News

Bee disease confirmed in Perthshire

Published: 28 May 2020 09:30

American Foulbrood found near Blairgowrie.

An outbreak of American Foulbrood (AFB) has been found in an apiary near Blairgowrie. The infected hives were identified by two Scottish Government bee inspectors. The infected hives belong to a commercial beekeeper who also had AFB diagnosed in 2019 in apiaries around Blairgowrie and Pitlochry areas.

AFB is a notifiable disease that affects colonies of honeybees. The infected hives will be destroyed as there is no permitted treatment for the disease in the UK.

The disease was confirmed on 27th of May following laboratory diagnosis by Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA).

Chief Veterinary Officer for Scotland Sheila Voas said:

“The repeated finding of AFB near Blairgowrie is disappointing and emphasizes the important work of the Scottish Government Bee Health Team. It is a timely reminder that beekeepers should remain vigilant for signs of the disease at all times.

“As per EU law, the infected hives will now be destroyed. The movement of bees and related equipment into or out of the affected apiary is also now prohibited. 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.”

Background

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.

Beekeepers in the area of this outbreak who are not on BeeBase are requested to do. Free registration is available at the National Bee Unit website.

If you encounter any problems or have any questions, please contact the BeesMailbox@scotland.gsi.gov.uk. 

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