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Infected Beehives In Perthshire

It has been confirmed that a case of American Foulbrood (FB)  has infected hives in a Blairgowrie apiary.

American Foulbrood is a notifiable disease and as there is no treatment available the infected hives will be destroyed.

This is a serious and contagious disease affecting honey bees. It is caused by a virulent spore-forming bacterium, Paenibacillus larvae subsp. larvae. AFB can appear and spread quickly through a colony. If left untreated it can kill the colony very quickly.

Spores can remain viable for many years on contaminated equipment, and the bacterium will germinate and reproduce when it comes back into contact with a honey bee larva.

Spores are accidentally fed to a larva by nurse bees in the form of contaminated brood food. The bacteria kill the bee larva by completely consuming the body tissues. This occurs only after the cell has been sealed.

There is a range of information available to beekeepers on the National Bee Unit (NBU) website BeeBase

American Foulbrood infected bee hive

American Foulbrood infected bee hive credit: Crown Copyright National Bee Unit

 

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