Bee keeper stung by Brexit rules

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A beekeeper has been stung by new Brexit rules - which mean 15 million bees could be destroyed if he tries to bring them in to the UK.

Beekeeper Patrick Murfet wants to bring the young Italian bees into the country for his Kent business, Bee Equipment.

He says new Brexit rules mean the bees might be destroyed if he tries to bring them into the country.

They haven't thought through, they haven't thought if they ban the direct import of bees from Italy two things will happen  - the bee industry will collapse and if they had thought about it long enough they would have thought we need bees - like fruit - we need fruit we need bees for pollination to work.

Patrick Murfet, Bee Equipment

Under new rules Queen Bees can still be imported from Europe but packages or colonies of bees cannot.

Patrick tried to deal with the rules by bringing his bees in through Northern Ireland.

"I was told if I tried to bring the bees in they would be destroyed or sent back and I would be prosecuted."

Under new Brexit rules, only Queen bees can be brought in from Europe. Credit: ITV Meridian

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs says the ban on packages of bees coming in to the UK is to stop the spread of bee pests and diseases, and it is down to the importer to make sure they comply with rules about imports from Northern Ireland - with its new post Brexit status.