The European Commission, with the backing of the EU member governments, has acted to ward off bee diseases that it says “could have devastating consequences on the health status of honey bees, on the apiculture industry and on the production of honey.”

Brussels is calling on beekeepers to report any suggestion of the presence of the small hive beetle Aethina tumida and the parasitic mite Tropilaelaps coleopteren.

These parasites, which have not been reported in the EU to date, can cause high mortality and even destroy colonies. It has spread to South Africa, the United States and Australia in the last few years.