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Volume 176: debated on Wednesday 18 July 1990

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the health of bees in maintained.

The Importation of Bees Order 1980 prohibits imports of honey bees except under licence from countries of high bee health status. In addition Ministry bees officers inspect colonies in this country which have a history of disease or where disease is suspected. From 1992 the European Community Commission has proposed that national bee health measures should be replaced by European Community controls. Discussions are at an early stage and we shall continue to press for the best possible safeguards.