asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what representations he has received over the importing of bees into the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement.
In the past year, my Department has received 17 letters about importing bees into this country. Seven of these sought a temporary relaxation of our bee import controls following the bad weather in 1986; the remainder sought assurance that there would be no relaxation.The purpose of these controls is to safeguard bee health in this country and particularly to keep our varroasis. The regulations are shortly to be extended to control the import of bee pests. I have no plans to relax the controls.