AFB detected in South Australia (around Mt Barker)

@Semaphore not sure if you’ve seen this. I don’t think it is nearby to you but thought you might still be interested.

PIRSA Biosecurity SA is reminding beekeepers to be on the lookout for American foulbrood (AFB) following a detection in hives in the Mount Barker area.

To assist beekeepers, disease spread and swarming will be among the topics discussed at the next BSSA meeting on 7 October 2019 at Burnside. Visitors are most welcome. For further details contact

Beekeepers seeking further information on AFB and other honeybee diseases should visit

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actually I have a few hive at Bridgewater which is not so far away. Inspected them just last week and they looked perfect. Will keep my eye out and be on the alert. Touching wood now…

I have a question about AFB for anyone out there who knows: does it tend to mostly occur in hives that are already weakened or under stress- like wax moth does- or does it not really make any difference how strong the colony is- if spores arrive they WILL take over?

I heard that strong hives are not immune to AFB at all, because they are more likely to rob weaker hives (that may have AFB).
It does help to have hygienic queens. The bees throw anything out that looks diseased. No idea if it can prevent an outbreak entirely or if it just delays.


What Webclan has stated has been my experience.

Years ago when AFB was a great problem, commercial beekeepers could expect 1/3 of their hives to breakdown with this disease by fall if they hadn’t prophylactilly used antibiotics during the spring buildup period. The spores were in the equipment…and any winter deadouts usually had foulbrood scale…we didn’t check for the ropy stage in those days…just scale. And if you ran double brood chambers, the scale was almost exclusively found in the bottom brood chamber.

Fast forward a couple of decades and the AFB problem for me (re-started with all new equipment) seems to be subsiding. I also am not a fan of locally bred queens unless it is proven that they are using the best genetics for the hygenic trait. So I am biased towards bringing in mated queens from an outside established breeder who uses “breeder queens” that have been sourced from a breeder queen supplier with a good reputation…e.g. Sue Colby in the USA.

But my whole story could change if I have an outbreak.

EFB seems to be seriously rearing it’s head in commercial operations in the last few years in my area but at this point I believe it to be a stress disease…like chalkbrood and nosema.

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