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Protecting honey bees and protecting consumers

These pages describe the environmental protection and food safety aspects of our work.

The NBU is contracted to take honey samples directly from beekeepers on behalf of the Defra Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) as part of Defra’s statutory residue monitoring programme - the National Surveillance Scheme. Each EU Member State has a statutory responsibility to monitor food for residues to ensure safety for the consumer. This scheme helps to protect consumers by minimising the risks of residues in harvested honey entering the food chain.

The NBU also works within the Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (WIIS) which monitors the effects of pesticides on wildlife, pets and beneficial insects (such as honey bees and bumble bees).

We also carry out a great deal of work studying and evaluating the safety of various phytosanitary products and active ingredents (ais) to honey bees.