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Alert after American Foulbrood (AFB) found in Perthshire apiary

By David Porter

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An outbreak of American Foulbrood (AFB) has been found in a single hive in an apiary in the Stanley area of Perthshire.

The infected hive was detected by the beekeeper with the disease being confirmed by SASA on May 21.

This is the first finding of AFB in Scotland this year.

The beekeeper concerned has been informed of the finding and is cooperating with the Scottish Government bee health inspectors.

AFB is a notifiable disease that affects colonies of honeybees.

The infected hive will be destroyed as there is no permitted treatment for the disease in the UK.

Beekeepers within 3km from the affected colony will be alerted via BeeBase and encouraged to increase their biosecurity.

Chief Veterinary Officer for Scotland Sheila Voas said: “The finding of AFB is disappointing however it is a timely reminder that beekeepers should remain vigilant for signs of the disease at all times and it emphasizes the important work of the Scottish Government Bee Health Team.

“As determined by legislation, appropriate action will be taken.

"There is no treatment permitted in the UK for AFB and therefore the bees, combs or bee products from the hive are required to be destroyed (by burning) whilst the hive, debris from the hive and any appliances or other things liable to spread the disease will be served with a notice requiring either treatment (sterilisation) or destruction.

“The movement of bees and related equipment into, or out of, the affected apiary will be under specific controls supervised by Scottish Government Bee Inspectors and will include enhanced biosecurity measures and increased vigilance in the area.

“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.”

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