Beekeepers in NSW must notify authorities within 24 hours of identifying or suspecting a case of AFB
We've compiled a list and links to great information that's free online to help you understand the disease and meet your biosecurity responsibilities.
DID YOU KNOW?
AFB spores can survive in the environment for 50 years
It takes just five or six spores to infect a day-old larva. One sealed brood cell can harbour 2.6 billion spores
AFB spreads primarily through infected equipment, feeding infected honey or pollen to uninfected hives, and through infected adult bees drifting from one colony to another or by robbing another hive
Hive tools can easily transport AFB spores and cross contaminate hives. Sterilise hive tools between each hive inspection by holding over a hot flame.
Swarms are unlikely to be a source of AFB
Testing of suspect samples is free for registered beekeepers
Bee colonies with AFB must be killed immediately at night (so no bees are flying around) and all equipment burnt or sterilised by irradiation.
For a quick overview on the NSW situation, read the. Prime Fact on AFB PDF 3 pages
Managing AFB is a free detailed handbook to help NSW beekeepers minimise the risks of infection, check their hives, identify suspect brood and get accurate diagnosis. (NB. The handbook mentions wax dipping for sterilising equipment - this procedure is not recommended to recreational beekeepers as it is difficult to achieve good results without precision and practice, and because of the inherent dangers of working with vats of hot wax.) PDF 40 pages
BeeAware website has a large section on AFB with clearly indexed local information on the disease - its cycle, symptoms, similar diseases etc. This website has a good range of fact sheets and linked videos Website
How AFB spreads Understand how the disease spreads and you'll find it much easier to control. This NZ video clearly explains the beekeeping habits that are responsible for over 90% of infections. Video 7 minutes 30 seconds
Inspecting a hive When and how to do a comprehensive inspection, and exactly which cells to check. Video 6 minutes
How to recognise AFB Learn to distinguish AFB from other hive problems. Discover the unique symptoms of other diseases and pests so you can pinpoint trouble. Video eight minutes
Making a sample slide Doug Somerville explains how to prepare a glass slide to send off for analysis. Video 5 minutes
The ABA can provide slides and carriers to members via their local affiliated clubs. Ask your club about keeping stocks of this essential kit.
Clear instructions on how to send samples of larvae, bees or brood comb for diagnosis at the NSW DPI Veterinary Laboratory. PDF 2 pages
Form to enclose with your slide/s The ABA has a simplified version of the general DPI veterinary testing form, to cover just the information relevant to beekeepers
[NB. AFB testing is FREE to registered beekeepers.]
Here's where to send AFB samples:
State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Officer-in-charge
Courier to: Woodbridge Road,
Menangle NSW 2568
Or post to: Private Mail Bag 4008,
Narellan NSW 2567
Bee management. This PrimeFact explains what a barrier system of apiary management is all about PDF 2 pages
Irradiation of equipment. Irradiating boxes, tools and gear will destroy AFB - and is much cheaper than burning everything. Instructions, costs and forms from Steritech NSW. website
Steritech form to complete when requesting treatment of beekeeping equipment PDF 2 pages
NOTIFYING THE DPI
To report you have identified AFB or other notifiable pests in your bees, use the Reporting a Biosecurity Risk form
or phone 02 9741 4790
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To notify DPI officers of a possible source of AFB infection so they can investigate, use the AFB Traceback Form