AFB Awareness month

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

Inspect ​your hives in October


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

Courier address:
Woodbridge Road,
Menangle NSW 2568

Postal address:
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 DPIRD within one working day.

  • Call NSW DPIRD Biosecurity Helpline 1800 680 244, or
  • Submit an online form
  • NOTE: If you have received a positive AFB result from an AFB slide submitted to the NSW DPIRD laboratory for testing, the result is automatically documented by the NSW DPIRD lab and fulfils your notification obligation. There is no need to notify DPIRD following the sample submission.


If you have AFB, you must kill the bees in the affected hive AND:

  • destroy the affected hives by burning, or
  • treat the hives by hot wax dip, or
  • irradiate the affected hives and frames.

For more information about irradiation, refer to the Steritech website.

More information