Held every October, AFB Awareness Month aims to:
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.
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.
If you own more than 50 hives, testing of pooled honey samples for AFB is a requirement under the Bee Biosecurity Code of Practice. If results are positive for AFB spores, you should do a thorough inspection of your hives and test samples of diseased brood.
You can only bring in bees and hives into NSW if they are not contaminated with AFB. These restrictions apply to all beekeepers and anyone dealing with bees and beekeeping equipment entering NSW. If your hives are diagnosed with AFB, or are suspected to have AFB, you can’t bring them into NSW.
If you suspect that your hives are contaminated with AFB, then you must:
For further information, see the group permit (PDF, 189.36 KB).