News

Bee disease confirmed in West Lothian

Published: 30 May 2019 10:59

European Foulbrood (EFB) detected in West Lothian colony.

An outbreak of European Foulbrood (EFB) has been found in a colony of honey bees in an apiary in West Lothian.

EFB is a notifiable disease that spreads between hives, mainly by beekeepers, their tools and contaminated equipment. The spread can be prevented by good hygiene and beekeeping.

The disease was confirmed laboratory diagnosis by Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA). 

Sheila Voas, Chief Veterinary Officer Scotland said:

“This confirmation of EFB in Scottish bees is a timely reminder that bee farmers and beekeepers should be vigilant for signs of diseases as they go through their hives, they should maintain good husbandry practices at all times and notify any suspicion of disease to Scottish Government bee inspectors.”

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 service provides access to up-to-date information and advice on the control of EFB and bee related issues. Beekeepers should notify any suspicion of disease to the Scottish Government via the Bees Mailbox.

Background

EFB is a notifiable disease under The Bee Diseases and Pests Control (Scotland) Order 2007.  Amongst the notifiable diseases it is classified as one of the less serious bee diseases and is, for practical purposes, endemic in the UK.  Hives where EFB is found can be treated, unlike American Foulbrood which cannot and hives must be destroyed.

Beekeepers in the area of this outbreak that are not on BeeBase are requested to register or send their contact details to Bees_Mailbox@gov.scot.

As soon as the notifiable diseases European foulbrood (EFB) and/or American foulbrood (AFB) is suspected the beekeeper becomes subject to The Bee Diseases and Pests Control (Scotland) Order 2007 (as amended) which prohibits removal of hives, bees, combs, appliances etc. from the premises affected except for the purpose of submitting a sample for laboratory tests. 

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