News from the BBKA
Annual Delegates Meeting
BBKA members vote to adopt trustees’ new policy on pesticides and engagement with the plant protection industry.
By Martin Smith
At its Annual Delegate Meeting held on Saturday 15th January, delegates, representing its 20,000 members, voted overwhelming in favour of the proposition put forward by its Executive Board of Trustees.
The vote – 48 delegates in favour, 7 against and with 5 absentions – confirms the decision to cease the endorsement of four synthetic pyrethroid based products and the related product specific payments, but will continue its dialogue with the plant protection industry to improve the stewardship of all pesticides and their proper use. It will continue also to argue for the well being of honey bees with regulatory authorities.
A further proposition put forward by the Twickenham and Thames Valley Beekeeping Association, and amended by the meeting endorsed the Trustees decision with a membership vote of 16,777 in favour, 1949 against and 352 abstentions.
This allows the BBKA to continue to be able to invite companies to support legitimate activities such as research colloquia, attend the BBKA Spring Convention or support the BBKA Research Fund.
Martin Smith, BBKA President, said: “These overwhelming votes reflects the views of our growing membership and their confidence in the Executive. It allows the BBKA to move on. The four products are of declining commercial importance and the development of new classes of pesticide and application techniques meant that we should review our relationship with the plant protection industry.”
News from the BBKA
A successful ADM for the BBKA.
By Martin Smith
52 year old Martin Smith, the newly elected President of the BBKA speaking immediately after the 2010 Annual Delegates Meeting (ADM) on Saturday January 16, said:
“I am very pleased with the outcome of the meeting. Delegates voted to allow the Rutland BKA and the Lancaster Beekeepers Ltd to join the BBKA as member associations and the charity, Bees for Development to join as a specialist member.”
“The robust stance that the Trustees have taken over the implementation of Fera ‘s Healthy Bee Plan received overwhelming support. The Trustees confirmed their commitment to work towards the overall aims of the Plan and hold meaningful discussions with government officials in the future.”
The meeting also confirmed, by an increased margin, the policy voted on at the 2009 ADM, of endorsing a long established group of pesticides. These are synthetic pyretheroids that, due to their repellent effect, have been shown to have caused almost no reported incidents of bee colony losses over many years. Delegates were firmly of the opinion that if farmers were going to use a pesticide, we would want them to use one of the endorsed products rather than a product which could be more toxic to bees.
Martin concluded: “Our membership has grown by nearly 40 per cent over the last year to more than 16,000, which was shown by the high delegate turnout, and also by the increased work load the Trustees have agreed to take on to support them.”
“I look forward to another great year working for bees and beekeepers.”
Martin was introduced to beekeeping over 25 years ago by his wife Jilly. Together with their three children the whole family have been involved in promoting beekeeping to a wider audience. He has been secretary of the Lancashire & North West BKA and was elected a BBKA Trustee in 2004. He has been Chairman of the BBKA for the last two years.