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Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL14850, tabled on 12 April 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Healthy Bees Plan 2030, what steps they plan to take to prevent the importation of package bees from Europe into Great Britain through Northern Ireland.

Answered on

26 April 2021

EU member states may export bees to Northern Ireland in line with intra-Union trade rules. This means that packages and colonies may be exported to Northern Ireland provided they have been notified in advance and are accompanied by a valid health certificate confirming that the consignment is free of key pests and diseases.

Movements of queens, packages and colonies from Northern Ireland to Great Britain remain permitted. There is, and will remain, unfettered access for Northern Ireland goods including honey bees to the rest of the UK market.

The Healthy Bees Plan 2030 describes how we will work in partnership with beekeepers and other stakeholders. This includes actions to stop Small hive beetle from entering the UK. An extensive surveillance programme is in place for exotic pests. National Bee Unit inspectors currently conduct around 6,500 apiary inspections each year. Our Sentinel Apiary Programme ensures that there is enhanced surveillance at high-risk apiaries near ports and airports. Inspectors also provide training and guidance on pest recognition to beekeepers.