scarman Trust and has been offering free baby massage sessions at Easton Community Centre on Friday mornings at 10am. Make your baby a Bella-Bees baby and come along if you are local. Limited places so booking is essential.

For more details on any of the courses, programmes or products please contact Claire.


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