BEE INSPECTORS have discovered an outbreak of American Foulbrood (AFB) in an apiary near Blairgowrie.

The infected hives belong to a commercial beekeeper with honeybee colonies in Blairgowrie and Pitlochry, who was previously diagnosed with the disease in 2019.

AFB is a notifiable disease under The Bee Diseases and Pests Control (Scotland) Order 2007. It kills off bee larva, is highly contagious and difficult to eradicate.

The disease was confirmed on May 27, following laboratory diagnosis by Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture and all infected colonies are to be destroyed, as there is no permitted treatment for the disease in the UK.

Chief Veterinary Officer for Scotland Sheila Voas said: “The repeated finding of AFB near Blairgowrie is disappointing and emphasizes the important work of the Scottish Government Bee Health Team. It is a timely reminder that beekeepers should remain vigilant for signs of the disease at all times.

“As per EU law, the infected hives will now be destroyed. The movement of bees and related equipment into or out of the affected apiary is also now prohibited. I would reiterate that while this is disappointing, there are no risks to public health from AFB and no implications for the quality and safety of Scottish honey.”

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