Concern has been growing over the spread of a deadly disease among the Welsh bee population.
American Foulbrood (AFB) is a highly-infectious disease which is caused by a spore-forming bacteria transferred to the bees through infected food.
It is described as the most widespread and destructive of all the bee brood diseases with no cure.
If detected the whole hive including the bees and honey have to be destroyed.
See the BBC article here.
Also, an interview with Paul Eades, PBKA Apiary Manager on BBC Radio Wales this morning, (Friday 16th August) at 2 hrs 26 mins 50sec.
Plus, a report on BBC TV’s, Wales Today, at 6.30pm this evening (Note this programme was not broadcast due to technical problems at the BBC, we will advise rescheduling in due course)
Pembrokeshire Beekeepers’ Association, once again reminds all of its members to register on Beebase
Just to remind all beekeepers that the June gap can still happen and inclement weather, combined with large growing colonies and little or no available forage, can quickly result in a shortage of stores.
So be sure to check that your bees have enough food, especially if you have taken off any spring honey. Note that if you add extra frames of sealed stores you should keep them in the brood boxes, so as to avoid getting them mixed up in the honey supers. Also, if you have to feed directly, use a light syrup (i.e. 1:1 sugar/water ratio) with any honey supers taken off during the feeding process.
We would like to remind all beekeepers of the importance to monitor for the Asian Hornet, as early discovery may be the only opportunity we have of preventing them from becoming a major problem. Details about the Asian Hornet can be obtained at NBU link and there is also information available on an NBU Asian hornet trap . If anyone does spot something suspect, then they should take a photo, or catch one and put it in alcohol or the freezer and report it immediately.
To assist in this process, the PBKA has appointed an Asian Hornet Coordinator, Peter Kirkup, to coordinate information and guidance relating to possible sightings. Peter can be contacted on 07770 883720.
Would PBKA members please note that there has recently been an outbreak of American Foul Brood (AFB) in the Canaston Bridge area (OS map reference SN01).
We have been advised to direct you to the National Bee Unit (NBU) factsheet Apiary_Hygiene_and_Quarantine for your information and action. Also ‘Foulbrood Disease of Honey Bees and other common brood disorders’ has a lot of information on biosecurity and barrier management, including ‘10 rules for foulbrood control’. These are on Beebase at: http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?pageid=167
All beekeepers have a duty to keep healthy, disease free bees and the PBKA strongly recommends that beekeepers sign up to Beebase in order to ensure that they receive any warnings and can obtain advice etc. in the event of a disease outbreak.
Beekeepers within 3km of the outbreak with a current email address on Beebase, will have been emailed an alert from the NBU. All beekeepers within 5km of an outbreak should exercise vigilance as per the above factsheet, which also covers swarm collection and we strongly recommend that all swarms caught are quarantined for a period of 6 weeks with any concerns advised to your local Bee Inspector.
Please note if PBKA members see any hives in their area which appear to be abandoned, or are of unknown origin, contact Paul Eades, the Apiary Manager with details.
Just to remind beekeepers everywhere to check their bees for stores as we are coming into a high risk time for starvation as the queen gets into gear and the remaining winter stores are used up. So give your hives a heft and if needed, give them some fondant or candy (not liquid feed!).