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Bee disease confirmed

21/06/2011

An outbreak of American Foulbrood (AFB), a notifiable disease affecting honey bees, has been found in an apiary in Perthshire.

The disease has been confirmed today following laboratory diagnosis by Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA).

The AFB infected hive has been destroyed as there is no permitted treatment for the disease in the UK. There are no risks to public health from AFB and no implications for the quality and safety of honey.

The affected apiary is located near Ballinluig, Perthshire. The movement of bees and related equipment into or out of the affected apiary is prohibited.

Scottish Government Bee Inspectors will be carrying out inspections on apiaries in the area in coming days.

Beekeepers are urged to check their hives and notify any suspicion of disease to BeesMailbox@scotland.gsi.gov.uk.

In order to assist SG Bee Inspectors to control this and other diseases, beekeepers are urged to register on BeeBase, the national bee database by sending their contact details to BeesMailbox@scotland.gsi.gov.uk

AFB is a notifiable disease under The Bee Diseases and Pests Control (Scotland) Order 2007. It kills off bee larva, is highly contagious and difficult to eradicate.

There were outbreaks of AFB and European Foulbrood (EFB) in Scotland during 2009 and 2010. The Scottish Government and bee stakeholders have created an EFB control strategy for 2011. This involves a heightened level of inspections, biosecurity, quarantine measures and movement reporting.

Up to the minute information, and details on how to register on BeeBase, can be found at www.scotland.gov.uk/beehealth