Beekeeper Harry Owens
Beekeeper Harry Owens

Varroa mites, also known as Varroa destructor (Aptly named) are one of the main contributors to honey bee decline; they contribute to commercial colony losses of over 30% per year in the US alone.

These losses are only in check because are artificially increasing colony numbers.
We are in an unsustainable position, and other insect pollinators can survive single impact events, but we (Humans) are singly responsible for generating many impact phenomena.

One of the last free islands in Britain is the subject of wholly irresponsible and selfish importation of bees to the isle.

Unfortunately, there is little legal recourse that would effectively put deter such mindless action.
Does anyone remember wicker man…………..


A strict ban is in place on importing bees to the island to preserve the island’s much-coveted varroa disease-free status.

The varroa disease has ravaged populations in the UK and Europe and can even be carried on second hand bee equipment such as hive parts or clothing, which is also banned from importation.

But now the island’s beekeepers fear years of work certifying the colonies as disease free and getting legislation in place to protect them could all have been in vain.

Harry Owens, the island’s bee inspector, said: ‘If bees have been brought to the island, that is a catastrophe as they are bound to be carrying varroa.’

He said he wanted to make an urgent appeal to the person to come forward as there may be a chance for any disease to be contained.

‘This is a crisis, but if the person will contact me, we can deal with it,’ said Mr Owens. ‘Otherwise, within a couple of years we could lose half of our bee population. Our Manx bees could be in crisis.’

Mr Owens said there were also other potentially serious diseases that could also be brought to the island. But he said the main concern was to prevent disease spreading, not to penalise the person responsible. He said: ‘There will be no prosecution. We would even be willing to sort the person out with some local disease free bees, provided we can ensure the imported ones are contained.’
Anyone who can help locate the should call Mr Owens on 494246


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