What to do if you suspect poisoning

Full details can be found from the BeeBase The Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS) webpage

You should.

  • Inform your local NBU Inspector or the National Bee Unit (email or phone 0300 3030094)
  • Record as much detail as possible, including why you think pesticides are involved
  • Note the weather conditions
  • Take photos of the affected colonies and record the details of any witnesses
  • Record the location as precisely as possible -GPS, What3Words, Google Maps
  • Let our Spray Liason Officer know.
  • Let the farmer know if you can.
  • Feed the survivors with 1:1 syrup

The Local Bee Inspector or the National Bee Unit may ask for a sample of the affected bees. Details of how to do this can be found HERE

If you see any of the following symptoms, your bees may have been affected by a spraying event or another possible poisoning issue:

  • Lack of flying bees around the apiary in a normally busy period
  • Large numbers of dead bees outside the hive when the weather is good and the bees are foraging
  • Fewer foraging bees at the entrance
  • Poisoned bees denied entry to the hive

You may see

  • Bees trembling, falling over and spinning on their sides
  • Dead bees with their proboscis extended
  • Colony may become aggressive and throw out infected bees

    If the house bees are poisoned, the colony will shrink in size; dead larvae and pupae will be evident due to starvation and with few bees left the residue may abscond.

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