Foul Brood(s)

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House Bee
Dec 8, 2008
Reaction score
South Oxfordshire
Hive Type
Number of Hives
4 + 1 nucs
Nobody seems to have mentioned their colonies having either of the foul broods. Is it taboo?

There has been an outbreak in my locality and the bee inspector found AFB and EFB in one of my 2 colonies. It has been destroyed and the frames will be burnt next week.

What chances for the other colony surviving as it is only 3 meters away?
Hi wilderness,

When a beekeeper has AFB/EFB in any of their hives it's considered bad beekeeping in some circles.

In reality we have no control over where our bees fly so they are liable to pick up any disease, virus etc, that is out there.

I do not see this as a reflection upon the beekeeper, and why the majority want to keep it a secret I have no idea. I would have thought the more beekeepers that inform others in their locality when an outbreak occurs the better we all would be and then its the beekeepers responsibility to check for disease.
On saying the last comment I do wonder how many can honestly say they can identify brood disease.

Wilderness, you say a BI found both AFB and EFB in your hive?

Ref the other colony surely the inspector inspected this hive to check that it was clear? So what advice did the inspector give?

You are not the first and you certainly won't be the last to have a hive infected with foul brood.

Thanks Bcrazy,

I agree with you about letting everyone know. I don't think that getting foul brood is a reflection on my beekeeping capabilities. I'm disappointed that I didn't spot it 3 days ago when I did an inspection. The colony definitely had AFB and the BI suspected EFB but didn't see the point of persuing it any further. The BI is doing the rounds of all the apiaries in the area that he knows about.

How many people are registered on BeeBase? This is the only way the BI can find apiaries.

Colony 2 was given the all clear and is progressing well. Fingers crossed.
Hi Wilderness,

At least its good news about the second hive. It is strange that we find disease in one colony but not in others, at times its just as well.

It was the weakest of the 2 colonies and I fully expected it not to come through the winter. Varroa levels were low. Minimal drop after Oxalic Acid treat in January.
Would you consider a shook swarm on your remaining hive ?

Wilderness has been given the all clear on the second hive, so I am wondering why the need for a shook swarm?

I know I am thick but I feel I am missing something here.:confused:


Wilderness has been given the all clear on the second hive, so I am wondering why the need for a shook swarm?

I know I am thick but I feel I am missing something here.:confused:


If it was me I would do one just for insurance,human error and all that.

I would just sleep better with clean boxes and new foundation.
In the case of efb, an inspection from a bee inspector is not sure proof the colony does not have efb,unless the infection is usually in a more advanced stage.
You can look through a colony many times and not spot efb, as the bee's quickly remove any diseased larvae, and many are well fed and survive,so these are not seen,especially at low levels,then something alters ,like a good nectar flow,when the top priority of the colony is collecting nectar,so more egg laying,but far more duties in the hive,so brood care is not quite as good and diseased larvae will show up,nectar flow stops,no sign of disease again.
But the disease is still there building up until it reaches such a level that the bee's can no longer cope,along comes bee inspector. So this is the reason you need to be on the look out for just the one or two diseased larvae to catch the disease early,a bee inspector will never do this as he/she is not looking through your colonys every week.
Hence,not such a bad idea to do a shook swarm.
OK I stand corrected.

Hi Finman

Why look on the bright side!

Hi all,

Recently I was at a Bee Health Seminar, where there was a number of expert speakers on various Bee Health problems. Each person was adamant that when EFB or AFB was detected:ack2:, the bee hive should be closed in the evening. A pint of petrol poured into the hive to destroy all bees and then the entire hive placed in a hole and burned respectively:puke:. I was lead to believe there is no fix and destroying bees and hive is the only cure. (Expert speaker was John Donoghue)


Busy Bee:(
Incorrect,only AFB is automatic destruction of bee's and frames in the uk,not the hive,this is sterilised and re used.
In efb destruction of bee's and frames is only carried out in severe cases,otherwise a shook swarm is carried out and perhaps a feed of oxytetracycline. Before shook swarms were the norm the antibiotic was simply poured over the bee's,and fed to them.
Busy bee was that the instructions for EFB as well ?
Mmmm, ohh, now there's a contradiction! Was very apprehensive when this was explained as I would have reservations about burning a new bee hive.

Busy Bee

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