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If you're doing cutouts, please check the brood there and then!

Wanted to share my experience today with everyone.

I just performed a cutout here in Bankstown/Sydney today, it was in the ceiling cavity. As soon as I removed the drywall I knew something was wrong. There weren’t anywhere near as many bees as there should be for that amount of comb.


When I finally removed all the honeycomb and got to the broodcomb, I done a Ropiness test and man did that rope stretch! It was advanced AFB. Now I have a massive mission on my hands to irradiate everything from vacuum box and all hoses, suit, gloves, shoes, tool, and honey bucket (after extraction). I also have to bleach my ladder. What a mess!

So just a heads up to anyone not experienced enough, please always do a brood disease inspection and test especially when you see low numbers of bees like this, could be the hive dying out from disease. So check your brood as you’re performing the cutout before it’s too late so you can double bag and bee proof everything before taking your gear back to your apiary


Horrible virus to deal with, had it myself several years ago, irradiated every single piece of equipment I had before starting up again.

Have you notified the Department of Primary Industries yet?


For sure, as soon as I found out while I was on the job site.
Spoke to Rod Burke to ask him what I should do about the weep holes in the brickwork to seal it properly so no bees from other colonies can get to whatever little honey there’s left in the wall and get AFB too.

Best solution we could come up with is to stuff foil in the holes


Good work, at least all other registered beekeepers will get notified to be on the lookout, thankfully I haven’t had any up my way recently but I’m constantly on edge about AFB haha.

Not as cheap as foil but you can buy ‘weep guards’ from Bunnings fairly cheaply, could be a better long term solution without affecting the weep holes operation.


Mate that’s perfect! I haven’t seen those before, thank you!

Shame they wouldn’t work on most of the weep holes that I see which are around the window sills.
But that would’ve been perfect today’s cutout

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No worries! Hope it’s not up to you to patch up that gyprock :laughing:

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Haha Nah I just make the damage and mess up the place


Thanks for sharing this story.

Hopefully no other bees find the old site and d9nt transfer the AFB. I cant wait for advancement in science that we can actually treat or get rid of AFB completely. probably one area overlooked. i actually think about it a lot with how important bees are why more money isnt getting punped into treatment / eradication of pests and diseases.


Exactly right my friend, I guess it’s because it’s not as bad as it should be yet to throw money on which is sad that that’s how things work when it comes to funding research

Something else that’s a little frustrating is that if you suspect your hive to have AFB or EFB and would like to send a sample in to get tested, if the results are positive you don’t have to pay testing fees. But if it’s negative then you have to pay…
Fair enough it’s only $30 or so but still not a good way to reward vigilance so we can really get on top of this disease…