Author Archives: Kevin Cook

Honey for Sale – Loughton, Walthamstow, Redbridge, Ilford, Chingford

By   August 18, 2014

Contact: Kevin Cook
Tel: 0777 153 5692
Available from: 174 Roding Road, Loughton, Essex IG10 3BS

Honey & Honeydew for sale – Walthamstow
Joe & Helen Chadwick
Tel: 07505692945

Walthamstow Honey
Brand new child’s bee suit – age 11/13 year.
Contact Arlene

Redbridge Lakes Honey
This is available from the cafe and shop at Redbridge Lakes. This honey is produced from the bee hives sited at the apiary within this beautiful area owned by Gordon Bullock. Various sizes available and includes honey that won ‘Best light honey’ at the Essex Beekeepers competition at the Essex Show September 2014.

Honey from Enfield, Waltham Abbey North Chingford and Epping borders as well as Cheshunt and Waltham Cross.
Contact Peter and Barbara Dalby on 01992 622 645.

A choice of honeys from hives in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Epping and Woodford. 
Robin Harman 0208 504 5270 / 0797 123 7312 or  via

Chingford Honey

Contact: Mike and Jenny Johns
Tel: 020 8529 2844






National Bee Unit Email Alert – High Varroa populations

By   May 8, 2014

Many of our Bee Inspectors have reported a high population of Varroa mites in colonies across England and Wales. We believe these high levels are largely due to many colonies continually rearing brood throughout the mild winter. Continuous brood rearing dramatically reduces the efficacy of winter Varroa treatments such as oxalic acid, which do not kill mites sealed in brood cells.

We urge beekeepers to monitor colonies and check either the natural mite drop from a sticky insert/ open mesh floor or by uncapping drone brood. From May to August, a natural mite drop should be monitored over a week. The number of mites then counted over this week should be multiplied by 30 to give you a rough population of Varroa in your colonies. A figure of 1000 mites or more is considered to be a high infestation. If uncapping drone brood, then only 5 Varroa mites out of 100 uncapped pupae need to be  found  to be considered a high infestation.

Should you discover that your colonies have a high amount of Varroa then a range of options are available from biotechnical methods such as drone brood removal, to authorised varroacides. NB Varroacides used will be weather and temperature dependant. If you have supers on your colonies then thymol treatments should not be used due to tainting of the honey. More information is available in our leaflet ‘Managing Varroa’, from our website: or alternatively, a hard copy can be obtained by phoning the NBU office 01904 462510.

Regional Bee Inspector – Hornet Info Sheets

By   May 2, 2014

Hornet Info sheets attached.




The Beebase page for Asian Hornet is

Also one of your members mentioned that MAQS had left a strong smell and taste in honey supers and wished to report this finding to the VMD as the manufacturer/importer wasn’t interested in recording this themselves.

The VMD link for adverse reactions is :

Julian Parker
Regional Bee Inspector – South Eastern Region

National Bee Unit
The Food and Environment Research Agency
Sand Hutton, York. YO41 1LZ, UK
National Bee Unit Website ‘BeeBase’


Bee-friendly Plants

By   April 28, 2014

Compiled by Norma Stevenson…

  • Achillea (hardy perennial)
  • Angelica ‘guigas’ (remove flower spike immediately after flowering)
  • Calendula (Pot Marigold)
  • Cardoon
  • Ceonothus (get tree-sized one) scented
  • Coca-vita fisifolia (cool-tolerant gourd, instead of butternut squash, can eat stem tips) / known as ‘Sharks Fin Melon’ in south Asia
  • Coriander
  • Crocus
  • Delphinium
  • Euphorbia ‘manifura’ (statuesque)
  • Gaillardia (dwarf, daisy-like, excellent in bedding and containers)
  • Hellebores
  • Hollyhock (hardy perennial)
  • Lavender (stoicas – French looking lavender)
  • Mahonia x Media ‘Buckland’ (e/green shrub, 1-3m tall. Yellow flowers in winter. Hardy. Prefers moist, well drained, fertile soil. Ideal vandal-proof screen.
  • Myrtle (makes excellent hedging and is scented)
  • Nemesia (small, in a window box)
  • Oregano
  • Pansies
  • Petunia
  • Phlox
  • Photina (unclipped until after flowering)
  • Poached egg plant; limnanthes douglasii
  • Rudbeckia
  • Salvia
  • Sarcococca hookeriana var. Digyna ‘Christmas box’ (shrub, ground cover, e/green, 50-100cm high. Dark green foliage, white flowers in winter, frost hardy. Moist, shady spot. Heady winter fragrance)
  • Scabious
  • Sea holly
  • Skimmia japonica (male; scented)