8. Problems on the horizon*

As they say, forewarned is forearmed so may I share these two potential problems with you?


(a) Disease.

Potential liability of local beekeepers for advice regarding disease issues. It is well-known that the NBU is expecting local beekeepers to appoint specific officers to advise on bee disease issues. It is undoubtedly the fact that, as a general rule, any person who holds himself or herself as an expert and is aware that the person advised may rely on his or her advice may incur liability if that advice is wrong. Despite any demands which the NBU may make to local associations I suggest that local beekeepers should go no further than providing what may be termed an" NHS 111 Service". In other words the NBU should be invited to provide local associations with a series of questions and answers and officers should go no further. Beekeepers have been sued for giving the wrong advice in the past.


(b) Anaphylactic Shock:

In Bedfordshire BKA we are only too aware of the actual lethal consequences and our association has been campaigning both for a better understanding as well as greater protection for beekeepers and ways of legally dealing with incidents when they occur. As the law stands beekeepers medically unqualified and medically non-practising have no legal right to operate Epipens and similar devices, but what do you do if a fellow beekeeper is dying, a hospital is half a mile away and death will inevitably occur in as little time as, say, ten minutes. There is clearly no satisfactory legal answer. As a practical matter, we should all know what to do, not only in this event but for all the usual health risks both in the apiary and elsewhere. In Bedfordshire we have been running a series of first aid courses. They do not answer the legal questions but, more importantly, they might just save a life.



* Reproduced here by the kind permission of Andrew Beer

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The Association's apiary in North Shropshire

The Association maintains an apiary at an organic farm in North Shropshire.

We hold regular meetings at the apiary during the summer, where members new and old can gain experience in handling bees.

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