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Beezy 

House Bee
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Hi there,

I received an email from Bee Base today alerting me to the fact that EFB has been discovered less than 5km from my bees. The advice was to 'be vigilant', but at this time of year I wasn't planning on examining my frames and disturbing the bees.

Also, I thought that Spring/Summer was the time when this disease would be likely to be discovered...?

I had a bee inspector visit about 3 months ago due to the fact that I am a new beekeeper. Will he want to come again do you think?

Should I be doing anything? Any advice welcome!
 
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I suspect you are pretty safe. Both EFB and AFB outbreaks don't suddenly spread out like bubonic plague from their local point of origin otherwise we would be overun. There is a risk from visiting drones but it is a very low risk at this time of year.

If the Bee Inspector does visit it will be because you are virtually next door to the outbreak or he/she thinks there has been contact through some other means - i.e. you bought bees from this beekeeper or have visited them say on an association event.

The "be vigilant" could mean having a look inside on a warm day but how confident are you could recognise EFB? And if you do find it the colony will probably be destroyed as it is too late for a shook swarm, although antibiotics might be used I suppose but again it is late for the colony to recover if infected. Which does not mean you should pretend the bees are not infected if you find anything.

I suggest carry on as normal. If they are dead in the Spring call the bee inspector and be prepared to give everything a good sterilsing but as mentioned at the start, you are probably quite safe. EFB is virtually all over the country but most beekeepers remain free of it.
 

Beezy 

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Thanks Rooftops, phew that's a relief!

I'm pretty confident I could recognise the signs, but will leave well alone until Spring and trust that it's very unlikely they've been infected. I know they'll probably be fine but I will be so upset if I find they've died over winter. I'm very attached!
 

oliver90owner 

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One of the problems for spread at this time of the year is robbing. The EFB colonies will be the victims initially because they are weakened, but the spread may then be considerable, if any infected colony is allowed to be robbed out.

Should be OK if the outbreak is caught early, but that is one very good reason for sorting it out now if there is any suspicion. The bee inspectors will move outwards from the reported cases and if there is a grouping, they will recognise (or be directected toward) the likely source from their inspections (from the accumulated results - place, estimated development times etc.).

Regards, RAB
 

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