American foulbrood (AFB) is a fatal and incurable brood disease of European honey bees (Apis mellifera). AFB is present in Australia. Any hive can contract AFB and the disease can decimate an apiary. AFB spores are spread in contaminated honey and apiary products, hive parts and equipment. Robbing out of weak hives is a key means of spread. A single infected hive can quickly infect nearby hives as healthy bees rob out the contaminated honey. As more and more hives contract the disease, the cycle perpetuates leading to serious outbreaks that can impact entire regions.
AFB Awareness Month is a joint initiative between NSW DPI and the Amateur Beekeepers Association NSW, the North Shore Beekeepers Association, NSW Apiarists' Association and Steritech. The aim is to highlight awareness of AFB and promote best management practices.
NSW DPI Laboratory Services
Menangle NSW 2568
Private Bag 4008, Narellan NSW 2567
Phone: 1800 675 623
You can also use a field diagnostic AFB test kit.These are available at beekeeping suppliers. Special thanks to Col Wilson of Hunter Valley Apiaries who generously supplied AFB test kits as part of AFB Awareness Month.
It is a legislative requirement to report AFB to NSW DPI within one working day.
If you have AFB, you must:
For more information about irradiation, refer to the Steritech website.