Officially Disease Free Status & Prohibition of Imports

We have successfully applied for additional health guarantees (protection measures) for our nation's bee population. The EU Council Decision 2015/266 of 16 February 2015 accepted the Isle of Man as free of Varroa and permits us to prohibit the importation of bees in any stage of their life cycle, used hives, skeps or any receptacle used to house bees.

The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture ('DEFA') supported the Isle of Man's Bee Keepers through the introduction of the 'Bee Diseases and Pest Control (Isle of Man) Order 2008'. This Order enabled the department, through its Bee Inspector, to complete a programme of testing for Varroa destructor (causes Varrosis of bees).

Asian Hornet

The Asian hornet (Vespa velutina) is a species of hornet which is not native to the UK. It is smaller than the native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than other hornets or bees.

However, they do pose a risk to honey bees and pollinating insects. This is why you should report suspected sightings.

Current Situation

Bee Holdings

In order to maintain our status, bee keepers must continue to register their bee holdings under the provisions of the Bee Diseases and Pest Control (Isle of Man) Order 2008. Routine check testing will continue at a low level to ensure our status is upheld. Failure to register your bee holding is unlawful and puts the health of the national bee colony at risk. Anyone found to be in possession of bees on an unregistered holding will be deemed in breach of the above Order and risks prosecution.  All bee keepers are required to notify DEFA of the extent of their holding and the number and location of the hives they have. Each bee holding will then be allocated a 'Bee Holding Number' (in the format of UK 019 XXX) and the keeper informed. Keepers have one month to notify DEFA of any subsequent change to their holding. New bee holdings must be notified to DEFA within 7 days of the movement of bees or bee equipment onto the holding. To register your bee holding, please complete the online form:

Apply now


The keeper of bees shall ensure that a record is made of each:

  • transport of bees to or from the holding; within 3 days of such a movement.
  • transport of bee equipment or bee food to or from the holding; within 3 days of such a movement.
  • the creation of new hives on the holding from existing hives; within 3 days of the creation of a new hive.

All records shall be retained for a period of ten years and shall be made available for inspection, at any reasonable time.

A record template will be provided to all bee keepers by DEFA on the issue of a Bee Holding Number and a downloadable form can be found on the right of this page.

Notification of Suspicion of a Disease or a Pest

An owner or person in charge of a hive who knows or suspects that a disease or pest is present in the hive / holding shall immediately notify DEFA:

American Foul Brood Varroa destructor (formerly called jacobsoni)
European Foul Brood Aethina tumida (small hive beetle)
Any species of the Tropilaelaps mite

Financial Support

The Department offers financial support of up to 20% to commercial bee-keepers under the Agriculture & Fisheries Grant Scheme.  This includes the provision or improvement of hives, separators, extraction equipment, protective clothing, bottles, jars and containers (excluding queens and sugar).

Bee Swarm Co-Ordinators

If you come across a bee swarm, please contact one of the swarm co-ordinators on the Island. 

Ramsey & the North: Maggie Hughes +44 7624 427023
Peel & the West: Harry Owens +44 7624 494246
South: Gwen Kelly +44 7624 459197

For more details on the current arrangements, please see:  

For further information or to notify a change a change to your bee holding, please contact:

Animal Health Team – Regulation Directorate

Thie Slieau Whallian

Foxdale Road

St John's


Telephone:+44 1624 685844

Email:Send Email

The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture is committed to ensuring that its services are accessible to all. If you require these documents in an alternative format and / or language please contact us to discuss your needs.