Outbreak of bee disease in St Cyrus

The disease was discovered near St Cyrus
The disease was discovered near St Cyrus

The Scottish Government has confirmed the outbreak of a disease in two honeybee colonies in the South Aberdeenshire area.

American Foulbrood (AFB) was found in two apiaries near St Cyrus.

The disease was confirmed on Monday, June 13 following a laboratory diagnosis by Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA).

The AFB infected hives were destroyed as there is no permitted treatment for the disease in the UK.

The government has said there is no risk to public health and no implications for the quality and safety of honey.

Movement of bees and related equipment into or out of the affected area has been prohibited.

Bee farmers and beekeepers are being urged to be vigilant for signs of the disease, to maintain good husbandry practices and to notify any suspicion of disease to Bees_Mailbox@gov.scot.

Signs of the disease include sunken capping on cells, which when uncapped reveal dead larvae in various stages of decomposition.

The larvae have a caramel-like, light to dark brown consistency and when drawn out the decomposing material strings out rather than snapping off - known as the roppiness test.

AFB kills off bee larva and is highly contagious. Unlike European Foulbrood, hives with AFB cannot be treated and must be destroyed.

Upon the discovery of the disease, the beekeeper becomes subject to the Bees Diseases and Pests Contrl (Scotland) Order 2007.

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 will give beekeepers access to up-to-date information on the control of AFB and bee related issues.

Beekeepers in the St Cyrus area who are not on BaseBee are asked to register at BeeBase or send their contact details to Bees_Mailbox@gov.scot.