An outbreak of American Foulbrood (AFB), a disease affecting colonies of honeybees, has been found in two apiaries in South Aberdeenshire.
The disease was confirmed on Monday, June 13 following laboratory diagnosis by Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA).
The AFB infected hives have 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 apiaries are located near St Cyrus, South Aberdeenshire and the movement of bees and related equipment into or out of the affected area 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 Bees_Mailbox@gov.scot. Classic signs of the disease are sunken cappings on cells, which when uncapped reveal dead larvae in various stages of decomposition. The larvae have a caramel like, light to dark brown consistency and when drawn out, the decomposing material strings out rather than snapping off – the roppiness test.
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 register at https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/beebase/public/register.cfm or send their contact details to Bees_Mailbox@gov.scot.