#3 Killer of the Honey Bee

AMERICAN FOULBROOD - AFB

Very far off in a long and distant 3rd place of killers of the honeybees is the most contagious and the most persistent of brood diseases. AMERICAN FOULBROOD: The link below is a very good educational video that does a great job of describing AFB. Please watch this video, and others like it, multiple times if necessary to ensure you have a good understanding of this well known disease.

Though a USA-NY based video, pay close attention as all of the biology applies. Differences from what is presented in videos and articles will be in the prescribed remediation (treatment). Know your jurisdiction and what the law is. Per the BC Bee Regulation AFB as a mandatory reportable disease. If you suspect it may be present, get in contact with the Peace region Bee Inspector as soon as possible. Currently that person is Kerry Clark: 250-21nine-6five97 . If you suspect AFB do not automatically assume the worst and do not take drastic action. It is important to know that there are other emerging diseases and pests that present with AFB-like symptoms but are not AFB at all. Your step 1 responsibility is to call Kerry to help get it figured out.

You should always closely inspect your dead-outs and stored equipment before putting them into service. This is especially true of any used equipment you are considering to buy. If you see anything out of sorts while flipping through the frames, come back to this video and pictures to see if it may be AFB. Do not hesitate to give Kerry a call. The inspection of equipment is a free service and by experienced eyes. He will work with you to help with diagnostic techniques, confirmation of what it actually is by coordinating lab testing, and can provide a list of remedy options for you to consider.

If AFB is confirmed by lab results; burning of the infected equipment is the usual Gold Standard remedy. However, in BC there may be other options depending on the situation. While infected combs absolutely must be removed and destroyed by burning, some parts of the hive equipment may be salvageable by other sterilization methods and the adult bees may be candidates for modern treatments. Kerry is your partner to help you figure it out and make the best decisions based on the circumstances.

Do not ever feed bees honey frames from hives suspected or confirmed to have had AFB. Nor ever feed honey-combs from other hives equipment that you do not know the complete history of. The AFB spores are very persistent, living for 30+yrs, and are present in honey and wax. There is no way to sterilize suspect honey/wax to make it safe for the bees. However it is safe for you. You can extract and consume that honey yourself. Just do not give it to the bees and ensure to sterilize the extracting equipment after use.