HC Deb 02 March 1966 vol 725 cc1289-90
31. Sir B. Janner

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many officers administer the requirements of the Foul-Brood Disease of Bees Order 1957; how many of them are engaged part-time; and whether, in view of the limited number of experts who are conversant with the methods of controlling bee diseases including foul brood and of stimulating honey production, he will seek to offer full-time employment to those who are prepared to serve as such officers.

Mr. Hoy

During 1965, 212 officers were employed for the six months from April to September to carry out the requirements of the Foul-Brood Disease of Bees Order; of these, 55 worked full time, and 157 worked part time on an hourly basis. There is no winter work for these people connected with beekeeping; educational work is the responsibility of local education authorities.

Sir B. Janner

Does my hon. Friend realise that some of the best honey in the world is produced in this country, particularly in Leicester? It is very sad indeed that only 900 tons out of the 13,600 tons consumed in this country in 1965 was produced in this country. Will he not give some encouragement to these people who are prepared to become experts in this work and teach others, so that we can have the necessary number of experts to deal with the diseases which are killing off the bees?

Mr. Hoy

I would not dissent from what my hon. Friend has to say about the quality of our own honey, but I would point out, if I may, that 23 county councils in England and one in Wales have beekeeping instructors, and that three county beekeeping instructors also work for the Ministry during the summer as appointed officers for the purposes of the Foul-Brood Disease of Bees Order.

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