Integrated Pest Management Short Course

A two-day intensive course covering aspects of Integrated Pest Management appropriate to honey bees.

The course has been developed by the National Diploma in Beekeeping Board as part of its series of Train-the-Trainer courses. It is part-funded by Fera as part of the Defra Healthy Bees Plan.

Course Content

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a widely-used tool in agriculture in order to minimise the use of chemicals for pest control. The techniques help to keep populations of pests at levels below the threshold at which they damage their hosts thus delaying the use of such chemicals and helping to avoid or delay the on set of resistance of pests to effective treatments.

During this two day course, we will cover all aspects of varroa and cover the potential threat from other exotic pests of honeybees. Topics covered will include:

  • The life cycles of Varroa destructor, Tropilaelaps spp and the Small Hive Beetle, Aethina tumida as well as the Asian hornets, Vespa velutina and Vespa mandarinia
  • Threats to honeybee colonies
  • Resistance to treatments and its mechanism
  • Current legislation on approved varroacides
  • Management techniques to reduce varroa populations including
  • Shook Swarm
  • Artificial Swarm
  • Open Mesh Floors
  • Drone Culling
  • Queen Trapping
  • Treatments, application methods and precautions
  • Timetable for treatments/IPM techniquesCurrent legislation on notifiable pests

The course will be limited to no more than 10 students at a time. In appropriate seasons it will include practice sessions in an apiary where possible; otherwise model or empty hives will be used. Handouts will be provided, as will all necessary equipment and consumables. The overall aim is to consolidate existing knowledge of varroa control and other potential pests and to enhance honey bee colony management skills.

Target Audience

The Short Courses are aimed at those beekeepers with some experience of the craft; they are not aimed at novices. We can provide guidance to applicants as to the appropriateness of our Short Courses to their stage of beekeeping. We do ask that students respect this policy. Students are welcome to apply on a first come, first served basis.

The NDB Short Courses can provide valuable discussion, learning, and hands-on experience for those planning to take the BBKA Modules and Assessments above Basic level.

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