American foulbrood detection

Published

A case of American foulbrood (AFB) has been detected in Alice Springs in September in a hobby bee-keeper hive.

AFB is an infectious disease of honey bee larvae that can have severe detrimental impacts on bee populations, including the death of hives, if unmanaged.

AFB was previously detected in the Northern Territory (NT) in late 2019. It is present in all other states and territories. It is an endemic disease that is notifiable under the Northern Territory Livestock Act 2008 and must be reported to the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade (DITT) if it is suspected in a hive.

The department’s Chief Plant Health Officer, Dr Anne Walters said ”Two suspect hives have been detected in Alice Springs and we are working with the keepers to destroy those hives”.

”We are asking all bee keepers and owners including hobby keepers, to check their hives for signs of AFB and to ring the Emergency Animal Disease Hotline on 1800 084 881 if they suspect or confirm the disease,” said Dr Walters.

AFB is restricted to the southern region in the NT. AFB is most commonly spread through spores carried by adult bees, contaminated equipment or allowing bees to consume contaminated honey. It is critical that the disease does not spread to the Darwin and Katherine regions and threaten commercial hives and agricultural pollination services.

Find out more about American foulbrood or to report the disease go to our website.

American foulbrood detection
A case of American foulbrood (AFB) has been detected in a hobby bee-keeper hive.

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