F.I.B.K.A. Policy on American Foul Brood
MAKE SURE YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH THE SIGNS OF FOUL BROOD AND OTHER BROOD DISORDERS
Inspect your colonies every spring and autumn specifically to check for brood disease. If in doubt seek expert advice.
Never transfer combs between colonies, or divide colonies, without first checking for signs of brood disease.
Never bring colonies, combs or beekeeping equipment into the apiary unless you are sure they come from a disease-free source.
Never buy old combs. Always sterilise second-hand hives by thoroughly scorching with a blowlamp before use.
Control robbing in the apiary. Never leave combs or honey exposed to robbing bees. Never feed honey from another source to your bees.
If a colony of bees dies out at any time, seal the hive to prevent the remaining stores being robbed out, pending examination of the brood combs for signs of disease.
If any colony appears not to be thriving and the reason is not already known, examine the brood for signs of disease.Be suspicious of stray swarms, hive them on foundation rather than drawn comb. Do not feed for three days. Inspect them for disease once they have become established.
Regularly and systematically replace old brood combs in the apiary by melting them down or burning them and replacing them with frames fitted with foundation. CHANGE AT LEAST THREE BROOD FRAMES EACH YEAR
Any beekeeper who suspects the presence of either American (A.F.B.) or European Foul Brood (E.F.B.), in a colony of bees should send a sample for analysis to:
Bee Disease Diagnostic Service
Dr Mary F Coffey
Teagasc Oak Park Research Centre
(Currently there is a €5 per bee / comb sample; €10 per comb + bee sample from the same colony for this service. Cheques or postal order must be made payable to Dr. Mary Coffey.)
If the presence of A.F.B. or E.F.B. is confirmed the beekeeper should close the hive entrance as soon as the bees have ceased flying and ensure that the hive is absolutely bee-proof.
Pour a half litre of petrol through the feed hole in the crown board to smother the bees. Ensure OMF is closed. All bees are dead in minutes.
Thoroughly test all other hives in the apiary for Foul Brood.
Dig a hole in the ground and burn the contents of the hive: dead bees, frames, combs and honey. All wooden parts should be blow torched to coffee brown with particular emphasis on all crevices.
A.F.B. and E.F.B. can survive in a dormant state in unused equipment for many years.
WE SHOULD NOT CONSIDER USING ANTIBIOTICS IN ANY CASE.
A Print Version (Word) of this Guideline is available here