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Bee disease confirmed

06/09/2011

An outbreak of American Foulbrood (AFB), a disease affecting colonies of honeybees, has been found in an apiary in Inverness-shire.

The disease was confirmed this week following laboratory diagnosis by Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA). This follows two previous outbreaks of AFB in the Perthshire area earlier this year.

The AFB infected hive will be 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 in Inverness-shire and the movement of bees and related equipment into or out of the affected apiary is prohibited.

Bee farmers and beekeepers are being urged to be vigilant for signs of the disease, to maintain good husbandry practices and to notify any suspicion of disease to BeesMailbox@scotland.gsi.gov.uk.

In order to assist Scottish Government Bee Inspectors to control this and other diseases, beekeepers are urged to register on BeeBase, the national bee database. This will give them access to up-to-date information on the control of AFB and bee related issues.

Beekeepers in the area of this outbreak who are not on BeeBase are requested to send 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. Unlike European Foulbrood (EFB) hives with AFB cannot be treated and must be destroyed.