I had a visit from the National Bee Unit today, two bee inspectors and 3 auditors (why are there always more bean counters?). The auditors were checking that the bee inspectors carried out their work as per ISO standard, and that they were using and filling in the correct paperwork.

The National Bee Unit (NBU) Delivers the Bee Health Programmes on behalf of Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Welsh Government (WG) in England & Wales.

They have statutory powers of inspection, but their visits are (mostly) welcomed by beekeepers. The bee inspectors are (usually) beekeepers themselves, and are a good source of knowledge. They give you a paperwork that states “I am empowered by section 1(3) of the Bees Act 1980 to examine any hives, bees, combs, bee-products and appliances on your premises”

One of the bee inspectors has given talks at our local beekeeping association, and is also a queen breeder, so we had quite a good chat about queen breeding.

I’m happy to report that I received a glowing report for the condition of my hives, well mannered bees, excellent brood patterns and no sign of disease. They both also commented on the fact that I am using plastic foundation, and how well the bees had drawn it out, and the fact that I had no wax moth as, apparently, this has been a bad year for them.

They will be getting back to me in the not-to-distant future to arrange to look at my other sites, which I am looking forwards to – it’s always a good thing when you can say that you have had a visit from the Government inspectors, and that they found all to be in good order.

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