American Foul Brood – June 2011

American Foul Brood (AFB) is a deadly and notifiable honey bee disease. AFB has recently been confirmed at four locations in Pembrokeshire: Burton, Clynderwen, near Tenby and Llangwm.  In some of the hives affected only one cell showed symptoms.

We advise all beekeepers in Pembrokeshire to carry out the following precautions urgently:

  1. Be aware of the symptoms of the disease.  A short guide can be downloaded from the PBKA website here and the BeeBase Foul Brood page can be viewed here.
  2. Check your hives urgently and thoroughly – make this the only objective of your inspection.
  3. Report any suspicious findings to Ceri Morgan – his contact details are in the short guide.
  4. Respect other beekeepers If you do suspect you have identified Foul Brood please do not relocate hives which you believe not to be affected.
  5. Keep your beekeeping equipment clean, especially hive tools and gloves.  Washing soda solution is recommended for this purpose. This is particularly important if you have more than one apiary or visit another beekeeper’s apiary to assist them.
  6. Do not feed honey to your bees.
  7. Unless you believe the source hive is free of infection do not moving comb from one colony to another.  This includes honey frames.
  8. Do not leave comb or honey buckets out ‘for the bees to clean’.
  9. Keep entrances small to minimise robbing.

Ceri will be contacting beekeepers near the affected locations to carry out inspections but as a precaution check your hives as soon as possible wherever they are in the county.

If your membership is up to date and you have not exceeded the number of  hives you are insured for then your BDI Insurance will provide compensation for cost of frames and honey lost as a result of a destruction order.