Visiting hives during the COVID-19 pandemic
From Simon's beekeeping blog. Comments are welcome via email.
Interestingly, the BBKA's Chair's position on beekeeping during the COVID-19 pandemic is that bees are livestock and should be tended. They say they are working with Defra, so in the absence of any specific advice from them yet, it appears acceptable to do visits which are strictly necessary for welfare purposes. This is despite beekeeping not explicitly falling under the advice on the Government measures about staying at home.
We need not worry, however — the bees have plenty of food left for them if they need it, there is a very low incidence of bee disease across the UK right now, and we've no need to interfere in their laying. The weather is warming up, allowing the bees to forage more easily. Even considering the relative remoteness of our apiary and the possibility of doing an inspection alone, I see no necessity in inspecting our bees in the next three weeks — the initial period of Government measures.
This is a time of isolation for many people, so I'll leave a reminder of the ##lhs-beekeepers IRC channel (chatroom) on Freenode. It's open to everyone and a place where you can chat about bees — or whatever's on your mind — as much as you like. See you there maybe.