Seasonal Bee Inspector HS03

Animal and Plant Health Agency

Apply before 11:55 pm on Sunday 16th May 2021


Reference number



£24,918 - £26,584
pro rata


Executive Officer

Contract type


Business area

National Bee Unit

Type of role

Operational Delivery

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Homeworking, Part-time, Part Year

Number of posts



South East, South West, Wales

About the job


The post is a permanent 6-7 months seasonal contract working April to September-October. 1 full time -37 hours per week. 1 part time 30 hours per week.

Candidates home based in any of the following areas: South Kent & East Sussex, South West Devon and South East Wales.

From an approved home-based location, the successful candidate(s) will organise and conduct a statutory
inspection programme of honeybee colonies, within a geographically defined area, for bee diseases and pests currently the subject of EU or UK statutory regulations, e.g., foul brood, small hive beetle and Tropilaelaps sp., as directed and supervised by the Regional Bee Inspector, carrying out subsequent enforcement actions where necessary. Engage with the beekeeping sector through the National Bee Unit’s (NBU) extension and advisory work, providing educational support and advice via local and national beekeeping events. The post of Seasonal Bee Inspector is critical to the effective delivery of the objectives of the Healthy Bees Plan, and the delivery of the bee health implementation plan.

Job description

The successful applicant(s) will carry out any duties commensurate with the grade and purpose of the post, including, but not limited to:

Inspect bee colonies and confirm the presence of notifiable bee pests and disease by the use of field test equipment and to forward appropriate samples of material from suspect diseased or infested colonies to the NBU laboratory for diagnosis in a secure and efficient manner, together with all the information needed by laboratory staff to identify the beekeeper and to make treatment recommendations.

Issue standstill notices or movement licences upon apiary sites from which suspect pests or diseased material has been confirmed by field testing or removed for laboratory examination, and at other times as directed by, or after consultation with, the Regional Bee Inspector, to ensure that the recipient complies with the conditions of these notices.

In instances where statutory guidelines are not adhered to, the Seasonal Bee Inspector will engage in the preliminary investigative stages of any subsequent enforcement action brought under UK or EU statutory regulations, in liaison with line management.

Treat or destroy (or supervise treatment and destruction) of diseased or infested colonies in accordance with the recommendations of the NBU Laboratory and/or after consultation with line management.

Maintain accurate and up to date apiary inspection records, including any follow-up action, such as treatment, destruction and post-treatment inspection, and to forward these promptly to the line manager or laboratory as appropriate, by paper or electronic media.

Collect a required number of honey samples at specified times each year on behalf of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), as part of their statutory residue analysis programme, and engage in any subsequent preliminary investigative actions which may arise following analysis.

Liaise with local beekeepers, beekeepers' associations, research institutes and other organisations associated with the beekeeping sector, as required by line management, to further the work of the NBU.

Foster good working relationships between the NBU and local beekeepers, including the provision of advice on the diagnosis and control of bee diseases and pests under the direction of the Regional Bee Inspector within the advisory policy of the NBU, using talks, apiary demonstrations and the distribution of APHA, Defra, Welsh Government or management approved advisory material.

Regularly collect and report information about local beekeeping conditions, problems and practices and related matters, such as forage availability or colony losses, to support the advisory, research and development and policy advisory work of the NBU.

Engage in the contingency planning activities of the NBU in addition to exotic pest surveillance colony inspections, such as sentinel apiary programmes, sample gathering and attending and participating in contingency planning exercises which may take place outside of the geographical area normally covered. This includes working with the Non-Native Species Secretariat, with the triage of Asian Hornet and engaging with the forward operating base if required.

Engage in the research and development activities of APHA such as maintenance and monitoring of experimental colonies, application of experimental disease control treatments, collection of samples and/or liaison with beekeepers and others, Technical Advice Panels (TAPs) and other projects as directed by the National Bee Inspector or Head of Unit.

Engage in the work of the NBU for the Defra or Welsh Government (WG) Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme (bee poisoning incidents) by collecting and forwarding samples to NBU laboratories, collecting local information and carrying out preliminary field investigative work regarding incidents, as directed by line management.

Inspect beekeepers' premises, bee colonies, equipment and veterinary medicine records to confirm compliance with current EC and UK statutory regulations relating to bee health or wider animal health legislation, when required and as directed by line management.

Engage and work with bee farmers in respect of the Disease Accreditation Scheme for Honeybees (DASH), undertaking baseline inspections of all colonies and audit inspections every three years.

Maintain competence and follow Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to meet requirements of ISO17020 for NBU foulbrood inspections and treatments.

Obtain City & Guilds Level 2 Bee Health Management and Safe Use of Veterinary Medicines award after a period of service.

Maintain all specified records in connection with legislative inspection work to the standards required of the Police & Criminal Evidence (PACE) Act 1984 and its associated codes of practice, and to the Regulators Compliance Code – Statutory Code of Practice for Regulators 2007.

The Seasonal Bee Inspector may also be required to engage in other duties, not directly associated with bee health organised by other APHA staff, under the management of the Head of the NBU, in consultation with other Inspectorate Team Leaders and the National or Regional Bee Inspectors.

The successful candidate will be home based within the Region covered and will be managed directly by the Regional Bee Inspector for that region. There will be a requirement for occasional short duration work away from home, based at either the National Bee Unit, York or at other geographical locations as required.

In addition to this there will be a requirement to attend a 2 week residential training course at the commencement of employment for basic training, together with a 1 week residential continuation training course at the start of each period of Seasonal Employment thereafter.

A one-day performance management meeting is held with Line Manager out of the normal working season for which reimbursement is made. You must hold a valid driving license as travelling is an integral part of the job or be able to call upon alternative means of transport.

Honeybee stings and the handling of antibiotic treatments are integral parts of this job and may pose an increased risk of allergic response in susceptible individuals.


Candidate specification:

All candidates must have demonstrable skills in written and spoken English to enable effective communication of bee and animal health topics with customers, service users and colleagues.

Candidates must have a minimum of 5 years beekeeping experience. Candidates will be able to demonstrate skills, experience and knowledge in:

• Knowledge and experience of apiculture, pests and diseases, and a competent standard of bee handling.
• Knowledge of basic health and safety and an understanding of safe working when handling bees and hornets.
• Ability to work alone or as part of team.
• Ability to communicate confidently.
• Ability to use various IT platforms such as Word and Excel.
• Driving is an essential part of the job and a full valid driving licence is required.
• This is predominantly an outdoor role where walking across farmland and standing for prolonged periods may be required. The work can involve physical demands when in the field including lifting heavy boxes and working in hot sun.

Business travel & locations:

This post is home based but there will be an expectation that you may be required to attend other locations throughout UK on detached duty, based on business needs. Allowances will be paid subject to meeting eligibility criteria.

Health and safety

To ensure APHA health and safety policies and procedures are complied with at all times.


Current Driving Licence


For Welsh position knowledge of the language will be desirable.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Managing a Quality Service

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process: Photographic assessment of disease and pest recognition
  • Hive inspection skills and confident bee handling


• Learning and development tailored to your role
• An environment with flexible working options
• A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
• A Civil Service pension

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths, Experience and Technical skills.

As part of the interview/selection process you will be required to participate in a photographic assessment of disease and pest recognition, a behaviors/strengths based interview, which will include a technical beekeeping section, and an apiculture skills assessment. Candidates must pass each stage of the assessment in order to be able to proceed to the next. Candidates that have not passed a stage will be advised of the result and then be free to leave.

The following behaviours will be tested at interview:

Making Effective Decisions
Delivering at Pace
Managing a Quality Service

Application Process
As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV and personal statement meeting the job description, technical experience and what you can bring to the role.
Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

Sift and interview dates as well as the interview location to be confirmed.

If successful at application stage, you will be invited to interview. As part of the interview/selection process you will be required to participate in a photographic assessment of disease and pest recognition, a behaviors/strengths based interview, which will include a technical beekeeping section, and an apiculture skills assessment. Candidates must pass each stage of the assessment in order to be able to proceed to the next. Candidates that have not passed a stage will be advised of the result and then be free to leave.

The following behaviours will be tested at interview:

Making Effective Decisions
Delivering at Pace
Managing a Quality Service

A presentation or additional exercise may also be assessed.

Reserve List
A reserve list may be held for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made.

Merit Lists
Where more than one location is advertised, candidates will be posted in merit order by location. You will be asked to state your location preference on your application.

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact
the email address in the ‘Contact point for applicants’ section.

Reasonable Adjustment
If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:

Contact Government Recruitment Service via as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs.
Complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional.

Criminal Record Check
If successful and transferring from another Government Department, a criminal record check maybe carried out.

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstance some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

Childcare Vouchers
Any move to Defra from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at

Internal Fraud Database Check
Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant’s details held on the IFD will be refused employment.

We are closely monitoring the situation with regard to Coronavirus, and will be following central Government advice as it is issued. There is therefore a risk that recruitment to this post may be subject to change at short notice. Please continue to follow the application process as normal and ensure that you check your emails regularly for any updates from us as this is how we will communicate with you.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with (or eligible for) status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals
Further information on nationality requirements

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :
Name :  Cristina Ruiz
Email :
Telephone :  07976242798
Recruitment team :
Email :

Further information

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact Government Recruitment Services via email: If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission: Click here to visit Civil Service Commission

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