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 supported by Amateur Beekeepers Association NSW, the North Shore Beekeepers Association, and NSW Apiarists' Association.
More information about AFB
For more information on how to inspect your hive, see the Fact sheet (PDF, 482.56 KB) or watch a video.
You can test for AFB by preparing a slide (PDF, 318.08 KB) and sending it, along with a submission form PDF, 472.8 KB for diagnosis to:
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.
It is a legislative requirement to report AFB to NSW DPI within one working day.
If you have AFB, you must kill the bees in the affected hive AND:
For more information about irradiation, refer to the Steritech website.