Beekepers within 3km of affected hive encouraged to increase biosecurity
An outbreak of American Foulbrood (AFB) has been found in a single hive near Blairgowrie.
The infected hive was discovered by Scottish Government bee inspectors during the exercise of their inspection duties, with the disease being confirmed by SASA on Thursday 19th of May 2022. This is the first finding of AFB in Scotland this year.
The beekeeper concerned has been informed of the finding and is cooperating with the Scottish Government bee health inspectors.
AFB is a notifiable disease that affects colonies of honeybees. The infected hive will be destroyed as there is no permitted treatment for the disease in the UK.
Beekeepers within 3km from the affected colony will be alerted via BeeBase and encouraged to increase their biosecurity.
In 2021 there were 10 honey bee colonies confirmed positive for AFB in Scotland, in 10 different apiaries and belonging to three different beekeepers. Disease trends of the disease through the years are publically available in BeeBase.
Chief Veterinary Officer for Scotland Sheila Voas said:
The finding of AFB is disappointing however it is a timely reminder that beekeepers should remain vigilant for signs of the disease at all times and it emphasizes the important work of the Scottish Government Bee Health Team.
As determined by legislation, appropriate action will be taken. There is no treatment permitted in the UK for AFB and therefore the bees, combs or bee products from the hive are required to be destroyed (by burning) whilst the hive, debris from the hive and any appliances or other things liable to spread the disease will be served with a notice requiring either treatment (sterilization) or destruction.
The movement of bees and related equipment into, or out of, the affected apiary will be under specific controls supervised by Scottish Government Bee Inspectors and will include enhanced biosecurity measures and increased vigilance in the area.
I would reiterate that while this is disappointing, there are no risks to public health from AFB and no implications for the quality and safety of Scottish honey.
AFB is a notifiable disease under The Bee Diseases and Pests Control (Scotland) Order 2007 (as amended).