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Scientists to monitor declining honey yield

A new scheme is set to help scientists understand why the UK’s honey yield is declining.

The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) is asking both amateur and professional bee keepers to send in regular honey samples, for analysis using advanced methods including DNA barcoding and mass spectrometry.

Scientists will identify the types of pollen and pesticide residues in the honey, as well as some of the diseases to which bees are exposed.

In the UK, the average yield per hive has been around 11kg - compared to the 22-45kg that was typical in the 1950s. Figures from the European Commission show the UK’s honey yield fell from 6,400 tonnes in 2011, to 2,800 in 2015.

Negative impact on bees and their productivity include poor weather, loss of wild flowers, pesticide use, climate change and an increase in disease.

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Huge spike in ‘designer’ dogs going into rescue

News Story 1
 The RSPCA has reported a huge spike in the number of ‘designer’ dogs arriving into its care.

Figures published by the charity show there has been a 517 per cent increase in the number of French bulldogs arriving into its kennels. During that time, the charity has also seen an increase in dachshunds, chihuahuas, and crossbreeds.

RSPCA dog welfare expert Lisa Hens said: “We know that the breeds of dog coming into our care often reflect the trends in dog ownership in the wider world and, at the moment, it doesn’t get more trendy than ‘designer’ dogs like French bulldogs and Dachshunds."

 

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AHDB Pork calls for stepped-up biosecurity

Pig farmers are being urged to step up biosecurity to reduce the risk of swine dysentery in their herds.

According to Farmers Weekly, AHDB Pork have confirmed cases in the north and east of the UK and is calling on producers to focus on hygiene to protect their animals.

Members of the AHDB Pork Significant diseases charter are reported to have been informed of the outbreaks.