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Bees: Imports

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL643, tabled on 26 May 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of honey bee packages imported into the UK from Italy since 2014 have been inspected by bee inspectors for the presence of the small hive beetle.

Answered on

21 June 2021

Bee health is a devolved matter: inspections data held by the National Bee Unit cover England, Wales and Scotland.

Biosecurity is a priority for this Government and we recognise that small hive beetle would present a serious threat to our honey bees if it were to arrive in the UK.

The National Bee Unit's agreed inspection target for England and Wales is 50% of consignments of honey bees from Italy. In all years from 2014 to 2020 this figure was met or exceeded in relation to packages. In 2018 there were no packages from Italy imported by beekeepers in England and Wales.

The figures for checks on consignments containing packages of honey bees are:

2014 – 100%

2015 – 52%

2016 – 50%

2017 – 82%

2018 – Zero

2019 – 56%

2020 – 78%

No imports into any part of the UK are permitted from the area of Italy affected by small hive beetle.