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Much of the interest in beekeeping in the last few years has arisen through the national and international reporting of Bee Colony losses.

It is often said that the biggest killer of bees is the beekeeper, through neglect, spreading of infection and general interference. The National Bee Unit has produced a comprehensive set of fact sheets and booklets on all aspects of healthy colony management. These documents can be found in the link below.

Control of a bee mite, Varroa, is a key driver to maintaining healthy colonies and our Varroa Control page is a great reference point for information in managing varroa.

A Queen Honey Bee on a frame of brood.

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. It has been involved in the management and control of bee pests and diseases, along with training and dissemination of information to beekeepers for over 60 years.

The current team of 80 people comprises laboratory diagnostics, programme support, research personnel and 60 home-based Bee Inspectors who are managed by the National Bee Inspector (NBI), the head of field inspection services.